A few niggles when it comes to refinement of driving experience, but it’s hard to argue with 98g/km

Our Verdict

Hyundai i20 2009-2014
The i20 continues Hyundai's impressive development

Hyundai’s i20 is all about quality and value rather than desirability, although a nip and tuck in 2012 has helped

  • First Drive

    Hyundai i20 1.2 Active

    New Hyundai i20 is smarter, cleaner and more grown-up than the outgoing model. It’s certainly well worth a close look.
  • First Drive

    Hyundai i20 Blue

    A few niggles when it comes to refinement of driving experience, but it’s hard to argue with 98g/km
24 August 2011

What is it?

It’s when you can’t stay in sixth gear on a flat surface through a 50mph motorway roadworks without its engine grumbling about the load, at well under 2000rpm, that you realise where the i20 Blue finds some of its ability to return 76.4mpg on the combined cycle.

This leggy gearing is no higher than the standard 89bhp diesel variant of the i20 supermini. But it makes the 111g/km car the ideal starting point.

From there, Hyundai adds stop-start, a rear wheel wind deflector and an underfloor cover for the rear suspension. When I was a lad studying engineering, I was told that up to 30 per cent of a car’s aerodynamic efficiency comes from underneath it, so this stuff can make a big old difference.

So, too, do low rolling resistance tyres, with the upshot that the i20 Blue has emissions 12 per cent lower than the standard Comfort trim on which it’s based. Its 98g/km is the lowest in Hyundai’s range. And although it’s 3g/km higher than a Ford Fiesta Econetic, it’s also £1300 cheaper and still gets you free road tax. It’s pretty well equipped, too.

What’s it like?

The i20 Blue isn’t, unlike the Fiesta, is a great pleasure to drive. The diesel’s a grumbly enough thing at idle, though you hear it less once you’re at speed. In general the ride and handling blend is okay; but whatever favours the eco tyres do for the ride, they presumably contribute to the steering’s lack of precision and response compared to other cars in this class.

Should I buy one?

In some respects the i20 is, well, respectable. It has an average interior finish and a feel that it’s lower in premium than the Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa or Volkswagen Polo count against it, but none of those offers so few emissions for such little money.

Hyundai i20 Blue

Price: £13,195: Top speed: 108mph: 0-62mph: 13.5sec; Economy: 76.4mpg; Co2: 98g/km; Kerbweight: 1222kg; Engine: 4cyls, 1396cc, turbodiesel; Power: 89bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 162lb ft at 1750-2750rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
10

25 August 2011

Free road tax! A saving of a huge £20 a year. WOW THANKS AUTOCAR for the info now i will feel less guilty when i buy the £13,100 89 bhp Korean white goods supermini with 15 inch wheels and a slower 0-60 than a diesal Toyota landcruiser. Autocar lets not forget that people ONLY buy Korean cars is because they are cheap with a long warranty. This BLAND forgettable car is no exception

25 August 2011

I'm going to say I like it and I want one just to annoy Ton McJoon.

 

 

25 August 2011

Since when did a vauxhall Corsa have a "quality interior"?

Where has all Japanese design went to?

lrh

26 August 2011

[quote Autocar]The i20 Blue isn’t, unlike the Fiesta, is a great pleasure to drive[/quote] Does anybody proof read these articles?

26 August 2011

[quote nimmler]Autocar lets not forget that people ONLY buy Korean cars is because they are cheap with a long warranty. This BLAND forgettable car is no exception[/quote]

The exception is that it's no longer cheap!

26 August 2011

For my money I would have to go for the equivalent Kia.

The i20 is starting to look dated and the driving experience seems to be doing the same. Overall it doesn't do justice to the rest of the Hyundai range.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

26 August 2011

I agree with TegTypeR that the Hyundai i20 is now starting to show its age, and i am guessing that they know this and are releasing these sort of cars to shift models.

26 August 2011

[quote nimmler]ONLY buy Korean cars is because they are cheap with a long warranty. [/quote]

I have no doubt a lot of people will. That said, there are a few gems spattered about the Hyundai/Kia range.

And yes, [quote nimmler]This BLAND forgettable car [/quote] isn't one of them.

26 August 2011

[quote Leslie Brook]I'm going to say I like it and I want one just to annoy Ton McJoon.[/quote]

Like the sentiment, butt the Kia - to my eyes anyway - is a little more stylish.

Either would be excellent at doing the job you mention though.

27 August 2011

I struggle with the i20 full stop, when you can get a i30 comfort for less than 11k why would you spend 9.5k on something smaller and worse from the same manufacturer...surely if you can't stretch to the i30 then the i10 Makes more sense to me than the i20. I mean ford have a five grand gap from base fiesta to base focus on their list prices.

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