Hyundai introduced the i20 model after the initial success of its Hyundai i10 model which made it the largest passenger car exporter in the country. The Hyundai i20 in India is targeted at the B and B+ segment customers in the Indian market. Globally the Hyundai has replaced the Getz model but in India the Hyundai i20 will be sold along with the Getz and the Hyundai Getz will be positioned below the Hyundai i20.
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The Hyundai i20 has been designed to meet the needs of the European market specifically and Hyundai’s move of shifting its manufacturing plant from Koran to India has resulted in the Indian market benefiting from it. The plant which is situated in Chennai has the proud distinction of producing up to 30 percent of Hyundai car globally.
The Hyundai i20 was designed based on Hyundai’s larger offering the i30 which has been released in Europe and Korea and is doing really well. Hyundai i20 in India competes with very competitive rivals like the Ford Figo, Honda Jazz, Skoda Fabia and the Fiat Grande Punto. We were lucky enough to get out hands on a Hyundai i20 and take it around for a spin to see how it fares in comparison to its rivals. Read further to find out what we now know…
Exteriors and Interiors
Although this is a test drive, let us start out with the overall look of this very impressive offering from Hyundai Motors. The exterior of the Hyundai i20 is similar to its smaller i10 offering and it features many similar parts as well. It has new muscular, aggressive styling that differentiates it from previous Hyundai cars that were criticized for being very softly styled and tended to lift designs from other car models namely the Honda and Jaguar.
The front of the Hyundai i20 gets a few well placed lines and curves on the hood that accentuate it and all the hood to have a clear definition. The grille gets a touch of chrome plating that adds some further character to the front end. The headlights are designed to be some form of curvy triangle and slope smoothly upwards and curve slightly around the bonnet and they also integrate the turn indicators. The new Hyundai i20 also incorporates turn indicators on the outside rear view mirrors which are also electrically heated, making the i20 one of the only cars in its class to offer this feature. The front is also enhanced by the look of the bumper, which now get a wider lower air intake and accented slots for the fog lamps. The low slung bumper makes the i20 look lower to the ground and gives it a sportier look.
The interior of the Hyundai i20 should be the most surprising part as it features some of the most advanced gadgets found in this class of car not only in India but internationally as well. The Hyundai i20 is one of the largest hatchbacks being offered in the Indian automotive market. There is ample head room as well as leg room for all passengers both at the front and the back and comfortably fits in 5 passengers and their shopping as well. The interior has a lovely two tone brown-beige color and the instrumentation cluster panel is also well lit so the driver has no problem to view it whether day or night. The various audio and climate controls and knobs are ergonomically placed and the center console is tilted towards to driver to enhance ergonomic feel and ease of use. It also has a silver lining that provides a sleek look to the console.
The power steering is well balanced and has some features that reminds of the Honda Civic and houses the audio and climate controls on it making it safer for the driver to concentrate on the road. The steering wheel is also tilt and telescopic and allows drivers to get the most comfortable position while driving. The rear seats are also very spacious and afford maximum space for rear occupants with ample head room and leg room. Another cool feature of the rear seats are the height adjustable rear head rests.
The car is also fitted with numerous storage holders and pockets that allow travelers to sore bottles in the door trim and other knick knacks behind the front seats. The interiors are well adorned with high quality fabric and highly durable plastics and leather finish.
Engine and Ride
The Hyundai i20 is fitted with the 1.4 liter 16 V DOHC, CRDI Diesel 4 cylinder engine that produces 90 horsepower and 224 Nm of torque making the Hyundai i20 a powerful and responsive vehicle. Driving in the Hyundai i20 is very enjoyable and the fact that Hyundai makes some good engine these days unlike the days of old speaks volumes about the distance the company has come. The engine is well refined and silent even when pushed to the limit. Noise levels in the cabin are significantly reduced due to the damping and insulation and this CRDI engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The gearbox has a nice, smooth feel to it but is not ideal for quick shifting and is more suited to cruising around the streets. The Hyundai i20 diesel comes with a turbocharger that kicks in at around 1900 rpm and when this happens you feel the oomph of torque beneath the hood, which makes you want to floor the accelerator pedal. Driving at high speeds is also safe as the car has very little roll and even at speeds in excess of 120 kmph the driver will feel that he has total control over the car.
Verdict and Recommendations
Comparing the Hyundai i20 diesel with its closest rivals like the Swift diesel, Skoda Fabia, Tata Indica Vista and Fiat Punto we feel that is offers a bit more value for money in terms of its offerings. This is hardly surprising as Hyundai Motors prides itself on being able to offer its customers that little bit extra for a whole lot less.
The Hyundai i20 is a very capable car and for the starting price of 5.75 lakhs could prove to be a real bargain. Handling, ride and safety features are very good and the various options that customers can choose from make it a very attractive vehicle. The Maruti Swift which is probably its closest rival and other top selling car in India is definitely under threat from the newest offering from Hyundai.
Hyundai i20 Specifications
Hyundai i20 Diesel Engine
Engine Type – Diesel
Engine Description - 1.4 litre 90PS Diesel Engine
Engine displacement – 1396 cc
No. of Cylinders – 4
Maximum Power - 90PS at 4000rpm
Maximum Torque – 224Nm at 1750-2750rpm
Valve Configuration – 16V DOHC
Fuel Supply System – Common Rail Diesel Ignition
Transmission Type - Manual
Gear box - 6-Speed
Front Suspension – Mc Pherson Strut along with Gas shock absorber
Rear Suspension - Couple Torsion Beam Axle along with Gas shock absorber
Shock Absorbers - Gas-filled, Telescopic Dual acting type
Steering – Power steering
Steering Column – Rake & Reach
Turning Radius - 5.20 mts. (wheel base)
Front Brake Type - Disc
Rear Brake Type - Disc
Fuel Tank Capacity – 45 liters
Emission Compliance – BS III, BS IV (For Metro Cities)
Tyre Size - 185/65 R14
Tyre Type – Tubeless
Alloy Wheel Size - 14 inches
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