We review the i20 N Line using the concepts of SWOT Analysis from management theories. We review the N Line, based on its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for the manufacturer to make the car better & the threat it faces from its rival.
Without any further ado, let’s start the SWOT analysis and begin with the i20’s Strengths.
The i20 N Line comes packed with a 1.0L three-pot engine boasting a fantastic 118 HP & 172 Nm of torque. Although this isn’t a full-bonkers Hyundai’s N-spec engine, yet it is tuned to give a punchier performance as compared to the standard turbo petrol engine. The engine has a strong mid range, and it pulls strong upto 6,000 rpms. The 1.0L three-pot is offered with two gearbox options, a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission and a 6-Speed Clutchless IMT. However, calling this a hot hatch with a clutchless manual gearbox is an unforgivable sin in the enthusiast’s eye. Hyundai being Hyundai, its engine is capable enough to offer the dynamic & sporty driving experience while delivering a claimed fuel efficiency of 20.25 km/l. So, good news for young enthusiasts looking out for an economical yet punchy motor.
Sporty N-Line touches
The i20 N Line greets you with its sporty red highlights around the cabin to remind you of the variant you have bought. The cabin gets tasteful striking N-line touches like, the three-spoke steering wheel with the N-logo, weighted gear knobs in the manual and perforated leather wrapped gear knob in the automatic, you get chequered flag design with red stitching around the seats.
Things are interesting outside on the exterior as they are in the interiors, the i20 N Line carries a contemporary design language as compared to the VW Polo. The exterior is a mix of smooth flowing contours and sharp-edged lines running along the fenders and door panels. The sporty red highlights are perfectly placed and are not at all an overkill.
In my personal opinion, the rear end is more beautiful than the dipping front. The dual tip of exhausts and rear diffusers make it look more of a hot hatch, than it is.
The i20 N line’s ace in the deck is it’s extensive list of modern features that the Polo GT misses out on. The N Line gets wireless charging pad with cooling function, 7-speaker Bose sound system and a voice enabled sunroof. The sunroof is an usp for the N Line, as even the Polo GT TSi is not offered with one. With all the features, the sunroof is just like the cherry on top, however it does increase the price of the car.
No Manual Gearbox
Launching it as a rival for the Polo GT TSi, Hyundai should have done their homework well as they have gone wrong with the approach of a clutchless IMT. The N Line is supposed to be a hot performance hatch but without a conventional manual gearbox, it’s a manual just for the namesake.
Initial Turbo Lag
The 1.0L three-pot with the DCT has a noticeable lag in the initial rev range and it only picks up pace and feels hot when driven around the mid range. This does increase the fuel efficiency, but takes away the hotness of the hot hatch.
Slower than Polo TSi Manual
The i20 N Line should thank Volkswagen for ditching the DSG gearbox, as even with more horsepower & DCT gearbox, the N line just manages to beat the torque converter GT TSi by a small margin. In fact, the manual Polo GT TSi remains the winner in 0-100 timing. So that really puts up a big question mark on the N line, whether it is hot enough to convince the petrol heads to turn their heads away from the Polo GT.
Pricier than competitors
The i20 N line indeed has a longer list of features when compared to the Polo GT, but at a premium and considering it is slower than its only competitor- the Polo GT, the pricing really plays an important role. A competitive pricing similar to the Polo GT, would have been bang on for Hyundai.
6-Speed Manual Gearbox
To really offer an experience of driving a hot hatch, Hyundai should definitely consider pairing the 1.0L three-pot with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Upgraded Tyre Setup
The stock Ceat 195mm tyre setup, just isn’t the best suited for this car’s performance, so it should ideally be offered with an upgraded tyre setup in the future.
Reduced Turbo Lag
If the turbo lag is reduced on this 1.0L three-pot, it will surely make things interesting behind the wheels.
Extra features: Auto-wipers & Split folding rear seats
VW Polo GT TSi
Without a doubt, the VW Polo GT TSi is known for being the hot hatch in the segment. For being the only hot hatch available in our country, on a budget. It is one of the quickest cars that can be bought from the showroom, at its price range. And considering the fact that it is completely tuner-friendly & there are a lot of bolt-on mods that are available for the Polo GT TSi, that makes it a lot more popular amongst the young enthusiasts. The earlier generation with the 1.2L TSi & DSG Gearbox was considered as the legend in the hot hatch segment & in fact it still retains its value in the used car market & holds a special place in the hearts of young petrolheads.
So to conclude this SWOT analysis review of the i20 N Line, I can say that if you are in the market looking for a modern hot hatch with a right amount of performance with a good fuel efficiency & long list of features, then definitely you can consider the i20 N Line, but keep in mind that it comes at a premium price when compared to the standard i20 & the hot hatch- GT TSi.
But on the other hand if you are objectively looking from a petrolhead & enthusiast perspective, who really wants the maximum performance & a thrilling driving experience behind the wheels, then I guess you’d be inclined towards the VW Polo GT TSi, no matter how many features it might miss out on, as compared to the i20 N Line.
So at the end, the ball is in your court and you have to decide whether you are looking out for a practical, fuel efficient hot hatch or the OG of the hot hatches, the Polo GT TSi.