The i20 moves Hyundai's game on in a vital segment of the European car market. It’s a decent car and a justifiable rival for the class powers in terms of quality and driving experience, as well as on price. In fact, the i20 may well be the perfect car for cash-strapped times. For those looking for a cheaper alternative that doesn’t impose much sacrifice, it could be a great way to save money on your motoring.
It’s not particularly fresh or original, but it does undercut its significant rivals and Hyundai’s five-year warranty remains one of the best in the business. As an overall package, the i20 has what it takes to bring many new buyers to the brand.
Two other things really stand out. First, Hyundai’s decision to offer the i20 with a comprehensive array of standard safety equipment means that it will be possible to buy a version fitted with ESP and six airbags (plus air-con) for less than £10,000.
Secondly, the i20’s impressive new 1.2-litre petrol engine combines the economy and emissions of a small engine with enough performance to take on bigger-engined hatches on equal terms. But despite a strong performance across the board, the i20’s generic design makes it a car that will be bought more with head than heart.