Driving report: Hyundai i20

After six years, Hyundai is renewing the i20. The small car is now not only up to date in terms of safety and technology, but has also become a small designer piece for the Koreans.   

Anyone who still believes that all modern cars look the same could have an aha moment in the next few months. Because at least the rear of the new Hyundai i20 breaks with its characteristic taillights including light band in the small car class with conventions. There are also nice details such as the tank cap, which forms a unit on the right-hand side with the cover glass of the rear light that has been pulled around the corner. At the front, however, the fresh small car is a little more inconspicuous, but is three centimeters wider and a little more than two centimeters flatter than before, which makes it sportier. The new Korean is starting at basic prices between 13.637 euros for the 1,2-liter intake manifold injection with four cylinders (62 kW / 84 hp) and 23.970 euros for the 1.0-liter turbo (88 kW / 120 hp) including. The averaged consumption ranges between 4,4 and 5,3 liters per 100 kilometers.

Customers with a limited budget and potential interest in the basic version should be forewarned - Hyundai offers this cheaply, but is delivered without air conditioning, for example, and cannot be equipped with it for a surcharge. Only the “Select” equipment line, which is just under 2.500 euros more expensive, then not only includes the option of cooling down the interior, but also features such as digital radio and Bluetooth hands-free equipment. In further steps, each costing a thousand euros, there is then more modern engine technology. First of all, the four-cylinder 1,2-liter with five-speed gearbox will be transformed into a turbocharged three-cylinder engine with a displacement of one liter with 74 kW / 100 hp and six-speed gearbox; the next higher version includes a 48-volt system including belt starter and coasting function. Here, a small electric motor boosts the crankshaft with a few additional Newton meters in order to eliminate the slight delay in the turbo when starting up hard.

Intelligent coupling

As you can see from the power flow display, the electric motor only works in first gear with almost full load. By the way: the entire range of fuel-saving functions also works in combination with the manual transmission. The clutch is engaged and disengaged by an actuator that is controlled by a pedal travel sensor - but the driver does not notice anything. In terms of operation, the system does not differ from the purely mechanical versions, so you can also let the engine die off like a conventional unit, but the electronics are able to open the clutch while driving in order to switch off the engine, which also happens again and again depending on the situation. In urban areas, the manufacturer promises fuel savings of one liter per 100 kilometers with this technology. The interested party can decide for themselves whether the financial outlay is worthwhile, but at least the good feeling goes with them.

Speaking of feeling. For the first test rounds, Hyundai brought the 100 PS one-liter including 48 volts described above and the slightly more powerful version of this turbo version with 88 kW / 120 PS. The belt starter is mandatory. If you are honest, the 100 PS variant is completely sufficient, at least in the context of these options - the sporty, robust, whirring turbo engine pulls sufficiently well and generally shows a lively nature without having to constantly rev up the Otto in everyday life. Hyundai shows a lucky hand with the in-house developed dual clutch transmissions. Only if you pay close attention will you notice from the creep characteristics that it is not a classic converter. Diligent and equally jerk-free gear changes speak for the machine. After all, these increase comfort considerably, especially in city traffic.

Modern interior

But don't worry, an i20 also works on longer journeys with more than two people, especially since the layout of the 2020 model has at least one centimeter more wheelbase, which traditionally benefits the rear, and the predecessor was not a sardine can either. So the space is right, you don't sit in a tight spot, not even in the rear, at least that's true for average-sized passengers.

The Koreans have properly upgraded in terms of infotainment, at least the higher equipped versions impress with the 10,25-inch display (instrument cluster) and eight-inch central touch screen. Hand in hand with the operating approach go hand in hand with the usual everyday problems that tend to arise when enjoying the many functions - especially in the area of ​​driver assistance. While you can simply switch off the active steering intervention at the push of a button if you don't like it, you have to search the menu for a long time to silence the beeping when you cross a line. The new Hyundai i20, with its patented chassis, is ideally suited to the controlled crossing of lane markings in order to hit the ideal line on the lonely country road.


Five-door, five-seat small car, length: 4,04 meters, width: 1,78 meters, height: 1,45 meters, wheelbase: 2,58 meters

1,2-liter four-cylinder petrol, 62 kW / 84 PS, maximum torque: 118 Nm at 4.200 rpm, five-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive, 0-100 km / h: 13,1 s, Vmax: 173 km / h, average consumption: 5,3 l, CO2 emissions: 121 g / km, efficiency class: D, emissions standard: Euro 6d, price: from 13.637 euros

1,0-liter three-cylinder petrol with turbocharging, 74 kW / 100 PS, maximum torque: 172 Nm at 1.500 to 4.000 rpm, electronically controlled six-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive, 0-100 km / h: 10,4 s , Vmax: 188 km / h, average consumption: 4,4 l, CO2 emissions: 100 g / km, efficiency class: A, emissions standard: Euro 6d, price: from 18.023 euros

1,0-liter three-cylinder petrol with turbocharging, 88 kW / 120 PS, maximum torque: 200 Nm at 2.000 to 3.500 rpm, seven-speed automatic (double clutch), front-wheel drive, 0-100 km / h: 10,3 s, Vmax: 190 km / h, average consumption: 4,7 l, CO2 emissions: 107 g / km, efficiency class: B, emissions standard: Euro 6d, price: from 22.020 euros

In brief

Why stylish and bold look, modern interior
Why not because there are no alternatives to conventional drives
What else Volkswagen Polo, Seat Ibiza, Renault Clio, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Micra
When in stores now
What else N-Line models as well as an N model with over 200 hp

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