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Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015]

61 reviews | Write a review
Discontinued
Last recorded price : N/A
Hyundai has discontinued the Elite i20 [2014-2015] and the car is out of production.

Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015] Review

We drove the new Elite i20 in Jodhpur to find out if the new car feels like a generation change and does it offer enough to fight with the compact sedans and crossovers.

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Introduction

       Hyundai Elite i20

The i20 has enjoyed more than decent success in India; it didn’t have any serious competition in the premium hatchback segment and it offered incredible value with premium feel and an insane number of features. However, many things have changed in the past couple of years, compact sedans and compact crossovers are available at the same price point. And although they all slot in the sub-four metre segment, the visual appeal of sedans and UVs is a lot more in a country where the basic policy of decision making is ‘bada hai toh behtar hai’.

The sales of the i20 have taken some hit and the company has launched the new Elite i20 to gain back some of the lost ground. Hyundai says the new hatchback is the second generation of the i20, and that is despite the fact that it uses the same platform, suspension, engine options and similar dimensions as its predecessor.  Their take is simple – so many changes in terms of looks and performance that it needs to be identified as a next generation model.

We drove the new Elite i20 in Jodhpur to find out if the new car feels like a generation change and does it offer enough to fight with the compact sedans and crossovers.

Exterior

        Hyundai Elite i20

The new i20 didn’t appeal as much in the photographs, the design seemed cluttered and overcooked. But few minutes with the car and the impression changed – barring a couple of premium models, it is by far the best looking hatchback in the Indian market.

The basic styling is sort of a cross between the Veloster and one of the Peugeot hatchbacks. It is still unmistakably the Hyundai fluidic design, but the flowing lines now end with sharp angular cuts. I am actually tired talking about the hexagonal front grilles, everyone from Aston Martin to Datsun has a version, but considering the segment the honeycomb mesh grille actually looks very nice. The fog lamps get angular cuts and they are connected by a similar mesh front air dam that goes well with the design. The stretched front headlamps have an eyebrow-like silver design element at the top that adds to the character of the car.

    Hyundai Elite i20

The side profile is a bit ordinary – like the Grand i10, this gets thick moulding and 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels. The interesting addition is the blacked-out C-pillar to create a sort of floating roof. It is the first time I am seeing this on a hatchback and it looks pretty decent.

But for the tail lamps, the rear is unassuming – the lamps though are absolutely stunning. Even without the use of LEDs, the three part design is sharp and elegant; without doubt these are one of the best among all the cars available in India. Pity Hyundai isn’t offering LEDs day-time running lamps, it would have put this car in a different league (I am sure they will be part of the options list in the next few months).

There is a subtle use of chrome all-round the car – it makes the car look classy without unnecessary bling. The same i20 will go on sale in Europe soon and that is the reason the design is developed to their taste. From an Indian perspective, it looks premium and certainly better than most compact sedans and hatchbacks available at that that price point.

      Hyundai Elite i20

Interior

Hyundai Elite i20

The dual-tone interiors are thoroughly overhauled and look quite pleasing. The centre console is refreshed, yet it uses a similar interface. Like always, there are plenty of features, although six airbags and sunroof are not even part of the options list anymore. 

The Elite i20 is 10mm shorter than the previous car, yet the cabin space has gone up substantially with increased wheelbase which is now 2570mm – 45mm up from the previous version. The rear passengers sit in comfort and also get AC vents similar to the ones on the Grand i10.

 Hyundai Elite i20

Finding a comfortable driving position is not too difficult with tilt and telescopic steering wheel and the height adjustable driver seat. The instrument console looks nice, although it fails to provide distance-to-empty and fuel efficiency figures. There is ample storage space at the front, with two bottle holders, door pockets and a cooled glove-box. Even the rear doors have storage space, but not enough to hold even a 500ml bottle. Two 12 volt sockets will come handy and they are positioned nicely so that phones or music players won’t remain dangling even with a short cord. The steering mounted controls remind me of the Audis, while the centrally positioned door-lock and hazard light switches are borrowed from the BMWs. The boot with 285 litre space is larger than its competitors and when need be, it can be further increased with 60:40 split rear seats.

The fit and finish of the interior is pleasant, but all the surfaces are quite hard and are not really nice to touch. The Polo’s interior with soft material inserts feel slightly better than this overall spacious and feature-loaded cabin.

Hyundai Elite i20

Engine

Hyundai Elite i20

The Elite i20 petrol uses the four-cylinder 1.2-litre dual VTVT engine with an output of 82bhp and 115Nm of torque. The refinement levels are brilliant and this one performs a lot better compared to most 1.2-litre units that are used in small cars due to tax regulations. There is no bottom-end and the engine needs to be constantly kept on the boil, if you intend to reach anywhere quickly. On the plus side, it builds revs very quickly and the gear shifts are slick. The ARAI efficiency for this engine is 18.6kpl.

The oil-burner is also the same 1.4-litre mill delivering 89bhp and 220Nm of torque, coupled with a very positive six-speed gearbox. There isn’t much lag, the torque delivery begins at 1,500rpm and the car feels absolutely comfortable cruising at 2,000rpm. However, downshift is a must in order to finish a quick overtaking move. The shorter ratios for driveability allow you to comfortably crawl in higher gear in the city traffic and do not take a toll on the efficiency. The ARAI figures for the diesel engine are 22.5kpl – not segment leading, but very much acceptable. This is also one of the most refined diesel small cars, the NVH levels are brilliant. 

Hyundai is still not offering the petrol automatic variant, it should be introduced in a short while with the 1.4-litre petrol engine. Unfortunately due to the tax regulations it will cost a lot more than the rest of the petrol variants.

Hyundai Elite i20

Ride and handling

   Hyundai Elite i20

The i20 required maximum improvements in this department and they seem to have done a decent job – especially with the diesel. The increased wheelbase and some tweaking of the suspension has drastically improved the way the Elite feels at high speeds. The suspension is still tuned for the comfort, but unlike before, the car does not wallow at speeds above 80kph. The car stays planted and not even mid-corner bumps create too much of lateral movement. The petrol version does not inspire as much confidence. It still bounces around a little bit at speeds above 100kph, but overall it is a lot better than the previous model.

The steering weighs up with speed, but it isn’t gradual and hence feels artificial. There is no feedback from the electrically assisted unit and despite the fact that it has improved a lot, it is still nowhere close to being a driver’s car. The Polo is a better bet, if enjoying the drive is the priority. The Hyundai on the other hand will take five people from one location to another in absolute comfort.

The top-end versions uses 195/55 R16, Bridgestone B250 tyres – these are meant to improve efficiency, so there is some noise after 120kph. These also create quite a ruckus, every time the car is even marginally fast through the bends.

Hyundai Elite i20

Verdict

    Hyundai Elite i20

The Elite i20 looks exceptionally good, offers twice as many features as its closest rivals, has more cabin space and now with the retuned suspension behaves within acceptable parameters. Look at the car without the price tag and it is the car that the city dwellers need.

But the price would raise a doubt – At Rs 7.67 lakh (ex-Delhi) for the top-end, it is more expensive than the Honda Amaze, mid-level Maruti Ertiga, their own Xcent and the base Ford EcoSport. Looking at the competition, it is not going to be easy to convince people that the i20 is value for money. I will still suggest take a test drive before making any decision, this hatchback may just persuade you to change your mind.


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Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015] Colours

Elite i20 [2014-2015] is available/sold in the following colours in India.

  • Sleek Silver
  • Midas Gold
  • Pristine Blue
  • Stardust
  • Red Passion
  • Mystic Blue
  • Polar White
* Colours shown are indicative and may vary slightly from actual car colours.

Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015] Expert Reviews

Hyundai Elite i20

Hyundai Elite i20

We drove the new Elite i20 in Jodhpur to find out if the new car feels like a generation change and does it offer enough to fight with the compact sedans and crossovers.

25 Aug 2014 by Ninad Mirajgaonkar | Read more

Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015] User Reviews

Elite i20 , my elite companion

for Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015] on 17-May-2019 by Ameya Phulavare

I purchased the car in the year 2015. The car was niggle free for first 6 months. I was happliy munching miles. But soon car's electricals started giving trouble. First, my rear left...

Engine knowing

for Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015] on 28-Apr-2019 by Nigam

Riding experience: In petrol version it’s difficult to drive fast . And also engine was knocking

I love my elite i20

for Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015] on 23-Feb-2019 by LALIT pandey

I was buy i20 in 2015 from surjeet jk road bhopal. I m happy for buying this car 2. it's drive is so smooth very comfortable for long drive. 3. It's look like Audi.i love it's back...

Complete satisfaction

for Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015] on 28-Jan-2019 by narebdra kumar

The car which changed design,comfort of hatchback. I20 Elite changed era of cars. I20 has its own pros/cons but the car is known for safety,comfort and ultimate design. Spent very less...

Should I buy Elite i20 Petrol

for Hyundai Elite i20 [2014-2015] on 16-Jan-2019 by DARSHAN PATEL

Buying experience is good, as I & my family was greeted well by dealership. Car performs well in rough roads as suspension is key things to notice. Initial pickup is low, specifically...

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