Stepping inside the new i20 is easy, thanks to its wide-opening doors and the comfortable seat height. Once inside, there’s a new cabin layout that is thoroughly fresh by today’s standards. You are welcomed by the first-in-segment digital instrument cluster borrowed from the Verna and it looks fanciful. Then there’s the Creta-styled steering wheel which feels nice to hold. Adding to the sense of premium feel is the large 10-inch floating touchscreen integrated with the driver’s display console like you see in the more expensive cars.
Below it is the protruding panel for air-con controls and the centre console now has a ver
tical ‘Coolpad’ for wireless charging. Even if you don’t have a wireless-charging-equipped phone, just slotting your phone vertically there is much more convenient.
Space upfront is more than adequate with good visibility all around. There’s an ample amount of headroom for my height and sufficient shoulder room too. Even the seats offer the right amount of support, especially on the side bolstering, and the driver’s seat can be adjusted for height. Combine it with reach-and-rake adjustable steering, and it’s easy to find the right driving position.
Moving on to the back seats, the scooped-out roof helps with added headroom, while there are acres of knee and legroom on offer. Even seating three abreast in the back seat should be comfortable despite the rear AC vent. On the flip side, there’s no cupholder on the folding armrest and no headrest for the middle passenger. Even the seats don’t get split function, which is a missed opportunity for scoring on practicality, especially since the boot space is rather small at 311 litres. However, you can cram in sufficient weekend luggage for four.
But it needs to be pointed out that we expected better quality of materials inside the cabin. Having said that, Hyundai has spent greatly on equipment and engine options for the i20, and there had to be some way to cut corners in order to keep the prices in check. This befell on the cabin materials. But don’t get us wrong, it’s not degraded at all, just that Hyundai has simply set a bar so high we expected more from the interior too. Otherwise, the all-black cabin feels robust, and soft-touch materials on essential touchpoints or some piano-black/coloured inserts would have elevated the experience.