The i20 is Hyundai’s offering in the new age premium hatchback car segment. Unlike the previous iterations of the Santro, this hatchback breaks away from the manufacturer’s conventional Korean design philosophy. The i20 has been designed from ground up on an entirely new platform. This is not a typical weird or rather comic looking ’value for money’ Hyundai offering. With a sophisticated and proportionate European design wrapped around a well rounded package, this hatchback matches up to its European rivals as a well rounded competitor.
Design and Features
The i20 does not conform to the tall boy theme but exudes a stylish and elegant European look. The design philosophy behind the i20 was to maximize interior space within a compact exterior without being an eye sore. The transparent flush mounted headlamps along with sleek front grille and wide air dam make the front end look appealing. The rear end comprising of a wrapped around bumper and pulled up tail lamps fits in proportionately with the overall design. The neat lines which run from the front to end around its waist do a good job in aiding the i20’s polished look.
The i20 is offered to buyers in two variants namely Magna and Asta. The base variant Magna gets AC, power windows, rake/reach adjustable steering, folding rear seats, CD/MP3 player and central locking. The top of the line Asta variant comes equipped with ABS, EBD, 6 airbags, alloy wheels, rear wiper, leather covered steering wheel, fog lamps and electrically retractable door mirrors in addition to the above features. There is also a multi information display which comprises of a trip meter, display for the audio system, seat belt on/off indicator for all five seats, calendar, outside temperature and can calculate an approximate driving time for the proposed journey.
Driving abilities and Comfort
Not only does the i20 look like an European hatchback, but it even handles like one. The monocoque chassis, a wheelbase longer than the Verna and wide track play a key role in enhancing its driving dynamics. The chunky and high on grip Apollo Accelere rubber also plays a key role in improving its handling package. While driving at high speeds on straight roads this hatchback feels as planted as some of the bigger C segment cars. In terms of handling, this hatchback does not feel like a regular offering from the Hyundai stables.
It’s a pleasure to guide this car through winding hill roads owing to the precise steering. The braking capability and the ease with which the i20 sheds speeds further boost the driver’s confidence. This car exudes supreme levels of composure irrespective of the speed of travel. It lays more emphasis on ride comfort than handling and it surely doesn’t disappoint in that department. The i20’s’s ride quality cannot be matched by its competitors though they might offer better handling abilities. With gas filled shock absorbers doing duty all around, passengers are well cocooned from the undulations that our roads continually present.
Hyundai offers the i20 with three engine options including the 1.2 liter Kappa petrol mill which also does duty on the i10, a 1.4 liter Gamma petrol powered unit and a 1.4 liter CRDi mill. The 1.2 liter petrol engine develops a maximum power of 80PS@5200rpm and a max torque of 11.4 kg@4000rpm and returns an overall fuel efficiency of 15kpl. The 1.4 liter petrol engine pushes out a max power of 100PS@5500rpm and max torque of 13.9kg@4200rpm and is offered with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The CRDi engine develops a max power of 90PS@4000rpm and a max torque of 22.4kg from 1750 rpm onwards till 2750 rpm and travels 16kpl on a liter of diesel. In terms of performance the petrol powered i20’s feel sluggish. The 1.2 liter engine powered i20 takes 16 seconds to complete 0-100kph acceleration run. The diesel mill offers more excitement to the driver and takes 13 seconds to reach 100kph from standstill.
The 1.2 Kappa powered i20’s base Magna variant is priced at from Rs.5.68 lakhs (on-road Mumbai) while the top end Asta variant retails for Rs.6.55 lakhs (on-road Mumbai).The 1.4 Asta automatic has a price tag of Rs. 8.5 lakhs (on-road Mumbai). The 1.4 litre CRDi engine powered models have an asking price stretching from Rs. 7.20 lakhs (on-road Mumbai) onwards for the base Magna variant till Rs. 8.4 lakhs (on-road Mumbai) for the top Asta variant. The I20 competes against the likes of Skoda’s Fabia and the Volkswagen Polo. If you are on the lookout for a European styled hatchback with good looks, big car feel, robust build quality, roomy cabin and adequate on road performance, then look no further. Simply put, the i20 is a bigger, more spacious and better quality i10 which scores more than its younger sibling in all segments while being equally easy on the pocket.