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Hyundai Elite i20 Review: Pros and Cons

Introduction

Hyundai Elite i20 Front Right Three-Quarter

It’s hard to imagine that the Hyundai i20 has been in the Indian market since as long as 2008. Of course it has received its share of updates but still, 11 years is a long time. Now called the Elite i20, it’s already been five years since the major update. So does it still have enough charm left to woo the buyers? We’ll answer that question by telling you five things that still work for the Elite i20 and the two things that don’t.

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Positives

1. Design 

Hyundai Elite i20 Left Front Three Quarter

Yes it has been five years since the last major update, but the Elite i20’s design has aged gracefully or let’s say stylishly. The stylish headlights along with the family cascading grille gives it a very European look. On the sides, the Elite i20 gets one of the best looking OEM alloys that are complimented by that stylish rising hipline. Overall, the Elite i20 is still one of the better looking premium hatchbacks out there even amongst the newer competition. 

2. Interiors 

Hyundai Elite i20 Dashboard

Like the exteriors, even the i20’s interiors still feel rather fresh. It’s a very clean layout and everything falls at hand easily. There is soft-touch padding around the arm rest and top half of the dash, supplemented by silver trim highlights on the centre console. The recent update is the addition of new buttons on the steering wheel and new trim colours. 

3. Space 

Hyundai Elite i20 Rear Seat Space

Another of the Elite i20’s highlights has been space. Starting at the rear bench, there is more than adequate legroom and it’s also wide enough seat three comfortably. There is no issue with the headroom either and the low beltline means the visibility all around is great. The boot, meanwhile, remains the same at 285 litres, expanding to 1,042 litres when the rear seats are folded flat. 

Hyundai Elite i20 Boot Space

4. Ride Quality 

Hyundai has recently tweaked the rear suspension in the Elite i20 and that has improved things as compared to before. You can actually feel the upgraded rear-end improving the car’s high speed manners, with less of the up-and-down movement.

Hyundai Elite i20 Action

It also retains its class leading refinement over bad roads. Road noise is minimal and the suspension remains rather quiet over jittery surfaces. 

5. Refined Engine and Gearbox 

Hyundai Elite i20 Engine Bay

The Elite i20 can be had with two engine options, a 1.2-litre petrol and the 1.4 litre diesel. Hyundai has recently tweaked this engine for better low end response and upped the efficiency as well. With just 1400cc to play with, it’s not the punchiest motor out there, but has more than enough torque to dart into gaps in traffic or cruise at comfortable triple-digit speeds. A special mention here goes to the six-speed manual which is incredibly precise, easy to use and supplements the linear torque delivery.

Negatives

1. No automatic diesel 

Hyundai Elite i20 Action

Now the Elite i20 does get a CVT automatic, but that’s only with the 1.2-litre petrol engine. This 1.4 diesel is an extremely popular choice and we can’t help but miss an automatic transmission for this engine. Hyundai already has an automatic gearbox for the diesel Creta and we hope they get one for the Elite i20 diesel too. 

2. Not for the spirited driver 

Hyundai Elite i20 Action

As sporty as the Elite i20 looks, it really isn’t the sportiest to drive. The steering feel is still inconsistent off centre and there is more body roll than what you would expect. Also the clutch feel isn’t too linear and the action is just too springy which mars the overall driving experience.

Conclusion

Hyundai Elite i20 Rear Left Three-Quarter

So does the Elite i20 still make a good buy? We think it does. Its still one of the most stylish premium hatchbacks out there, has plenty of features and is quite spacious too. We do wish Hyundai offers an AT gearbox for the diesel soon and as for us enthusiasts…Hyundai can we please have the i20 N?

Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi

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Hyundai Elite i20 Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Mumbai₹ 6.58 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 6.86 Lakhs onwards
New Delhi₹ 6.28 Lakhs onwards
Pune₹ 6.66 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 6.66 Lakhs onwards
Ahmedabad₹ 6.37 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 6.54 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 6.29 Lakhs onwards
Chandigarh₹ 6.27 Lakhs onwards
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