Hyundai i20 grows into class act

PUBLISHED: 08:12 27 May 2015 | UPDATED: 08:12 27 May 2015

Hyundai i20 is a spacious supermini that's good enough to challenge the class-leaders.

Hyundai i20 is a spacious supermini that's good enough to challenge the class-leaders.


Hyundai has always offered a lot of car for the money and that is certainly the case with the new-generation i20 – in fact it’s hard to believe this is its supermini, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

Stylish newcomer

Hyundai is really putting on the style with its new model ranges and the latest-generation i20 certainly catches the eye – it’s well proportioned, with strong curves and contours and I love those smart new tail lights.

Under the bonnet

Hyundai i20

Price: Hyundai i20 SE 1.4 five-door manual, £13,325 (range £10,695 to £16,725)

Engine: 1,368cc, 100PS, four-cylinder petrol

Performance: 0-62mph 11.6 seconds; top speed 114mph

MPG: Urban 39.2; extra urban 61.4; combined 51.4

CO2 emissions: 127g/km

Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 20%

Insurance group: 10 (out of 50)

Warranty: Five years, unlimited mileage

Will it fit in the garage? Length 4,035mm; width (excluding door mirrors) 1,734mm; height 1,474mm

A good range of small, economical engines sees 75 and 84PS 1.25-litre and a new 100PS 1.4-litre petrol units, the latter also offered with an automatic gearbox, and 75PS 1.1-litre and 90PS 1.4-litre turbo diesels.

The 1.4-litre petrol engine, mated to a light, precise six-speed manual gearbox as standard, pulls smoothly and willingly from low revs which helps economy – I was getting 45 to 55mpg overall – but will happily rev without getting coarse and noisy and cruise comfortably at motorway speeds.

What’s it like to drive?

The i20 is a capable all-rounder with easy-action steering and light controls and pedals taking the strain out of urban driving but it’s much more than a runabout.

Ride comfort is good for a small car – the suspension does a fine job of sorting out bumpy roads without getting bouncy but tyre noise in noticeable but not intrusive.

What really impressed me was how good the i20 is to drive. It’s up there with the best in the class now with good poise and balance through corners and good steering feel and feedback.

It measures up

Longer, wider and lower than the previous model, and with an extra 45mm between the front and back wheels, it offers class-leading interior space.

This supermini can easily carry four adults, five at a push, and those in the back won’t be short of legroom.

The boot is also 10% bigger at 326 litres, right up there with the best in class, and is made more versatile with a two-stage luggage floor. Drop the 60/40 rear seat backs flat and it grows to 1,042 litres of flat-floored load bay.

Fit and finish

The i20’s cabin has a higher quality feel than before – it’s not particularly exciting but, like the fascia, it’s ergonomically user-friendly.

And it’s well built too, with a solid feel that should last and remain free from squeaks and rattles.


Available in S, SE, Premium and Premium SE, the i20’s big-car feel extends to equipment, introducing new features to the segment including a full panoramic sunroof.

SE will be the big seller with 16in alloy wheels, voice-activated Bluetooth, cruise control with speed limiter, front fog lights, lane Departure warning system, four electric windows and reversing sensors on top of the standard six airbags and stability control.

In the modern age of gadgets and gizmos, twin 12-volt sockets and USB and auxiliary sockets will keep you connected and charged while a smartphone docking station is standard on top models and optional on others.

Final say

In the increasingly popular supermini sector, it’s hard to ignore the Hyundai i20. It’s right on the mark when it comes to styling, equipment and driving experience and also right on the money for value.

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Andy Russell

Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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