The new i20 has just launched, and Hyundai aims to propel directly to the top of the premium hatchback pile. We took a short drive to see how it compares to its rivals. Further details and video below
Hyundai has just launched the third-generation for its premium hatchback, the i20 just a couple of days back. Prices start from Rs 6.79 lakh for the base petrol manual, with the top of the range turbo-petrol priced at Rs. 11.17 lakh (ex-showroom).
The third-generation Hyundai i20 follows the new Sensuous Sportiness design language. The new jewel pattern grille is flanked by new Projector LED and LED DRLS, while the side profile gets new creases and wedge-shaped cuts and gets chrome side inserts on the windows which leads to a more aggressive stance. Brand new Z-shaped LED tail lamps are bridged by a chrome strip instead of the LED lightbar found on the international models.
The interior is spacious and airy with large windows letting a lot of light in, with the model we are testing getting fabric seats, which should work better in a humid climate like ours. The seats are wide and supportive and further improvements have been made on the rear seats which get butter thigh support and legroom. Rear passengers get a central armrest as well as AC vents, making it very comfortable to be in. The new i20 comes loaded with features like an all-digital instrument cluster, wireless charging with a cooling pad, over 50 connected car features, OTA updates, and a Bose audio system. The center-console features the same 10.25-inch touchscreen with integrated Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and Hyundai Bluelink connectivity is the largest in the segment.
Driving the new Hyundai i20 is an utter joy as it devours corners with great vigour and keeps egging you on. This is helped by the new stiffer suspension, and it strikes a very good balance between ride and handling. But the steering is a bit of a letdown, as in typical Hyundai fashion is very light which is great in the city but it doesn’t weigh up as speeds rise making you lose the feel of what the wheels are doing when speeds rise. The gearbox has a short throw, and coupled with a light clutch makes changing gears fun instead of a chore. Refinement and NVH levels are kept well in check with hushed wind and engine noises.
Powering the new third-generation Hyundai i20 will be a choice of 3 engines, starting with the 83Ps 1.2 litre petrol which can be matched with a 5-speed manual or CVT. The 1.0-litre turbo-petrol comes next for who loves driving, pumping out 120Ps/172Nm of max power and torque, and is mated with a 6-speed iMT or the 7-speed DCT. There’s a 1.5 litre oil-burner as well that makes 99Ps and 240Nm of power and torque figures respectively though only comes with a 6-speed manual option.