The 1.4-litre common rail engine used in the i20 is a refined Hyundai CRDi engine. The 16-valve 89 bhp 1396cc engine produces a maximum of 220Nm of torque giving the car a head start when the throttle is nailed, but when the turbo isn’t assisting things, the engine feels sluggish and this can be quite annoying in bumper-to-bumper office. The car did 0-100kph in 12.6 seconds during testing.
The i20’s CRDi engine is noisy and the strong turbo kick at about 1800rpm will put a wide grin on your face. The turbocharger itself doesn’t intrude with the typical high-pitched whine characteristic of turbos.
The i20 was initially launched with the 1.2-litre petrol engine. This is the Kappa engine which was first seen on the i10. It is a highly refined engine which produces a maximum power of 80bhp and a torque of 112Nm. With the i20 weighing a little more a ton, on paper the car feels underpowered, but once the engine crosses 3000rpm, it means serious business. The true power of the car is unveiled. The performance isn’t staggering, but is definitely one of the best in its class. In our test, the i20 did a 0-100kph in 14.9 seconds and did a quarter mile in 19.4 seconds which is good when compared to its competition.
Hyundai has designed the gear ratios of the i20 to suit city as well as highway driving. The short throws and positive engagement makes shifting easy but the shift gate is too small which could lead to some fouled shifts when in a hurry. In the 3rd gear, the car does 30-50kph in 6.1 seconds and 30-50kph in 4th gear in 11.6 seconds. In the 5th gear the car did 50-70kph in 15.7 seconds.
The i20 CRDi is a little thirstier than expected. The 1.4-litre engine on an average travels 12.8km on a litre of diesel. During testing, we achieved an efficiency of 10.5kpl.