Hyundai I20 – The New Generation Hatch Benchmark




The Korean automotive giant Hyundai launched its 3rd generation model of very famous i20 series. Dropped the “Elite” badge from its name but still remains one the premium options in the market. By increasing the price from earlier models to know standing at a range of ₹6.79lakhs to ₹11.32lakhs ex – showroom Delhi, the i20 is one the most expensive hatchback in the country, so that so the prices match with the Venue.



Available in 4 main variants but Hyundai has catered to the needs of everyone by considering the engine options and transmission choices to make a total of 24 variants. Competing with the likes of Maruti Baleno and Tata Altroz, is the i20 justifying its price? Let us find out.


Engine


I20 offers 3 engine choices with both Petrol and Diesel fuel options. 1.2L Kappa Petrol which produces 81.86bhp of power and 114.74nm of torque with an ARAI certified mileage of 20.35km/l. The Diesel variant receives 1.5L U2 engine which produces 98.63bhp of power and 240nm of torque with an ARAI certified mileage of 25.2km/l. i20 also boasts a powerful turbo engine, 1L Turbo GDi Petrol which produces massive 118.36bhp of power and 171nm of torque with an ARAI mileage of 20.25km/l. A total of 5 transmission choices including 5 speed manual in Petrol engine, 6 speed manual in Diesel engine, IVT automatic, 6 speed IMT for those who love manual cars but hate pressing the clutch and finally the best option 7 speed DCT. Hyundai has used the same engine and transmission combination as that in the Venue and aims to cater every kind of driver. The Diesel engine has been upgraded to 1.5L from 1.4L offered in the 2nd generation which resulted in increase in power by 10bhp and torque by 20nm. Performance of the Turbo engine is by far praise worthy except for minor vibrations on the pedals and steering when revved hard but it would not be recognized if not paying attention.



Design


Adding to the trend of aggressive styling the Hyundai i20 lives up to expectations with jaw dropping looks and sporty elements, it is one of the best looking hatchbacks currently in India. 6 single color options – Polar White, Starry Night, Typhoon Silver, Metallic Copper, Titan Grey and Fiery Red. Except Magna all other variants get 2 dual tone option, black roof with Polar white and Fiery Red. The front has a large frameless grille with jewel pattern just like the Verna, cornering LED projector headlamps and LED DRL’s touch both ends of the grille, the front bumper extends a lip spoiler which completes the front profile. The 3rd generation i20 is longer than the i20 elite by 10mm with complete length of 3995mm and wider by 41mm with complete width of 1775mm making it the widest car in the segment, larger wheelbase of 2580mm gives ample legroom and knee room. Coming to the rear profile of the car, “Z” shaped tail lamps is something which is the first thing that one notices. Piano black above the tail lamps that covers the rear glass and mini spoiler, gloss black diffuser at the rear bumper that adds to the sportiness.

With increased legroom and knee room the cabin of i20 feels spacious. The most distinctive element are the horizontal slats over air vents covering entire dashboard, now this may not be liked by everyone and be subjective to one’s own liking. The dual tone body color variants get red detailing over the steering which is borrowed from the Creta, air vents and seats. Despite the 16-inch alloy wheels the spare tyre is of 15-inches standard. The interior has more negatives than positives including lesser boot space than the rivals, no headrest and seat belt for middle passenger and poor quality of materials being used.




Features



As Hyundai cars are famous for being technology and feature rich, the i20 does not disappoint. Features like glove box cooling and rear A/C vents are common in all 4 variants. The top variant Asta (O) gets sunroof, cruise control and voice control for infotainment system. 7 speaker and subwoofer premium bose sound system combined with Android Auto and Apple Carplay in a 10.25-inch touchscreen which produce melody in the cabin. Hyundai also included the iBlue link to i20 just like its other cars. The digital instrument cluster is borrowed from the Verna which shows clear information in a funky animation.



Safety


Built on a latest platform which uses approximately 40% more of high strength and advanced steel for greater stiffness and reduction of kerb weight. 6 airbags, ABS & ESC, hill assist function and ISOFIX child seat option increases the safety parameters of the car. Segment first tyre pressure monitoring system is a cherry on top. There have been no safety tests done so there is no NCAP rating but considering all above points, it is very much possible that the i20 would score good.


Verdict


Turbo DCT variant is the perfect engine and transmission combination available with all top features and design elements. A good performing engine and heavy list of features are the main factors in the 3rd generation i20, but a very high price point is not justifiable. The increased prices match with Hyundai’s very own Venue and other sub 4-meter compact SUVs in the market. Spacious cabin and attractive design do pull up the meter but at this price point it is best to check with the competition as well.



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