Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

The i20 has a well-designed and functional cabin, albeit not one that moves the game on in any way. On the plus side, the Hyundai is spacious, with decent accommodation in the front plus a good range of seat and steering column adjustment. Rear accommodation is even better.

This is one area in which the i20 clearly betters the Ford Fiesta. It’s possible to sit one six-footer in reasonable comfort behind another. Boot capacity isn’t particularly generous, but a flat load area and a wide tailgate aperture make the most of it.

Although Hyundai has produced small cars since the 1990s, the company introduced its first European-style supermini with the 2002 Getz

Controls are clearly and sensibly laid out. The i20's 2012 facelift saw a raft of changes designed to improved perceived quality: it is incredible what a few small revisions to the centre console and switchgear and changing various dash inserts from dull grey to metallic silver can do.

The audio system sounds crisp and all versions come with an auxiliary sound input socket. Comfort spec and above adds full iPod connectivity.

Although the cabin feels up to withstanding the rigours of tough family use, it still lacks perceived quality next to some rivals. Top-spec models get a leather steering wheel, gearknob and handbrake handle.

So the i20 is certainly no fashion object, but the relatively high roofline has practical benefits and the shape is elegant enough.

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