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 Citroën 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 its sister car, the Venga, from its corporate bedfellow Kia. Hyundai makes the Venga for Kia, however, and not the other way round
But despite being such a great-value proposition, there is almost nothing that seems low rent about the ix20. Like the ix35 SUV, it’s handsomely styled, and has a decent quality cabin with simple, robust materials.
It’s very practical too. Hyundai loudly and proudly 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. With the seats upright, you still get a reasonable 440 litres. All that’s missing is a folding front passenger seat for very long loads and a little extra oddment storage, but you can’t have everything.
It's also reasonably well equipped with only three trim levels to choose from. The entry-level SE trim gifts the ix20 with 16in alloy wheels, automatic lights, electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors, rear parking sensors and hill start assist as standard on the outside, while inside there is Bluetooth and USB connectivity, air conditioning and electric windows. Upgrade to SE Nav and you benefit form a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system complete with sat nav and a reversing camera, while topping the range is the Premium Nav trim which adorns the car with privacy glass and a panoramic sunroof.
Like its Kia Venga sister model, the ix20 comes with a choice of 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol or a 1.6-litre diesel engine. The diesel is only offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.4-litre petrol engine gets a five-speed unit. The 1.6-litre petrol engine is now coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission replacing the antiquated four-speed unit.