Hyundai has always taken risks with the i20. The previous Elite i20 was a big hit due to its premium appeal and it was one of the most expensive hatchbacks in its time. But that did not stop it from becoming a big seller and outselling the Grand i10 some times. The appeal of the i20 has been the premium design plus quality interiors plus features. That makes it worth paying for a premium hatchback.
Now with the new generation, Hyundai has done just that. It has made the i20 more premium along with giving it much more in terms of technology and features. While the price has gone up, the new i20 is about taking premium hatchbacks to a new level. But is it worth Rs 11 lakh plus for the turbo DCT? Well that is what we are here to find out.
The new i20 is all new and now there is just i20 in the name with no Elite. The new i20 has the latest Hyundai design language plus has been made bigger this time. One look and the new i20 seems to be much bigger and wider than any other hatchback. Plus it is one of the best Hyundai cars with a wide stance. The new i20 is around 10mm longer at 3995mm plus crucially the extra 40mm width over the earlier i20 gives it the sportier look. The headlamps are large plus swept back while the front bumper is pronounced too. The grille is big but there is near no chrome and that looks nice. The headlamps are LEDs with LED DRLs while there are projector fog lamps too.
Move to the side and you see the length but the design is appealing with flowing lines and a sloping roof-line. Plus the top-end has 16 inch diamond cut alloys which have an interesting design. The rear is much more appealing over the bland old i20 with a Z shape of tail-lamps. There is also a slab of black and chrome. We do not like the chrome though as it is not matched with the black. That said the overall look of the i20 is very much appealing in this dual tone shade and is much younger. There are 8 colours including two dual-tone. You will also notice the i20 branding on the tail-lamps, headlamps, side sill and many more places
Interior and space
On the inside the new i20 gets the benefit of a longer wheelbase because of the new platform. The wheelbase is now amongst the highest at 2580mm. Open the doors which are light not heavy but not flimsy plus when you get in, the doors are opening pretty wide. The quality and feel good factor is there with the cabin looking premium. The all black colour scheme with the red inserts everywhere including the vents, climate control, door pads and seats on this top-end are nice. The build quality is nice and premium too with no light feeling.
We also like the steering wheel which looks nice while the fully digital instrument cluster again matches with the appeal while you turn your eyes to the huge 10.25 inch touch-screen that sits in the centre. There is a neat horizontal strip that continues from the air vents also while the climate control switches feel nice to touch.
However the dash materials are not soft touch and for Rs 11 lakh, some soft touch materials were needed. That said you sit nice and the door pockets are big enough while there are enough storage spaces all over the cabin. The wireless charging tray is big enough too along with the glove-box.
In terms of space this is where the new i20 scores. While the doors do not open as wide as the Altoz, the new i20 is very spacious and has the class best legroom at the back. The rear seats offer you good legroom, shoulder room for three passengers and that is nice. It is more spacious over the Venue or Sonet. It does not feel cramped and the cabin is cooled well due to the rear ac vents. The boot is also bigger now at 311 litres.
This is an area where the i20 is easily class best and in many ways gets features that is available on cars costing twice as much! You get important features like push button start, cruise control, rear ac vents plus tilt and telescopic steering, powered mirrors, front and rear USB chargers, steering control, voice commands, rear camera with sensors and more.
However the extra special features is what makes this car stand out. The wireless charger, electric sunroof, air purifier with air indicator, 10.25inch touch screen, fully digital dials, puddle lamps plus the BlueLink and Bose audio system complete the feature list.
The huge touch screen is brilliant to view in full HD and gets a multi tile set-up also. The screen size makes it less difficult to use while driving while of course you can use voice commands. You also get smart phone connectivity plus you can connect more than one Blue tooth device also.
The digital cluster is fully digital and gets a big MID screen in the middle to display the tyre pressure, navigation plus fuel range and more. The sunroof is a standard sized one but electrically operated and makes the big cabin airy. In terms of the audio system, the 7-speaker Bose unit has 4 speaker plus 2 tweeter plus subwoofer and amplifier.
The Bluelink feature is sim based connected tech and gets 50 features including smart watch capability and you can also call the car via “Hello BlueLink”. It understands our accents well and works. You also get OTA map updates and the remote start/cooling feature, notifications and more security features.
In terms of safety the new i20 gets standard safety features such as Dual Airbags Driver & Co-Passenger, ABS with EBD, rear Parking Sensors, Driver and Passenger Seatbelt Reminder with Pretensioner & Load Limiter. Else you also get 6 airbags, Hill Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Management, ESC and more.
Engine, performance and mileage
The new i20 for the first time offers a turbo petrol 1.0 but standard like the last also is a 1.2l petrol. The 1.2l petrol makes 83 bhp with a 5-speed manual while the CVT auto makes 88 bhp. The turbo is a lot faster with 120 bhp and 172Nm. The Turbo comes with an iMT and a 7-speed dual clutch auto. The 1.5l diesel makes 100 bhp. We drove the turbo petrol DCT and the 1.2l petrol along with the diesel.
The DCT turbo is the highlight of the i20 range and that is due to the power and enjoyment you get from driving it. Start it up and the refinement is very good with hardly any three cylinder vibrations. In traffic the DCT is smooth and the car is very easy to drive. While the new i20 is bigger, it is still very much a nimble hatchback to drive in traffic. The mirrors are big enough and the car slots well into gaps in traffic. The dual clutch is responsive and while there is slight lag at low speeds, once it picks up the gearbox and the engine gives an explosion of power. The mid-range is nicest and you do big speeds with ease. The i2- turbo feels quick and is very quick with plenty of performance.
It is also the best i20 yet to drive and feels agile in the corners along with better steering plus grip. The ride is a touch firm but handles our potholes well enough. In terms of efficiency expect 10-12 kmpl in real world. We tried the 1.2l petrol manual and it cannot match the power of the turbo but feels smooth and good enough for everyday use. It does lack a bit of torque but the light gearbox plus steering makes it effortless to drive. It is also refined and the most silent. The mileage is better of this car over the turbo where we saw 13-14 kmpl.
The diesel has to be the best diesel hatchback with brilliant refinement and a light clutch. There is less lag and with 100 bhp and that torque, the i20 cruises at big speeds very well. We saw the i20 diesel to be a bit more firm to ride over the petrol but mileage is brilliant at 17 plus in city.
The new i20 petrol starts at Rs 6.8 lakh to Rs 11.8 lakh. The Tata Altroz is between Rs 5.4 lakh to Rs 9 lakh. The Maruti Baleno is Rs 5.6 lakh to Rs 9 lakh. The Glanza is Rs 7 lakh to Rs 9 lakh. The Jazz is Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 9.8 lakh. The Polo is Rs 5.9 lakh to Rs 9.6 lakh.
The i20 is the most expensive but it also has a powerful turbo petrol along with a 7-speed DCT, 6 airbags, the biggest touch screen, the biggest choice of engine and gearbox, the best quality interior too.
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