What is it?
12 years ago, the concept of a premium hatch was almost non-existent. If you were graduating from a smaller vehicle or starting with a big budget, you had the option of either a sedan or an SUV, which is until हुंडई decided to take a chance with the Indian market and introduce the i20 hatchback. A success right from the word go, the i20 has now been around for two generations and the car that you see in the photos is the new third-generation model that’s now been launched in India. What’s it all about? Read on to find out.
How is it on the outside?
The three generations of the i20 represent the gradual change in the way Hyundai approached its cars in terms of exterior design. With the first generation it was all rounded and a bit soft while the एलीट आई20 got pronounced lines and rectangular shapes. In this third generation, Hyundai has moved to a sporty outlook for the i20 with much sharper lines. The face is dominated by the large signature Hyundai grille. You also get some rather sharp looking rectangular headlamps which are projectors units and have integrated LED DRLs. The most standout element is a bulge on the hood. This is something commonly associated with sports cars and gives the i20 some muscle in its appearance.
This sports inclination continues in the profile view where you can see a slight forward-leaning stance, chrome inserts below the window line and massively flared wheel arches housing 16-inch diamond-cut wheels.
The rear is where Hyundai seems to have put in maximum work. You get multi-layered elements in the form of a black cladding around the glasshouse, angular tail lamps that wrap around the edge and a large chrome strip that runs from end to end integrating the light package into one big visual unit. Finally, the base of the bumper has been blacked out for some added sportiness.
How is it on the inside?
Hyundai’s offering in the cabin department has always been the ace up its sleeve. Firstly, the i20 has grown by 10mm as compared to the Elite i20 in overall length (now standing in at 3995mm) and so has the wheelbase which now stands at 2580mm. However, the biggest growth can be seen in the legroom and shoulder room which have gone up to 938mm and 1390mm, an increase of 88mm and 400mm respectively. What do these numbers mean? The Elite i20 was a rather spacious car and this one just ups the ante in terms of interior space.
The whole cabin has been trimmed out in black with inserts of various colours in the doors, AC vents and steering to add some shade to the overall design. Also part of the overall dashboard design are these horizontal lines that connect the AC vents making them look like one large unit. The quality of plastics used is hard-wearing on all surfaces but is not as grainy as one would normally expect.
The highlights of the dashboard are of course the dual screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system which in the case of the former is the first of the lot to get a fully digital unit and sets the course for what we can expect in the future. The fonts are large, information is comprehensive and just for the extra bit of sportiness, the gauges move in the opposite direction.
The front seats themselves get some red piping with a bit of contrast stitching running down the centre. They offer good side bolstering and under-thigh support with sufficient headroom due to the lower positioning of the front seats as compared to the rear ones. The rear seats have the same design in terms of the colour scheme but with a flat seat base and the ability for the seatback to fold down and expand the 328-litre boot which by the way has a high loading lip. Features here include AC vents, centre armrest as well 1.0-litre bottle holders in both the doors. Legroom is very good but under-thigh support could have been better.
What’s on the feature list?
Hyundai has always been known for its feature list and the i20 has raised the bar once again. This top-spec Asta model that we have looked at gets a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, climate control with rear AC vents, full digital colour instrument cluster, height adjustment for the driver’s seat, wireless charging with cooling function, electric sunroof, air purifier, Bose sound system with seven speakers, reverse camera with guidelines and Hyundai Bluelink connected car technology. On the safety front, all versions get dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and reverse parking sensors. This top-spec model gets six airbags, tyre pressure monitoring system, electronic stability control (AT only) as well as hill ascent control.
What’s under the hood?
The new Hyundai i20 is being offered across three engine options. First up is the 1.2-litre petrol that’s been a mainstay for the i20 since it was launched in 2008. Matched to a five-speed manual this engine has been tuned to produce 82bhp/114Nm while if you get it with the CVT, the engine produces 88bhp/114Nm. Moving up the chain you can also have it with Hyundai’s 1.0-litre TGDi engine that produces 118bhp/172Nm and can be had with either a six-speed iMT or a seven-speed DCT. Lastly, you also get the 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel producing 99bhp and 240Nm. This engine is offered only with a six-speed manual.
On paper, enthusiasts will miss the feel of a full manual with the 1.0-litre GDi but we have driven this very combination in the वेन्यू compact SUV and it’s quite a job well done. You can read about that by clicking this link.
What’s the variant break up like?
The third-generation Hyundai i20 is being offered in 19 petrol variants and five diesel engine variants. There are eight colour schemes for the i20 with dual-tone options for all three engine options.
Where does it fit in?
Introductory prices for the all-new third-generation Hyundai i20 start at Rs 6.79 lakh (ex-showroom, India) with a range-topping i20 1.5 diesel Asta (O) dual-tone priced at Rs 10.59 lakh (ex-showroom, India). This Hyundai i20 takes on the likes of the मारुति सुजुकी बलेनो, टाटा अल्ट्रोज़, होंडा Jazz and all other premium B-segment hatchbacks. It is also a rival for the mid-level variants of the sub-four-metre compact SUVs like the Maruti विटारा ब्रेज़ा, टाटा नेक्सन, होंडा डब्ल्यूआर-वी, फोर्ड इकोस्पोर्ट, किया सोनेट, हुंडई वेन्यू, महिंद्रा एक्सयूवी300, निसान मैगनाइट and the upcoming रेनो काइगर. Also included in this pack are cars like the Maruti डिजायर, फोर्ड एस्पायर एंड होंडा अमेज.
Photos: Kapil Angane