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The Hyundai i20 after its launch in the Indian market back in 2008, became one of the favourite hatchbacks in the country. Over the years, the i20 has gone through many facelifts and generation updates.
Hyundai launched the third generation i20 recently with a starting price of Rs 6.80 lakh for the base variant and 11.18 lakh for the top-end Turbo GDi variant. We got our hands on the third generation i20 and it just looks fantastic. The car now gets sharp edges and cuts and has become more aerodynamic from the front. We drove it for a day and here's what we have to say about it.
Design & Style
Starting with the design at the front, the all-new Hyundai i20 looks much sharper and the hood of the car is sloping downwards for better aerodynamics. The car gets a set of sleek-looking headlights, that feature a projector LED setup for the high and the low beam. It also gets cornering lights that feature a halogen bulb. The DRLs of the car are extremely bright and makes the car look sporty.
Down below, is the projector fog lights that also features a halogen bulb, we would have liked if the entire lighting setup was LED. Moreover, the front bumper has been tweaked heavily and now looks extremely sporty. The car also gets a front lip splitter to enhance its sportiness. However, other than the logo and some elements inside the headlight housing, it does not feature any chrome elements at the front.
Moving to the side, the dual-tone five-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels suit the overall car's size and enhance its sportiness. The premium hatchback also features blacked-out ORVMs with an integrated LED indicator and a ‘DCT' badge on the front fender. There are also sharp lines and creases running from the headlight to the taillight, which complement the overall looks of the hatchback.
Now the side of the car gets some elements finished in chrome such as the door handles and around the windows. The new i20 will also be available in a dual-tone paint scheme and over here the roof is finished in black. Moreover, the hatchback now gets a sunroof that gives it an upmarket feel.
The rear end of the all-new Hyundai i20 now gets a sleek looking taillight unit that features a Z shaped LED element. Both the units are connected by a red reflective strip that runs along the entire boot lid. There is a chrome strip that runs alongside it as well. The hatchback also gets a rear wiper along with a washer.
It also gets an i20 badge, ASTA badge and the Hyundai logo finished in chrome. The shark fin antenna and the fake rear diffusers further enhance the sportiness of the all-new i20. Last but not the least, the i20 also features a reverse parking camera that has adaptive guidelines and sensors that makes parking the car at tight spaces really easy.
Interior & Features
Step inside the car and you will notice that the cabin feels really spacious and airy, thanks to the sunroof. The interior of the all-new i20 is completely blacked-out with red highlights to give it that sporty feel. The red elements are present on the seats, steering wheel and the AC vents.
The dashboard is finished in hard, but good quality plastic. And the centre stage is taken by a 10.25-inch floating infotainment system. The infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is connected to a seven-speaker Bose system with a subwoofer and an amplifier in the boot.
The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and has a good grip to it. On the left-hand side of the wheel are the steering mounted controls for the infotainment system and on the other side are the buttons to control the instrument cluster and the cruise control. The hatchback also gets blue ambient lighting that enhances the premium-ness of the cabin.
Speaking about the instrument cluster, the i20 gets a digital one. However, the tachometer revs counter-clockwise which might take some time for some people to get accustomed to. Other than that, there is a MID screen in the centre that gives out a lot of information and also supports turn-by-turn navigation.
The seats are black with red accents around it to enhance the sportiness. The front seats are manual and only the driver's side gets the height adjuster. The front seats offer good underthing support and side bolsters.
The second row is also comfortable and also gets rear AC vents that help the cabin cool down fast. Legroom at the rear has gone up by 88mm and that means tall passengers will have ample of space.
However, the sunroof is pretty small and the rear passengers will not get a good view of the outside world on a sunny day, but at least the car has one!
As far as the boot space is concerned, the i20 gets a 311-litres of boot that has gone up by 26-litres, compared to the previous generation model. Sadly, the second row does not feature a 60:40 split but just in case more space is needed for luggage the entire row can be folded down.
Engine & Handling
Powering the all-new i20 are both diesel and petrol units. The first petrol one is the 1-litre turbo engine that produces 120bhp of power. This engine option is available with a DCT or a six-speed iMT transmission. The second is a 1.2-litre NA Kappa unit producing 83bhp when mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and 88bhp when paired with an automatic transmission.
The third is a 1.5-litre diesel that will produce 100bhp of power and will come mated to only a six-speed manual gearbox.
Now since we drove the turbo petrol variant, let's talk about that. First of all, the 120bhp and 175Nm figures are pretty good for a car this size. It weighs under 1,100 kgs and feels pretty quick. Start the engine and the car comes to life with little to no noise inside the cabin as the NVH and insulation levels are top-notch. However, there is some engine noise that is heard at higher revs.
We were driving the seven-speed DCT variant and the gearbox feels pretty quick and shifts are fast. There is no lag in between gears and there is an S mode in the gearbox that holds the gears till higher revs before if shifts to the next one.
Normally if you are doing a 50 to 60 km/h of speed in the D mode then its gear indicator will show that the car is running in 5th and when you do the same speed in the S mode, it will hold the gear at 3 till about 3,500 to 4,000 rpm.
The engine feels pretty peppy and has a good low and mid-range. However, it has a decent top end and revs up to the 6,500 rpm mark where the redline is. Shift the car to the manual mode and you will have some control over it. If you do not shift the gears in the manual mode, then the car will hold the gear for a fraction of a second and then shift as it will sense that the gearbox and the engine are under stress.
The response from the steering wheel is excellent and with a flick, the car will change directions. However, the steering wheel on the Hyundai i20 felt slightly on the heavier side and that is a good thing if you are cruising at high speed. In the previous generation i20's, the steering wheel was so light that you could rotate it with one finger.
Show the car some corners and you will be surprised by the way it handles them. The suspension setup on the car is slightly towards the stiffer side, which in return reduces the body roll and increases the handling. However, the speed bumps and potholes can be felt slightly, but it will not bother you much.
The front seats offer good under-thigh support and the side bolsters to keep the driver in place. One thing we can assure that on a long journey, the passengers will not face any issues related to the seats as they are extremely comfortable. Same goes for the rear seats and now since the leg-room has been increased by 88mm, six feet plus passengers will not have a problem during a long trip.
As far as the mileage figures are concerned, since we got the car for only a day it is difficult for us to tell you the exact figures. But, on the MID screen, we could see the figures fluctuate between 9.5 to 11.7 km/l in the city, which is not bad. However, we expect the car to return a good mileage figure on the highway and in a full tank, you can easily go towards the north of 500 km.
The all-new Hyundai i20 looks absolutely gorgeous and sporty than the previous generation models. The hatchback has now got sharp edges and is much more aerodynamic. Also compared to the previous model, the new one has grown from every bit and corner and has become spacious.
Well, at Rs 11.18 lakh ex-showroom, there are a few things the all-new i20 lacks. The car could have got a full LED lighting setup (front and back), soft-touch materials on the dash and on the door panels, along with a slightly bigger sunroof.
Other than that, the new i20 really impressed us by its power delivery, handling and comfort. If you have the money and are looking out for a premium sporty hatchback, we will recommend that you take a look at the all-new Hyundai i20.