From £11,566
Hyundai’s Note-rival is simply one of best value and most practical small cars around

Our Verdict

Hyundai ix20
The Hyundai ix20 rivals the Citroën C3 Picasso, but undercuts it on price

The Hyundai ix20 is perfect for drivers looking for a high quality, practical and small car with a sensible price tag

  • First Drive

    Hyundai ix20 1.4 Classic

    Hyundai’s Note-rival is simply one of best value and most practical small cars around

What is it?

The latest offering from meteoric car-maker Hyundai – a compact MPV called the ix20 – and a car with which the firm deserves even greater success.

Over the last two years, on the back of the scrappage success of the i10 city car, Hyundai has doubled its share of the UK car market.

This year it looks like selling more than 60,000 cars in Britain: more than Fiat, Mazda, possibly Honda too.

The recipe for that success is simple: offer cars that are just as good as those of the established volume players, and in some cases better. Back them up with a great warranty. And make them outstanding value: not cheap, just good value.

Fathered by that philosophy, the ix20 has the likes of the Citroen C3 Picasso and Nissan Note in its sights.

It comes from the firm’s Nosovice plant in the Czech Republic, and shares a great deal with sister car the Kia Venga.

However, Hyundai makes the Venga for Kia, not the other way round – and as we’ll come to later, that fact allows Hyundai UK to price the ix20 even more competitively than the Kia.

What’s it like?

There is almost nothing that seems low rent about the ix20. Like the ix35 it’s handsomely styled, and has a decent quality cabin with simple, robust materials.

It’s very practical too. Hyundai loudly proclaims that, thanks to sliding rear seats, you’ll find more rear cabin space in here than in the back of a Volvo XC90. Even large adults won’t want for head- or legroom.

If you fold the rear seats flat you can accommodate 1486 litres of luggage, which is more than you get in some medium-sized estates.

All that’s missing is a folding front passenger seat for very long loads and a little extra oddment storage.

Like its Kia Venga sister model, the ix20 comes with a choice of 1.4-litre petrol, 1.6-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engines – but unlike in the Venga, even the cheapest 1.4-litre petrol gets a fuel-saving engine start-stop system.

Test drives in both 1.4s revealed a car with a quiet, compliant chassis that’s perfectly suited to town use.

Mechanical refinement isn’t quite as good as we’d hoped. Hyundai’s four-cylinder diesel engine is gruff above 2500rpm and a little laggy below, but its petrol option is quieter and more responsive.

Thanks to that ISG it’s a genuine 50mpg car too, and the only petrol-engined car in the class to qualify for a £90-a-year tax disc.

There’s little on offer from the ix20 for interested drivers.

Performance is acceptable but modest, the steering system feels a little vague and inconsistently weighted, and the car lacks handling precision and body control at bigger cross-country speeds.

Such things aren’t likely to bother most mini-MPV drivers, of course – but for the record, the Nissan Note is a more engaging car to drive.

Should I buy one?

If you like a bargain, absolutely. The ix20 should cost less than £11,500, and gets ESP, air conditioning and USB connectivity as standard.

A 1.4-litre Nissan Note has a lower basic price, but fit it with the same kit, extend the warranty to five years, and you’ll find it becomes a £12,000 car that’s still less practical and economical than the ix20.

The Nissan, like pretty much every other mini-MPV, will also cost more to insure.

Cars like the Citroen C3 Picasso and new Vauxhall Meriva offer more space than this car, but at a considerable price.If you’d rather have a practical supermini that still feels small, that’s very well packaged and fit for purpose, and that you won’t have to pay a big car price for, this Hyundai comes highly recommended.

Hyundai ix20 1.4 Classic

Price: £11,395 (tbc); Top speed: 104mph; 0-62mph: 12.9sec; Economy: 50.4mpg; Co2: 130g/km; Kerbweight: 1268kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1396cc, petrol; Power: 89bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 101lb ft at 5000rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

 

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Comments
8

14 October 2010

I recall not all that long ago an article which slated the new Vauxhall Meriva for not having a front passenger seat that could be folded down and that because of this omission it was useless but in this article it seems nothing more than a minor boo boo. I have nothing against this car or Hyundai but I can't help but feel that they are starting to get the same treatment as Ford

14 October 2010

Dont entirely agree with the comment above . I was just getting into an i20 hire car and a bloke pulled up in a brand new Polo so had that instead .

Was very impressed by what I saw of the i 20 and did not even give the Corsas and Peugeots 207s a second glance . Previously hired a Corsa and it was horrid . Did not much like a previous Fiesta either cheap n nasty inside .

So I think Hyundai are much better nowadays and make a lot of sense as bread and butter cars .

So are Hyundai and Kia owned by one big conglomerate or do they just do partnerships .

14 October 2010

i just feel that. somehow this article is bias towards supporting hyundai. what would be normally bombarded in others cars as hard to touch materials is defined as well built, simple, robust materials???? this is screwed up

14 October 2010

[quote Old Toad]

Dont entirely agree with the comment above . I was just getting into an i20 hire car and a bloke pulled up in a brand new Polo so had that instead .

Agree - Good Choice

Was very impressed by what I saw of the i 20 and did not even give the Corsas and Peugeots 207s a second glance . Previously hired a Corsa and it was horrid . Did not much like a previous Fiesta either cheap n nasty inside .

- I had a Getz for a week once and it too was horrid. Felt like a plastic box on wheels. Hopefully this i20 thing is better.

So I think Hyundai are much better nowadays and make a lot of sense as bread and butter cars .

- But so is a bus ticket if you want bread and butter transportation

So are Hyundai and Kia owned by one big conglomerate or do they just do partnerships .

- Kyundai!

[/quote]

Sorry to be so childish everyone but I look forward to news about the newxt Hyundai, like I do with VW. the only good thing i can say about them is that they have forced the Europeans to up their game, I mean, look at what PSA are producing now?

14 October 2010

"that fact allows Hyundai UK to price the ix20 even more competitively than the Kia."

Isn't it that there has been an unannounced change in marketing strategy in the Hyundai/Kia group. Note the following list prices; both of these are made in the Kia factory, yet the ix35 is significantly cheaper than the Sportage. Alternatively you pay dearly for the extra two years warranty

Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi KX-3 4WD £23,895

Hyundai ix35 2.0 CRDi Premium 4WD £20,745


15 October 2010

I believe we must treat Hyundai in a fair light like other manufacturers.They produce competitive cars and i believe most owners stay with the brand when the purchase again

15 October 2010

This looks like a decent, practical, good value car, and quite stylish too. The 'crazy paving' plastic front grille is a bit odd though. A number of manufacturers put rather cheap looking, black plastic grilles on their cars, for example, the honeycomb slabs that VAG put put on some of their more sporting models.

6 February 2011

Went to have a proper prod around one of these (and it's Kia Venga sister car) yesterday and was very impressed with what I found.

The packaging of this car is first rate, a 4.1m long car that can accomodate so much is very impressive. The cabin is light and airy (even without the top models full length sun roof) with excellent build quality and decent plastics (better in my opinion than Ford's new C-Max which I also saw). As with a few other mini MPV's it has a sliding rear seat which can balance boot / rear passenger space - and in this case it turns the boot from large to huge!

Being quite a tall and well built, to check out interior space, my test is to set the drivers seat in to my driving position and then see if I can sit comfortably behind it. In this case I had no problems what so ever either finding a comfortable driving position or having more than enough room in the back. The comments about it being more spacoius than an XC90 are more than a statistical look at size!

The Kia in comparison whilst having pretty much exactly the same architecture, is a little dowdy inside, mostly down to colouration and trim material. One significant point of note was the steering wheel on the Kia which not only looked but felt massively inferior to the Hyundai.

I also had with me a person who knows nothing about cars other than what they do and don't like. Their impression was of a car which was "funky" (highlighted by the centre console, asymetric grille material, full length sun roof and compact dimensions) whilst being very practical and fantastic value for money.

Unfortunately one wasn't avaliable to drive but looking at the spec sheet and doing the sums, unless you are doing mega mileage, the petrol manual has to be the pick of the bunch, having both cheap tax and low fuel consumption. Also, personally, I prefer the power delivery of a petrol engine, which I feel would add to it's almost (well it is a practical mini MPV) fun nature.

A surprising little car, which is great value for money.

 

 

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

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