Imagine the Hyundai Sonata zapped with a shrink ray and you’ll get an idea what the all-new i-20 is all about. The Koreans have gone all out to make this B-segment hatchback’s design as striking as possible, while at the same time pack it with plenty of techs.
Visually, the i20 is far more aggressively styled compared to its predecessor, with angular lines and creases from the bonnet and along its side giving it a sporty vibe, all seemingly without trying too hard. The front of the i20 is dominated with a large trapezoidal grille, mirroring the grille found on the Hyundai Sonata D-Segment sedan. The headlights are halogen as standard featuring LED daytime running lights (DRL), with full LED headlights available on higher trim levels.
The dynamic proportions of the i20 are clear to see on its side profile, with a rakish stance accentuated with strong shoulder lines running almost the entire length of the car. A unique two-tone paint scheme and 17-inch Y-shaped alloy wheels are available on higher trim levels, with base variants getting less intricately designed 16-inch wheels. The i20’s rear features a thunderbolt-like Z-shaped taillight design that stretches from the rear third-quarter and is connected with a light bar that runs across the tailgate. Just another reminder that pulls off quirky styling better than the Koreans.
The i20 isn’t just all style and no substance. Under the hood, the i20 offers the all-new 1.0-litre turbocharged GDi three-cylinder engine, integrated with a 48V Mild-Hybrid Starter Generator. Together, the powertrain produces 100hp and 172Nm of torque, which is more than adequate to lug around its diminutive 1.2-tonne kerb weight. The i20 comes as standard with a six-speed manual transmission (iMT), with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) as an option.
The i20 is decently equipped as standard, with an 8-inch touchscreen that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a 10.25-inch Supervision instrument cluster. Cruise control, a rearview camera and Hyundai’s SmartSense safety system are also available as standard. Forward Collision Alert (FCA), Driver Attention Alert (DAA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) all come as part of the standard SmartSense system, making the i20 one of the safest and best equipped as standard in its class.
Stacked in the middle of the dashboard is a 10.25-inch central touchscreen that features Hyundai’s Bluelink smartphone app. This app allows owners to control most of the car’s functions such as the central locking and provide vehicle parking location information. Automatic climate control, heated seats, interior mood lighting, wireless charging pad and keyless entry with engine start/stop functionality are also available at higher trim levels. Hyundai also adds Lane Follow Assist (LFA) and Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW) are also added to the SmartSense safety system.
For those who wish to spice up their i20, drivers can opt for the i20 N-Line variant, a performance inspired trim level that isn’t just skin deep. Under the hood, the i20 N-Line features the same 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder but tuned to produce and extra 20hp, for a total of 120hp. It also has a chequered flag-inspired grille design, aggressive front and rear bumpers, and restyled alloy wheels with a two-tone finish, as well as twin exhaust outlets. The interior gets similar N-Line treatment with N-branded sports seats, N steering wheel and metal pedals, as well as red stitching on the seats, dash, and gear knob.
The Hyundai i20 provides a desirable mix of specification, technology, safety and powertrain efficiency. Together with the N-Line trim level, the i20 should appeal to those who wish to have a little more fun during their daily commutes.