2020 Hyundai i20 Review: The Best is Back!

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The current market trend indicates that the compact SUV segment is boiling at a much higher rate as compared to the hatchback segment. The reason why we have seen more and more compact SUVs gracing our car market, instead of hatchbacks. The premium hatchback segment might have been missing some serious action from quite some time now but the 2020 Hyundai i20 has arrived to dial up the heat. The i20 has always been a benchmark in its segment when it comes to equipment on offer and has always presented itself as a well-rounded package. So does the new Hyundai i20 manage to retain that and push the envelope even further? We find out in this detailed review!

Exteriors

The 2020 Hyundai i20 has grown bigger in proportions and now boasts of the longest wheelbase in its class. The façade of the all-new i20 is defined by the Parametric Jewel Pattern Grille, LED Projector Headlamps and LED DRLs. The Turbo variant will get you a redesigned grille which also looks smashing. The all-new i20’s wide and prominent stance is further accentuated by robust and captivating hood character lines, giving it a definitive presence. The side profile is highlighted by sharp-looking R16 Diamond Cut Alloys and Flyback Chrome Beltline Design.

2020 Hyundai i20 review

The shark fin antenna gives the car a sleeker look. At the rear, the taillights flaunt a Z-shaped pattern. These are connected by a chrome strip and sharp creases throughout surfaces do add visual flair. Hyundai has termed its design approach as ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ and that uncannily describes the way it looks. Some might find the rear section to be a tad too busy though.

Interiors

Known to be packed to the gills with features inside a high-quality cabin, the 2020 Hyundai i20 takes that reputation forward with a refreshed layout for the cabin. Like its previous iterations, the new i20’s cabin is jam-packed with tech. There’s a rather prominent horizontal layout in the cabin which enhances the aesthetic appeal and is pleasing to the eyes. Although the materials used in forming the cabin are of high quality, we do feel that the plastic quality at most places could have been slightly better.

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The all-new i20 with BlueLink connectivity offers enhanced convenience features such as remote Engine Start/ Stop, Remote Lock/ Unlock & Climate Control, Remote Vehicle Status & Alerts and even functions such as Find My Car Location & Share My Car. Further, to enhance vehicle safety and security, BlueLink also empowers customers with information such as Auto Crash Notification, Tyre Pressure Information and Stolen Vehicle Tracking/ Immobilization.

Interiors sport several driver and passenger conveniences with a sunroof, 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bose Premium 7 Speaker System, In-Built Navigation with Live Traffic and Compass and a semi-digital instrument cluster along with Hyundai’s BlueLink connected-car technology, and bevvy of safety features with a total of six airbags, rear parking sensors and electronic stability control. It also gets Best-in-Segment Digital Cluster with TFT Multi-Information Display offering information display for Individual Tyre Pressure, Drive Info, Fuel Economy, Parking Warning and Turn by Turn Navigation.

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The rear bench deserves all the praises too. Hyundai has increased the rear legroom by 88mm and shoulder room by 40mm. This has eased up more space behind and the rear occupants will find it hard to complain about the space on offer. The under-thigh support is quite generous too and the rear bench can comfortably accommodate 3 adults for medium distance trips. There are some things which Hyundai could have done to make the i20 a better package overall. Only the Asta (O) which serves as the top-end variant will get you adjustable headrests and Isofix child mounts. Hyundai has also omitted 60:40 split seats. But this shouldn’t let your mind sway away from the fact that the 2020 Hyundai i20’s cabin is literally the best in business!

Engine and performance

The new Hyundai i20 shares its engine lineup with the Venue. The 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine makes 83 hp power and 113 Nm torque mated to a 5-speed manual or a CVT. The 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine offers 120 hp power and 173 Nm torque mated to a 6-speed iMT clutchless manual transmission or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The turbo DCT variant does 0-100 kmph in just 9.9 segment – making it one of the most powerful cars in the segment. Its 1.5-litre diesel engine is capable of 100 hp power and 240 Nm torque mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.

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Engine-wise ARAI certified fuel efficiency figures stand at 21 km/l for the 1.2-litre petrol manual variant going down to 19.65 km/l for the 1.2-litre petrol CVT. The 1.0-litre turbo petrol with iMT will offer 20 km/l fuel efficiency and with DCT this figure stands at 20.28 km/l. The most fuel-efficient engine is the 1.5-litre diesel engine with a manual transmission offering 25 km/l.

1.0-litre DCT

The turbo-petrol unit is the most able performer of the lot and Hyundai has played its cards just right by tuning it with a 7-speed DCT. The engine revs freely and dispatches 0-100 km/h in less than 10 seconds. The engine redlines at around 6500 rpm and pulls strongly till then. The exhaust note too, tries to provide a sporty background score when you are belting it hard. The transmission deserves a special mention too as it is a reasonably quick and smart unit. There are no jerks whatsoever when you are driving around in the city.

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1.2-litre naturally aspirated VTVT

The 1.2-litre naturally aspirated unit is good enough for 83 hp of power and 113 Nm of torque. The one that we drove came mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. This particular engine isn’t as free revving as the turbo unit and it doesn’t have that bottom end torque either. Substantial acceleration is felt only after when the tachometer crosses the 2000 rpm mark. The 5-speed manual gearbox isn’t as enthusiastic either. Modern 6-speed manual gearboxes are more responsive as compared to this 5-speed unit. This engine-gearbox combination somehow undermines the capabilities of the new Hyundai i20 and is only good for people who want to opt for an affordable combination.

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Ride and handling

Hyundai has been nailing its suspension setup according to Indian road conditions for quite some time now. We said the same thing about the Creta and the i20 turned out to be no different. It is an adequate balance between satisfying the needs of an enthusiast and a regular customer. The suspension isn’t very firm and irons out all the bumps in a rather undaunting manner. The steering does feel a little inert though and isn’t as involving as the Volkswagen Polo. Same goes for its overall driving dynamics as well. It might not be the sharpest-handling car of the lot but its handling is still reassuring. The overall driver involvement is a little compromised but the 2020 Hyundai i20 makes up for it by providing exceptional ride quality.

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Conclusion

The 2020 Hyundai i20 has arrived and is aiming straight for the throne. Looking at the hype it has generated and first drive impressions, we are pretty much convinced that no other car can stop the 2020 Hyundai i20 from doing so. It might not be the most affordable of the lot but it is the best there is in more than one departments. It is loaded to the brim with features, offers a sea of engine-transmission options and delivers on the high expectations.

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