New Hyundai i20 Test Drive Report


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The much awaited hatchback from Hyundai is finally here. As always we have the exclusive first drive of the i20. So here goes.




One look and you know this is a large hatch. It looks contemporary and thankfully there are no design quirks like in some other Hyundais. The peelback headlamps look very pretty, but otherwise the simple lines are pleasing, conservative and tasteful and will look at home in the bylanes as well as a five-star lobby. Conservative lines aside, it does stand out of the crowd which is a good thing.






Come to the interiors and you are greeted by a comfy driving position. The design of the dashboard looks modern especially the centre console. The seats are comfortable and you get a range of adjustments, so it is easy for most frames to find a comfortable driving position. You get a lot of features like automatic climate control, electrical retract mirrors. But the best bit is the number of airbags. By far the best with six airbags in total. But we missed height adjustable seatbelts. Although the dash looks good, the quality of materials is only decent because the shiny plastics rob it of an upmarket feel. The trip meter information along with stereo information is displayed via a screen placed high up in the centre of the dash. However, the functions can take some getting used to.




Spacewise, the i20 will not leave you wanting anywhere. All the seats have generous legroom, headroom and shoulder room and seating three abreast in the rear is no problem at all. Add to this the huge boot, which makes it a very practical car to go out shopping or for that occasional weekend trip out of town. The rear seat also get a three-point belt for the centre passenger - a definate plus.


On the road


The i20 is powered by the same 1.2 litre Kappa motor from the i10, but with altered gear ratios. The low end response of the motor is pretty good and the i20 accelerates smartly at the tap of the accelerator pedal. The engine is smooth for most parts, but tends to get boomy at higher revs. It isn't an outright scorcher, but will keep you happy around town. Fuel efficiency is pegged at 11.3kpl and 16.1kpl for the city and highway cycles respectively - not bad for the size and weight of the car.




On the ride and handling front, the i20 is much improved over older Hyundais. The steering feels much better than before and gives good feedback as well. The stiffer springs allow for better body control, so it goes around bends nicely too. There is some body roll but it is well under control. Though it can't match the ride and handling package of the Fabia, the i20 does a good job of it.

The stiffer springs also mean that the low speed ride has a harsh edge to it, with bumps filtering into the cabin more than usual. But all this gets better as the speeds increase, yet the Fabia does a better job of rounding off the bumps.






The i20 is a logical step up from the Getz. It offers a lot of space and comfort at a relatively affordable price and comes with a long features list. All we want are slightly better interior plastics, but even without that it is a good deal and definately worth a second look for those who want a large affordable hatchback.
FuelRunGod2008-12-29 10:21:33
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Good review, but the car seems unimpressive, nothing much in terms of new Tech. or features except for 6 airbags. Design is plane jane & interiors have a Civic sense to them, needless to say original is always better!

Ride & handling should have grown up for a Hyundai, but old habbits die hard!

Petrol 1.2 Kappa engine is just academic, where's the diesel?

On the good side, alloy  wheel design is catchy. Does it have a FE meter too?
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Here is the features list of all variants..



Child-Safety Rear Door Locks S S S
Front Seat belt Pretensioner - S S
Day & Night Inside Rear View Mirror S S S
Central Locking (5 DR) S S S
Keyless Entry with Folding Key - S S
Front - Fog Lamps - S S
Rear - Fog Lamps S S S
ABS with EBD - S S
Immobiliser S S S
Front Dual Airbags - S S
Side & Curtain Airbags - - S
PAB (Passanger Airbag) ON/OFF Switch - S S
RHD Controls S S S
2 Tone Beige Interior Colour S S S
Driver & Passg ORVM S S S
Body Coloured ORVM S S S
Body Coloured Bumper S S S
Body Coloured Side Door Handles S S S
Body Coloured Radiator Grille S S S
Full Wheel Cover S - -
Alloy Wheels - S S
Rear Parcel Tray S S S
4 Speakers with 2 Front Tweeters S S S
Ash Tray S S S
Map Pocket - Frt Door S S S
Front & Rr Door Full Size Arm Rest S S S
Passanger Side Seat Back Pocket S S S
Centre Console Tray S S S
Chrome Inside Door Handles S S S
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel - S S
Leather Wrapped & Chrome finish TGS Knob - S S
Glove Box Cooling S S S
Coat Hook S S S
Tachometer S S S
Electronic Multidisplay Meter - - -

Dual Tripmeter

Driving Time

Digital Clock

Outside Temperature

Low Fuel Warning S S S
Door & Tailgate Ajar Warning S S S
Ignition Key Reminder - CLS disabled S S S
Battery Saver S S S
Seat Belt Warning (All 5 seats) - S S
60:40 Rear Seat Folding S S S
Adjustable Front & Rear Headrests S S S
Height Adjustable Driver Seat - S S
Full Fabric Cloth Upholstery S S S
Air Conditioner with Heater Manual FATC FATC
Rear AC Cooling S S S
Electronic Power steering S S S
Tilt & Telescopic Steering S S S
Internally Adjustable ORVMs S - -
Electrically Adjustable ORVM - S S
Electrically Folding ORVM - S S
Power Windows - Frt S S S
Power Windows - Rr S S S
Power Window Switches - - -

Driver Side Autodown

Driver Side Safety


Clutch Foot Rest S S S
Rear Wiper & Washer - S S
Defogger - RR S S S
Cigar Lighter S S S
Portable Ashtray S S S
Luggage Lamp S S S
2 DIN CD+MP3 Music System S S S
Audio Input - Auxillary & USB Aux Only S S
Steering Audio Remote - S S
Roof Antenna S S S

All the variants seems to be loaded and difference between Asta and Asta(O) is just Side and Curtain Airbags. So the Magna and Asta seems good buy and even the cooled glove boz is standard..

I think HYUNDAI i20 Rocks...The features are awesome..the car is loaded and it will give Fabia a tough competition being cheaper and loaded and also Hyundai costs less than Skoda when maintenance is concerned.
bluesapphire2008-12-29 10:30:58
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The technical specification are as follows..



Overall Length (mm) 3940
Overall Width (mm) 1710
Overall Height (mm) 1505
Wheelbase (mm) 2525
Front Track (mm) 1505
Rear Track (mm) 1503
Fuel Tank capacity (litres) 45
Material All Aluminium Cylinder Engine
No. of cylinders 4
No. of valves 16
Valvetrain (type) (SOHC / DOHC) DOHC
Displacement (CC) 1197
Maximum Power (ps / rpm) 80 / 5200
Maximum Torque (kgm / rpm) 11.4 / 4000
Type 5-Speed Manual
Front Suspension Mc Pherson Strut with Coil Spring
Rear Suspension Coupled Torsion Beam Axle with Coil Spring
Shock Absorbers Gas Type (Front & Rear)
Front Disc
Rear Drum
Size & Type 175/70 R14, Tubeless
Steel wheel
185/65 R14, Tubeless
Alloy wheel


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FRG, this is great work again!I am really impressed by ACI's  quick reviews!

Ok, back to topic, I am also very much impressed by another great product from Hyundai's stable - The i20!for which most of the Indian buyers were waiting.Theres no doubt that this is another segment king from Hyundai after the compact hatch segment leader -i10!

This time also hyundai has done the same trick as they done with the i10, More features, low price!Yes! is offering Max of 6Airbags in this hatch!..which is really superb!Also other few more features like, as FRG said - Climate Control, ABS etc etc!..hmm..but height adjustable seatbelts are missing, I don't think they matter much! do they?

Exteriors of this car looks really great!..with bold looks and mascular design, the i20 looks very nice and perfect car!However i didn't like the orange side indicators!..clear ones would have been looked better!...anyways..its not a big thing!and ORVM's are same as they were in getz,(i think they are originally from verna).

Speaking about the interiors, man they are just awesome!these are simply superb interiors which i have never seen in any car in its segment yet!..Hyundai scores here too!..i10 also have best in class interiors, because of which most of the people prefer it!..i expect same with i20 too!

Well, I guess this car will also be the contender for ICOTY, So this hyndai may win 2009 ICOTY crown as did its li'l bro- the i10! smiley17.gif
vibhor2008-12-29 12:01:35
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HYUNDAI i20 is available in total of 7colours, They are as follows.....














The New


            iGot it all
vibhor2008-12-29 12:17:51
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Good review. Awaiting a detailed review and probably a shootout with competition.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the feature set. Retractable mirrors, reach adjust steering, six airbags, .. wow!

Just looking forward to a more powerful engine down the line. BTW how is it they left out the sunroof? smiley1.gif

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Excellent and very prompt test report FRG.Another first by you- you had also tested the Indica Vista. sadly, the Vista does not come with ABS till now.

Manish how does this car compare with the 1298cc petrol and the 1248cc diesel Swift? The 1197cc Kappa I guess, must be underpowered.You have rightly compared it with the Fabia with which the i 20 does'nt match.

Other great features of the i 20 include the six airbags, the ABS and EBD features available on all, but the base version.Lets hope we get the CRDi version soon.

Thanks bluesapphire and vibhor for the data inputs.

anjan_c20072008-12-29 15:17:18

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Cracker of a hatch at a great price. Many firsts: viz: 6!!! airbags in a hatch even an Accord and CR-V have only 2, electric folding mirrors. Good sound system, doing one better than the City: has a CD/MP3 with aux and USB port. Great interior's and space. My only grouse is the engine option, only the 80 bhp Kappa; a diesel would have really rounded of the launch. The alloys are also look good. The well matched gear ratio's also give's adequate performance and good fuel efficiency. I like the overall design; but my son feels there something odd about it's looks ??

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I have been looking for a large premium hatchback/ sedan in diesel with good FE/Space/Safety/Durability/Running Cost features within a budget of max Rs. 6.5 Lakh. Till now, only Fabia and Swift/Dzire qualify. Fabia Classic being the one in the budget, but Fabia Ambiente being the desired benchmark on the values mentioned above.

Alternate Swift/Dzire models have a waiting period of 8-9 months, making me look at all the launches that are planned in the first quarter CY09.

I was eagerly awaiting for Hyundai i20, and the launch features meet my expectations very well (still waiting Road test FE figures though). But, there is no mention of a diesel launch date - i always expected both engines to be launched simultaneeously.

Seems like it is going to be a long wait for the diesel. Looks like by the time Hyundai launches diesel, we will have Fiat Grande Punto - the current European market leader in the segment i believe - in the show-rooms.

Hyundai may have much tougher task ahead in that case - overall, disappointed by no confirmed launch date of Diesel.

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