There is a pleasantly energetic response when flooring the throttle of the new Hyundai i20 1,0-litre turbo but, more significantly, the slighter larger new model adds very welcome shoulder room for passengers.
With a design inspired by Hyundai’s new ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ identity, a new engine in the range and a cabin that is roomier, it launches locally with two specification levels, Motion and Fluid and is the third generation of Hyundai’s B-segment model which was first launched globally in 2008, and in 2009 in South Africa.
“We are launching the all-new i20 with the confidence a five-door hatchback has a definite slot in the local car market – the sales figures and customer’s preferences give credence to our faith in the product. It is also a strong contender in the market for rental cars,” says Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa.
“While the outgoing i20 was a very popular and successful model in our range, we expect the new model with its fresh, sporty styling and the new 1-litre turbo engine to appeal to an even wider audience.”
The purpose of the new design direction is to create emotional value and to give Hyundai’s vehicles a distinctive new look.
At the side, a bold side character line and unique C-pillar design create an appealing look. Meanwhile, the interior space achieves an airy feeling inside the cockpit, while appearing sculptured and appealing. One design highlight is the horizontal blades that cover the high and prominent dashboard. Dynamic proportions also improve roominess and visibility.
The i20 range, driven through the front wheels, features a new engine in the form of a turbo-charged 3-cylinder petrol power plant offering a maximum power output of 90 kW. It is linked to either a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) or a 6-speed manual transmission.
Two naturally aspirated petrol engines – the 1.2 Kappa petrol engine, linked to a 5-speed manual gearbox, and the 1.4 MPi, matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission – are used in the other variants in the i20 range.
The new car gains a wider body (+41 mm) and increased length (+10 mm), while the wheelbase has also been increased by 10 mm. Ground clearance is 170 mm – an increase of 20 mm compared to the previous model.
“The all-new i20 features our new Sensuous Sportiness design identity. We enhanced the proportions to create a dynamic and emotional design. As a result, the all-new i20 is a car that speaks to your senses,” says Thomas Bürkle, chief designer at the Hyundai Motor Company’s Design Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
The Fluid derivatives get newly designed 16-inch alloy wheels with 15-inch steel wheels and silver covers for the Motion..
Exterior colour choices range from Titan Grey to Polar White, Starry Night, Fiery Red, Typhoon Silver and Phantom Black, complemented by two 2-tone colour schemes: Fiery Red with a black roof, and Polar White with a black roof.
The enlarged wheelbase provides increased seating space for passengers in the rear, with rear passengers able to enjoy 88 mm more leg room and 40 mm more shoulder room than in the previous generation.
Boot space has been increased while a decreased beltline and a small, quarter-fixed glass window behind the rear door provide drivers with improved visibility. Available as a five-door hatchback, the all-new i20 can seat up to five people.
Interior trim choices range from mono-tone cloth for the Motion and 1.2 Fluid derivatives to dual-tone cloth seats for the 1.2 Fluid 2-Tone; mono-tone artificial leather for the 1.0 Fluid; and dual-tone artificial leather for the 1.0 Fluid 2-Tone derivative.
Convenience items inclue powe folding mirrors for the Fluid variants, a rear-view monitor with guidelines displayed on the infotainment system’s screen, air-vents for rear passengers in the Fluid variants, a USB charging socket and cell phone storage space for rear passengers, a multi-function steering wheel with radio and telephone control buttons and a cruise-control function on the steering wheel for Fluid variants.
The new 10,25-inch digital instrument cluster in front of the driver and high-resolution 8-inch centre touchscreen for the infotainment system have been visually combined and there is a wireless charging pad in the centre console with two front USB charging ports in all variants – one for connectivity and one for charging in the middle console, while another charging port is available for rear passengers in the Fluid variants.
At the front McPherson struts with dampers and coil springs are used for the suspension, while a coupled torsion beam axle with dampers and coil springs are employed at the rear. The Motor Driven Power Assisted Steering (MDPS) delivers accurate lines through corners and adds stability to the i20’s road manners.
The new i20 has been built with a reinforced body structure – a key area which is critical to occupant safety. The i20’s body is reinforced with 36% advanced high-strength steel.
Passive safety systems in the new i20 include six crash bags (driver, front passenger and two curtain bags) in the Fluid variants, and driver and front passenger crash bags in the Motion derivatives.
An anti-lock braking system and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) are standard features in the whole range.
1.2 Motion manual: R275 900
1.4 Motion automatic: R305 900
1.2 Fluid manual: R289 900
1.2 Fluid manual – 2-Tone: R294 900
1.0 TGDI Fluid manual: R330 900
1.0 TGDI Fluid manual – 2-Tone: R335 900
1.0 TGDI Fluid DCT: R355 900
1.0 TGDI Fluid DCT – 2-Tone: R360 900
It comes with a 7-year/200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty, a 4-year / 60 000 km service plan and 7-year / 150 000 km roadside assistance.