Motoring and Property Editor
5:16 PM 5th February 2021
Hyundai i20 – First Drive Review
The all new Hyundai i20 is the first car in the Korean manufacturer’s range to introduce their new ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design language. I am not sure exactly what that means, but for what it is worth, I think it is a good-looking car.
Of even greater interest is the new 1.0-litre turbocharged engine combined with a 48v hybrid powertrain, which delivers 100PS an 172Nm of torque, yet with low CO2 emissions of just 115g/km. This engine is going to be standard across the range and on the road, it feels quicker than the on-paper performance figures would suggest.
The six-speed manual gearbox is slick and precise, the clutch light and pleasant to use. There is the option of a seven-speed dual clutch automatic too.
My test car was the range opening SE Connect model, priced from £18,595. I doubt there is any need to spend more looking at what comes as standard. Alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, cruise control, an 8-inch touchscreen, parking sensors, leather steering wheel and gear lever are amongst the highlights.
Should you feel the need to indulge still further, i20 Premium is next in the pecking order and adds LED headlights, climate control, heated front seats and mood lighting and a whole lot more!
Ultimate tops the pile and brings with it keyless entry, a BOSE sound system and a two-tone roof.
Later this year there will be some sporting additions to the range, wearing the ‘N’ moniker. Expect to find a number of styling and mechanical changes over the rest of the i20 range.
Hyundai’s SmartSense safety package is standard on all models and it is really rather comprehensive. Forward Collision and Driver Attention Alert combine with Lane Keep Assist and Intelligent Speed Limit Warning to keep you safe.
The i20 has grown in size and is now five-door only. There’s space for four decent sized adults to travel in comfort and the boot a generous 352 litres, bigger than most in the class.
The new i20 is more fun to drive too, with a well-developed chassis that offers a comfortable ride and decent body control if you turn the heat up.
The diminutive engine revs freely and the accompanying three-cylinder soundtrack is quite appealing. It quietens down at cruising speeds, where a little wind and road noise take over.
The i20’s economy will impress. 50mpg is readily achievable without really trying and I suspect the less spirited driver might even manage to see closer to 60mpg… Emissions are low at just 117g/km CO2 and for company car drivers the BIK starts at 26%.
Like all Hyundais, the car feels well put together and will doubtless make a great long-term ownership proposition, with the backing of the comprehensive five-year warranty. It is a tad disappointing that the interior plastics are a little dull and with such a vibrant exterior paint finish, ‘Intense Blue’, I would have liked to see a few splashes of colour inside.
At the time of writing, Hyundai are offering a PCP deal at 4.6% APR and with a £1,250 contribution towards the deposit. Most private sales will doubtless be financed thus, perhaps therefore negating the list price as tested at just over £19,000.
In conclusion, the new i20 is much improved over its predecessor and can now compete for class honours. It is an accomplished car, full of the very latest tech and one which has the ability to entertain the driver, yet its green credentials are excellent.
So, forget the Fiesta, cast aside the Clio and instead head to Hyundai’s website for a closer look. You may well be very glad that you did.
• Hyundai i20 SE Connect
• Price £18,595 (£19,145 as tested)
• 998cc 3-cylinder turbocharged engine
• 100PS and 172Nm of torque
• 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds
• Top speed 117mph
• Combined economy 55.4mpg
• Emissions 117g/km CO2
• VED £165
• 5-year unlimited mileage warranty