Hyundai's updated i20 is due in showrooms in June
The tweaked car gets a refreshed look
And a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox
The latest i20 is expected to cost a little more than the current car
Currently, the i20 starts at £9,995
The i20 is a key car in Hyundai's European growth plans
The model represented a fifth of Hyundai's sales last year
The new automatic transmission, which is said to improve comfort and efficiency, is launched alongside stop/start technology that's now standard for the whole range.
The 2018 i20 retains two engine options, both of which are petrol-powered and Euro 6d Temp compliant (so they can be driven in the strictest low-emission zones set to be enforced in Europe). The entry-level atmospheric 1.2-litre unit comes in 74bhp and 83bhp forms, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Above that is a 1.0-litre T-GDi engine that is available in 99bhp or 118bhp, with a built-in particulate filter. The 99bhp version gets a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, but is now offered with the option of the new dual-clutch auto 'box. The higher-powered version comes with a six-speed manual only.
Hyundai hasn’t offered a diesel option for the i20 since the end of 2017, due to what a spokesman said was low demand for the fuel type – a trend seen not just in the hatchback segment but in the wider new car market.
The list of driver assist features included with the i20 is based on the brand’s Smartsense technology, which brings lane departure warning and lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, driver attention alert and high-beam assist.
Inside, i20 cars specced in S and SE trim will come as standard with a 7.0in touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. High-ranking trims Premium Nav and Premium SE Nav add sat-nav and live connectivity services. There’s a USB port to connect smartphones to the system.
Design changes to the exterior of the i20 are subtle but include a tweaked cascading front grille, different bumpers and new alloy wheels in 15in and 16in diameters. Two bodystyles are retained: three and five-door. Eight colours are offered.
Pricing will be confirmed closer to the car's sale date, although a small increase on the current car’s £9,995 starting figure is likely.
The new i20 is considered a key model in Hyundai's ongoing European growth ambitions. The brand sold 100,571 i20s in Europe last year. This is less than a tenth of sales of the long-standing top seller, the Ford Fiesta, although the i20 continued a consistent year-on-year increase, equating to a new peak. The sales also ensured the model represented about a fifth of Hyundai’s overall European sales.