The Hyundai i20 ushered the Indian car buyer into premium hatchbacks back in 2008 when the market was still running high on the Maruti 800s and the Altos. The Hyundai i20 has been instrumental in proving that a hatchback could be spacious and premium while being easy on the pocket opening up a new segment in the Indian market. It was after the Hyundai i20 that we saw the advent of the Polos and the Jazzs with the Baleno being the newest joinee to the party.
The i20, since its inception, has sold ten lakh units globally, an achievement for a car that was built in India and exported to markets including Europe. The first generation i20 received updates every two years since its 2008 launch, some tweaks in 2010 and a facelift in 2012. Hyundai sold 3.67 lakh units of the first generation i20 in India and exported a whopping 3.9 lakh units from the manufacturing plant in Chennai.
The Elite i20 took a step away from the original fluidic design language and gave us a glimpse of what future Hyundai’s would look like with its hexagonal grille and the lovely triple-element tail-lamps. Hyundai has managed to sell over 2 lakh units of the Elite i20 in India itself in just over two years to be the highest selling premium hatchback in India. The butch version of the i20, called the i20 Active, has managed to ring in more than 30,000 units in the niche crossover-hatch segment since its launch in 2015.
The Hyundai i20 has been a star of the Hyundai line-up with stalwarts like the Verna and Santro along with i10, Grand i10, Eon, Elantra, Creta and the Santa Fe. The i20 competes with the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, the Honda Jazz, the Fiat Punto Evo and the Volkswagen Polo in the premium hatchback segment.