Friday, 18 May 2018

Car review: Hyundai i20

Worthy supermini that majors on ease of use and grown-up design. Fun is in short order though.

Overview

It’s Hyundai’s second-generation i20. The previous model was a decidedly average car that surfed into the marketplace on a wave of scrappage scheme trade-ins. Its replacement is a far more style and quality-led product, and while it still represents decent value for money, saving cash is no longer its number one priority. This is Hyundai getting serious about the supermini sector.
It’s even launched a more stylish three-door version it’s calling the i20 Coupe, a bespoke approach that underlines how it’s not messing about in this sector.


Driving

Comfort and ease-of-use are the key factors here. The ride is soft (though it’s occasionally perturbed by more broken roads) and the handling balance safe, though its body control is very well managed and it displays talent on twistier roads. It’s not fun or feisty like a Fiesta, though.

The initial engine range consisted of three naturally aspirated petrol and two turbodiesel engines, with 85 percent of i20s expected to sell with petrol power. The 99bhp 1.4-litre was the one to have, but in truth they’re all a little uninspiring and need revs to unleash their tame pace. Good job the long-awaited 1.0-litre turbo triple has arrived: now eschew the 1.4 and spend the extra on the T-GDI. You won’t regret it.

Of the diesels, a 75bhp 1.1-litre is most interesting. Not for its pace, which could be politely described as lethargic, but for its claimed 88.3mpg and 84g/km CO2. It’s a remarkably civilised engine once you’re eventually up to speed, and it cruises well. It’s punchy through town, too, if you can tolerate its narrow powerband and aren’t immune to frequent gearchanges. Inevitably it’s rather rattly in congested traffic, though.


On the inside



Hyundai appears to have been eyeing up the Polo when penning the i20, and nowhere is this more obvious than inside. This car gets closer to VW’s ergonomic slickness than the Fiesta or Corsa, with everything operating in a simple and pleasing manner. The materials largely feel good too, and are a world away from budget Hyundai offerings of a generation or two ago. There’s little to excite, but it’s a mature and grown-up place to sit.



Verdict
Impressive follow-up to the mediocre original. The all-new Hyundai i20 for sale may have the competition worried.
If you’re in the market for a Hyundai i20 for sale - visit a Group 1 Hyundai. Test drive the Hyundai i20 on offer at your nearest Group 1 Hyundai dealership.


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