A user review on Hyundai Elite i20 [2017-2018]. Written by
on 18 November, 2018
This car is discontinued
||Have driven a few thousands kilometres
So here it is, the Elite i20! The car which completely changed the hatchback segment in the Indian car industry and pretty much became a benchmark in the same, when it arrived in the 2nd half of 2014. So today 4 years down the line let's look at how this car has aged up and whether it really is a good child.
Let's start with talking about the styling bits of the car. This car is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and is in a league of its own. It has that certain sense of style blend with soberness which gives it a very rich and upmarket look. The angular headlamps upfront, simple design side-on, the sharp tail lamps and those ever so sexy alloy wheels are the major highlights. And infact I like the design of the prefacelift (before 2018) model better than one currently in the Hyundai showrooms.
This saga continues in the interior of the car as well, which results in one of the best looking cabins in the segment with really good quality materials and all the bells & whistles including a touchscreen infotainment unit which supports both Android auto and Apple car play. The interiors will make you feel as if you are sitting in a car which is atleast a segment or two higher. Although the touch and display quality is where it lags behind it's suzuki counterparts.
The other thing that this good here is that you get abs & airbags standard and you will definitely feel the build quality of the car being much better than Maruti Suzuki and even Honda, and it is behind only it's German rivals here. So the car is kitted up nicely on the safety front too.
Now that was pretty much what is good about this vehicle and now let's move to the performance, ride & handling chapter and see how it fares here. We will talk about the 1.2L petrol here.
So as you start the car and get a move on you do start to get a bit disappointed especially if you are an enthusiast. The engine although quite smooth and refined definitely lacks power. The pickup of the car is particularly bad specially in the 2nd gear and the engine is not a rev happy one, and rather responds better to linear acceleration. This is where Suzuki's 1.2L engine is miles ahead in terms of the overall driving experience. Although it is excellent with it's well defined gear-ratios and short gear throws.
Hyundai has again disappointed us with it's steering, the steering lacks almost any feedback with a dead center and is not made for high speed drives out on the highway at all. Though being a light unit it is suitable for city use given that the average city speeds on Indian roads does not exceed 60kmph today.
Moving on to the factor which for most is the make or break the deal thing, the 'Mileage'. The mileage of the petrol engine is the worst in the segment. In proper metro-city conditions with the AC turned on the real life mileage (full tank to full tank) is 7-8kmpl and on highway it is around 15-17kmpl. I know most of my readers will have a hard time digesting the city avg. figures but that is the reality of it, and both the figures have been verified. So, if mileage is your criteria then please don't go for this as this is definitely not for you. Although as per some reports the engine on the new 2018 model has been tuned to churn out better fuel economy and that is also said to be one of the reasons why they have now included the mileage meter in the MID system of the vehicle.
Another area of concern in the driveability department is the presence of really bad and ineffective braking system. The brakes lack any bite in them and are not confidence inspiring at all and behave in a very erratic manner. Infact many people are unawre that HMIL is not providing Brake Assist on these cars which is necessary for effective braking and are present in a lot of lower priced cars in the industry. This definitely needs to improve before anything else.
Now let's quickly go through the ride quality of the car.
The seats are nice and comfortable, although some people might find the seats to be a bit on the softer side when on long drives. The space at the back is not the best in class although decent in its own right. The suspension setup is good for city and low speed drives although I feel it is a bit too soft for my liking and I would have ideally liked it to be on the firmer side.
So now to conclude, the Elite i20 (1.2L) has its own set of pros and cons and is more of a city rider where it does tick most of the essential boxes but one, and that is a really bad mileage. So if you can live with that then it is a practical car for your everyday city usage with premium looking interiors and exteriors, decent city suited performance and easy access to Hyundai's no nonsense maintenance services with it's wide network.
P.S. - If you have any other queries feel free to ask and if you like the review please let me know. Also let me know the next car about which you would like a review. Thank You!
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