2020 Hyundai i20 Road Test Review

Hyundai had launched the i20 in India way back in 2008 as their Premium Hatchback and since then the car model has been received extremely well. Hyundai has launched the latest 3rd generation i20 in India and we drive it around Mumbai trying to find out if this is the best ever i20 as claimed by the Korean car maker and also to find out if it can continue its dominance in its segment as the best seller that it always has been. Can the 2020 Hyundai i20 take ahead the legacy that the previous generations have set? read on….
Also don’t forget to see our Video Review of the 2020 Hyundai i20 right here.

The 2020 Hyundai i20 rivals the Volkswagen Polo, Honda Jazz, Ford Figo, Tata Altroz, Maruti Suzuki Baleno and the Toyota Glanza.

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Food for thought

Hyundai had unveiled the 1st generation i20 in 2008 at the Paris Motor Show while the 2nd generation came into production in 2014. The i20 replaced the Getz in mostly all markets and not many know this that the Getz is the grandfather of the i20. The latest 3rd generation All New i20 was supposed to be unveiled at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show that got cancelled due to the Covid pandemic but was later unveiled online virtually. The i20 that comes to India is slightly shorter in length to abide with the sub 4-metre rules here. Europe gets the i20 in three body styles – the i20 five-door, the i20 three-door Coupe and the i20 Active crossover.

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Exteriors

The All New Hyundai i20 stands at 3995mm (+10mm) in length, 1775mm (+41mm) in width and has a overall height of 1505mm . The wheelbase stands at 2580mm (+10mm) making it larger and wider than the outgoing model which means extended leg room and shoulder room in the extra wide cabin area.

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Coming to the styling the latest i20 is sharper, more aggressive and a lot trendier than the outgoing model. The face comes with a large cascading grille which Hyundai calls as the Parametric Jewel pattern grille that’s made of glossy black mesh design and gets neatly mated to sharp design headlamps. These LED headlamps get LED DRL elements as eyebrows and some very nicely done detailing which includes a nicely done i20 badging on the edge. The bumper also comes with a very sharp character lines and a nicely styled faux skid plate on the lower section done up in glossy black. The projector fog lamps also get sharp glossy black housing to complete the dual tone effect to the face. The bonnet gets sharp creases that flow backwards defining it in a very sporty manner in typical European fashion. Going back the sides is highlighted with flat styling on the edges of the fender and also a harp character line that flows backwards cutting across the waistline. Other key highlights of the side profile include a chrome strip that runs below the glass sill and curves into the BMW like sharp kink in the C pillar. The C pillar also houses a glossy black diffuser insert that mates the profiles rather neatly. The side styling is further highlighted with wide styled wing mirrors in glossy black housing and LED turn lights and R16 diamond cut alloys with sporty progressive design, chrome door handles placed at an angle, glossy black cladding on the running board with i20 badging on it and the sloping roofline that neatly mates with the rear glass.

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The rear styling on the 2020 Hyundai i20 is very different and attractive if you compare it to any car in its segment or even above.. The key styling highlight here is the very different looking ‘Z’ shaped LED tail lamps that are very neatly flushed into the bodyline making the tail section look extra stylish. You also get a chrome strip that mates the tail lamps running across the boot lid. Just above the strip is a glossy black design element that kind of stands out of the boot lid area giving that 3D kind of styling to the rear. The boot lid also gets a large integrated spoiler with stop lamp while the rear bumper gets its styling highlight with the neatly infused faux skid plates in glossy black on the lower section making it look extra sporty. The roof gets a electric sun roof and also a large shark fin antenna.

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The overall styling on the 2020 i20 is very different and catchy, we loved the front styling especially the low slung front end, the sharp lines on the sides and the uniquely different looking Zorro styles LED tail lamps. The i20 does demand attention and gets loads of it with tons of road presence included.

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Interiors

Like the sporty and trendy exteriors the 2020 Hyundai i20 also gets class leading and super classy cabin area. First things first, the 2020 i20 is the widest in the segment making it the best in class in terms of seating and overall space. The dashboard comes with some premium styling and also gets a very trendy looking horizontal lined design plastic insert that runs across the dash cutting thru the crash pad and AC vents.

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The key highlight of the dash is the floating 10.25 inch touch screen AVN unit that comes loaded with all the connectivity options including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, Hyundai Blulink, radio, USB etc. The climate control unit is also very well integrated into the dash giving a premium look. The steering unit is the same one that’s also seen on the Creta and the Venue which gets silver inserts and leather wrapping along with MFD buttons neatly plunked on it looking very premium and feeling too. This steering can be adjusted manually for height and reach.

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The second key highlight in the cabin is the all digital instrument cluster that is a color TFT screen which has some super crisp detailing and also a neat little MFD display in the middle. The 2020 i20 also comes with wireless charger with cooling pads that cools your mobile phone if it heats up while charge, air purifier, Bose sound system with 7 speakers and an amplifier, cool blue ambient lighting and also an electric sunroof included on the feature list.

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The seats get leather upholstery in special piping finish giving it a premium feel. The driver’s seat gets height adjusts with comfort level in the front seat being very good with loads of leg, head and shoulder room. Also included is an adjustable armrest with storage under it. Coming to the rear the extended wheelbase and width of the i20 gives extra leg, knee and shoulder room for the rear passengers. They also get three adjustable head rests, foldable arm rest, rear AC vents, rear charge ports to enhance the comfort level.

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The 2020 Hyundai i20 has a boot capacity of 311 liters which is around 26 liters more than the older model. The boot opening is wide and accommodated three of our strollys with ease and can take at least couple of them more. Overall cabin on the 2020 i20 is a very good one to be in with good comfort levels, loads of tech feature, storage places and made of premium materials.

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Engine – Transmission – Drive

The engine options on the 2020 Hyundai i20 include two petrol and one diesel units to choose from. The base engine offered is the 1.2L Kappa 4-cylinder unit with 83PS of power mated to the 5-speed manual and 88ps mated to an IVT Automatic transmission. The 2nd Petrol engine on the i20 is the 1.0L 3Cylinder Turbo Petrol engine with 120PS of power and 175Nm of torque mated to either the 7-speed DCT automatic or the 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) as seen on the Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet. The diesel motor on the list is the 1.5L unit with 100PS of power mated to a 6-speed manual transmission option.

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We drove the 2020 Hyundai i20 powered with the 1.0L Turbo GDI engine mated to the 7-speed DCT. On the move first thing you notice is the sharp handling that it drives with very unlikely like any older Hyundai. The power delivery is very good and we still stick to our words that this is one of the best engine and transmission package currently. The power to weight ratio also helps the i20 lunge ahead quicker.

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The gear shifts are precise and there is no lag or judder felt at any speeds. The steering feels effortless which will be a big boon to the driver during long drives or during traffic conditions. In cabin comfort is pretty high and the overall ride quality is excellent. The i20 feel planted at all times the Ceat Secura Drive 195/55 R16 tyres helping and boosting the premium ride quality largely. The suspension setup is tuned to a good balance that offers a smooth ride quality and irons out bad roads etc largely.

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The brakes offer a good bite and are confidence boosting. Overall the i20 Turbo GDI with the DCT transmission is easily our pick from the lineup if you want good performance balanced with some pretty good fuel economy. We would drive the other varients of the 2020 i20 soon to let you know how they drive as well.

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Safety

In terms of safety the 2020 Hyundai i20 gets 6-airbags, tyre pressure monitor, Electronic stability control (ESC) with Vehicle stability management (VSM), Hill assist control (HAC), rear parking camera with active sensors, height adjustable seat belts etc.

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Verdict

Hyundai made a new segment with the i20 when it was introduced, the car sold in huge numbers right till the last month when buyers knew the new model is coming which speaks the power of the model. The 2020 version of the premium hot hatch gets you a wide range of engine options, transmission options loaded with tech feature, safety features combined. The All New Hyundai i20 takes the strong lineage of the model ahead and in style. The car is a head turner which offers best in class space and comfort making it easily one of the better buys in its class with prices starting at Rs. 6.79 Lakh.

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Words – Ritesh Madhok
Photography & Video – Govind Gadekar

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