With an all new-fluidic styling and first-in-segment features that should help in prolonging the shelf life of this premium hatchback in India, the new Hyundai i-Gen i20 has been launched in 12 variants (seven petrol and five diesel) and six colour options. The price of the petrol variants range from Rs 473,400 to Rs 665,894, the diesel variants range from Rs 596,334 to Rs 744,013 and the automatic variant is priced at Rs 767,405. All prices are ex-showroom, New Delhi. Autojunction test drove the Hyundai iGen i20 Magna (O).
Not too many people gave the i20 much of a chance when it was first launched in the market. But one glance at Hyundai’s sales charts reveals just how well the i20 has done since the time it was launched.
Let’s take a look at the changes and upgrades Hyundai has implemented in the iGen i20.
Design & Engineering
In recent memory, all the Hyundai launches (Verna, Eon and Sonata) have witnessed their cars getting the fluidic design. So it comes as no surprise that the company’s globally successful premium hatch received that very delectable ‘fluidic’ design treatment, which it now has very proudly adorned.
The hexagonal black radiator grille, wraparound headlamps and trapezoidal fog lamps on the front lends a sporty look to the car. But take a walk along the side of the car and you are likely to see almost no changes barring turn indicators incorporated into the ORVMs and chrome door handles in some of the variants. The rear too has hardly changed apart from new clear lens tail lamps, a slightly different looking bumper and a new spoiler to differentiate the iGen i20 from its older avatar. The facelift though has increased the length of the car to 3995mm, up 55mm; however, the height (1505mm), width (1710mm) and wheelbase (2525mm) remain identical to the older i20.
The high gloss black radiator grille, clear lens tail lamp, body coloured bumpers and tailgate handle and roof antenna come as standard features in all the variants.
The Magna (O), Sportz, Asta and Asta (O) variants get the turn indicators on ORVMs, while the 8-spoke alloy wheels comes factory fitted only in the Sportz, Asta and Asta (O). The rear spoiler with integrated stop lamp and auto headlamps is available in the Asta and Asta (O). Overall, the iGen i20 is definitely a smart looking car and should appeal to the young and old alike.
Interiors & Comfort
There are no major changes on the inside in comparison to the older i20. Although, the basic layout of the dashboard is the same, however, Hyundai has changed the colour of the dashboard from dark brown to dark grey, which in my opinion is a good change. The two-tone beige and brown colour interior and upholstery looks good. The part leather part fabric seats not only look nice but also provide good all round support and comfort. The instrument cluster has a clear layout, easy-to-read dials with a blue and white illumination.
Front door map pockets, front passenger back seat pocket, chrome finish inside door handles, metal finish centre fascia and AC vents, central room lamp, theatre dimming, tachometer, digital clock, clutch footrest and power steering come as standard features in all the variants.
The Magna (O), Sportz, Asta and Asta (O) come with glovebox cooling, in-built cluster ionizer, electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs, 2-DIN audio system with four speakers, two tweeters along with AUX-in and USB. Features like Bluetooth connectivity, tilt and telescopic steering, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob are available in the Sportz, Asta and Asta (O) variants. The top-of-the-line Asta (O) also boasts of an electric sunroof with slide and tilt function.
Cooled glovebox is a handy feature on all variants of the iGen i20, except the base Era variant.
The spacious passenger compartment and the decently sized boot ensure that the iGen i20 will continue to remain a smart choice for those weekend trips. Although, the Magna (O) that we drove came with a bench folding rear seat, however, a 60:40 seat split arrangement with a cushion pop-up facility is available on Sportz, Asta and Asta (O).
Performance & Handling
The iGen i20 rides well over broken tarmac, but the soft suspension set-up means that it is not a keen handler.
The i20 Magna (O) we drove had 1.2 Kappa 4 cylinders, 16 valves, DOHC dual VTVT (variable timing valve train) petrol engine mated to 5-speed manual transmission which churned out 84PS @ 6000 and 114 Nm @ 4000rpm. Mind you, one has to dip in the clutch and turn the ignition in order to start the car since the iGen i20 has a clutch lock system in place in order to prevent accidental starts. Hyundai has slightly tweaked the engine which results in the 1.2 Kappa delivering a 4PS increase in power from the old engine (80PS), but the torque remains almost identical (114Nm).
There is no real difference in performance, although the engine seemed smoother and quieter. What also helps this feeling of refinement is the car’s suspension. The new i20 has McPherson struts with coil spring and stabilizer bars at the front and coupled torsion beam axle with coil spring at the rear with gas type shock absorbers which enables a smooth ride even over bumps and distressed roads. The braking system is good with the front brakes being discs and drums on the rear.
The Hyundai iGen i20 is easy to drive and maneuver in the city traffic, due to its light steering, easy gearshift and light clutch. The 1.2 Kappa engine although responsive to part throttle felt slightly underpowered and is likely to feel out of breath on long open stretches of road, especially with the AC on and four passengers inside it.
The Hyundai iGen i20 also available in two other engine options. There is 1.4 U2 CRDi diesel 4 cylinders, 16 valves, DOHC engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission which pumps 90PS @ 4000rpm and 220 Nm @ 1500-2750rpm and the 1.4 Gamma 4 cylinders, 16 valves, DOHC with VTVT and mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission which produces 100PS @ 5500rpm and 136Nm @ 4200rpm.
The iGen i20 1.2 Kappa is reasonably fuel efficient in city traffic, but the small engine struggles on the highway to deliver good mileage.
The Hyundai i-Gen i20 boasts of ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) ratified figures of 18.5 kmpl (1.2 Kappa Dual VTVT petrol), 21.9 kmpl (1.4 CRDi diesel) and the automatic transmission variant (1.4 litre petrol) delivers 15 kmpl, though we didn’t get an opportunity to evaluate the claim. The iGen i20 also comes with a gear shift indicator as a standard option on all manual transmission variants. This enables the driver to promptly shift to the right gear to achieve optimum mileage. Despite the slight increase in power, the fuel efficiency remains unchanged in comparison to the earlier i20.
In terms of safety the all new Hyundai i20 comes with central locking (door and tailgate), a smart pedal system (in the event of panic braking, the brake pedal overrides the accelerator), impact sensing auto door unlocking (in the unfortunate event of a collision), clutch lock system (to prevent accidental starts), dual horn, immobilizer, rear fog lamps and lane change indicator (one touch triple turn) as standard features in all the variants. Barring the Era, all the variants also has rear parking audible sensors enabling convenient parking.
The Sportz, Asta and Asta (O) also gets ABS with EBD, front fog lamps, rain sensing wipers, parking assist rear camera, parking assist display on ECM, and driver seat airbags. While the Asta and Asta (O) also comes with auto headlamps control (it switched on and off as per outside visibility conditions for convenient and safe driving), however, only the Asta (O) boasts of six airbags and speed sensing auto door lock.
Surprisingly, in an expensive hatchback like the i20, bare minimum necessity like the rear wiper is only available on the Asta and Asta (O). So Hyundai definitely scores a negative in this respect.
There is no denying that the Hyundai i20 is an expensive hatchback. The top-of-the-line i20 Asta (O) priced at Rs 6.65 (ex-showroom, New Delhi) is almost a lakh costlier than the top variant of the Maruti Swift ZXI (Rs 5.68, ex-showroom New Delhi). So in order to justify the high price of the iGen i20, Hyundai has packed the car with a number of first-in-segment features like rear parking camera with display in the cabin mirror, electro chromic mirror which offers anti-glare vision during night time driving, clean air-cluster ionizer, auto headlight control function, six airbags, rear disc brakes, supervision cluster, an electric sunroof with slide and tilt function and rain sensing wipers.
Although, the i20 Magna (O) (Rs 5.27, ex-showroom, New Delhi) might attract the price sensitive buyers, however, in my opinion it will be a smart choice to buy the Sportz variant simply because for just Rs48000 more than the Magna (O) one can get many additional features like electrochromic inside rear view mirror (ECM), parking assist rear camera and ECM display, ABS with EBD, driver airbags, rain sensing wipers, front fog lamps, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, chrome finish gear knob, tilt and telescopic steering, steering mounted audio and Bluetooth control, Bluetooth connectivity and front map lamp which is absent in the Magna (O).
The Hyundai iGen i20 with its light clutch, easy gearshift, light steering, easy maneuverability and good engine responses is easy to drive within the city. A strong spread of variants, three different powertrain options and a spacious well-appointed cabin together will make the i20 a very appealing car to own.