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

Our Verdict

Hyundai i20

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
25 May 2012

What is it?

Vanished are the bland looks and cutesy styling of old. The new Hyundai i20 is the latest model in the marque’s line-up to carry Hyundai’s bold ‘fluidic sculpture design language’. Inside, too, the i20’s cabin is revamped to improve usability and to de-clutter the dashboard.

We tested the freshest i20 in mid-spec 1.2 Active flavour, which features 15-inch alloys, electric windows, Bluetooth, electric folding door mirrors and a leather steering as standard.

What's it like?

Ignite the 84bhp four-pot petrol and the i20 sits at idle in near silence. Like the retired i20, the facelifted car’s pedal weights remain very light; the lack of resistance offered by the clutch still needs time to get used to.

Changing between the model’s five forward cogs is equally light, making the i20 extremely user-friendly. Steering, too, follows in the same weightless manner, but doesn’t offer much feedback through the steering wheel.

Push the Hyundai i20 through a corner and, predictably, you’re greeted with notable understeer. That said, body roll is kept impressively in check.

The Hyundai’s big selling point, is its comfort. Bumps and road imperfections are absorbed by the car’s suspension components to good effect and the seats offer decent hold.

Finding a good driving position is quick work thanks to easily adjustable seat and steering column positions. Like the old i20, there’s also a good deal of space in the rear for passengers.

Should I buy one?

In light of the i20’s class-rivalling looks, useable and attractive interior and decent levels of kit as standard, the new car is one we’d recommend you give consideration before you put your name down for a Ford Fiesta.

Alex Kertsen

Hyundai i20 1.2 Active

Price: £11,595; 0-62mph: 12.7sec; Top speed: 104mph; Power: 84bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 88lb ft at 4000; Engine: 4 cylinder DOHC, 16V, 1248cc; Kerb weight: 1083kg; Economy: 57.6mpg; CO2: 114g/km; Gearbox: Five-speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
50

25 May 2012

Autocar:  Ignite the 62bhp four-pot petrol (down on the previous car’s 77bhp despite the same performance figures).

I doubt that is the case unless the car has shet 300kg in the facelift?  72bhp?

 

 

 

 

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

25 May 2012

Does it really have only 62bhp?

25 May 2012

because as I'm reading it, it says 84 bhp.

If you understand an engine, you understand the universe

25 May 2012

Actually, the Hyundai website lists the engine power at 62 KW.....which translates to 82 bhp!

 

25 May 2012

Apologies for the confusion. The spec sheet I was given was incorrect. I've amended the copy now. Thanks, Alex

25 May 2012

Definitely looks better and more interesting than the pre facelift model. I'd be interested to know where the extra performance and economy has come from - quite a decent improvement over the original model.

I still think the Hyundai's biggest problem is the mechanically similar Kia Rio which costs about the same, but looks so much better to my eyes. And am I the only one who doesn't understand the brand identity of these two companies. Is Kia meant to be the more sporty of the two and Hyundai the more comfort oriented - or is it the reverse?

It seems a bit daft for the two brands to be competing directly against each other when they should be offering customers a clear choice.  

25 May 2012

This looks sooo much better than the old i20.

26 May 2012

I like this little i20 out of all the small city type cars this looks the best and i like the interior as well from the pictures.

I can see a lot of OAP with these i20 in the local sainsburys carpark

29 May 2012

It's look has improved to look a lot like the new MG at the front without overt reference to the old Yaris in the headlights. Pity the rear is as anonymous as ever.

Apart from R&D, Hyundai and Kia are independent to market the cars as they please without pecking orders (as was originally stated a few years ago with European-aimed Kia being extroverted/youthful and US-aimed Hyundai being the refined/mature)

5 March 2013

I really like this Hyundai looks like an opel corsa or am I wrong?

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