The Hyundai Elite i20 has won many awards including the coveted ‘Indian Car of the Year’ (ICOTY) for the year 2015. It has won many hearts as well and has been a favourite among buyers, here’ possibly why.
Outlook and Exteriors
The Hyundai Elite i20 is sporty, elegant and owns a splendid style. The front face of the hatchback is mesmerizing, especially in red. The chrome accents and the matte black touches are best complemented in this color.
One look and the hexagonal grille with a honeycomb finish and a chrome lining; the carmaker’s proud heritage is eye-catching. The slim and stretched back headlamps with LED DRL’s are futuristic and seem to melt to the side. The two almost-rectangular fog lamps border an additional thin strip of air-dam positioned at the end of the body-colored bumper. Together, these nuances consolidate a dynamic face to this Hyundai car.
Benefitting from Hyundai’s fluidic design concept, the Elite i20 inherits a certain kind of a smooth and unwrinkled finish all over its silhouette. While moving to the side, the hatchback’s rising beltline and sloping roof are seen defining its stance. The layout is further complemented by the electrically adjustable ORVM’s, a blackened C-pillar ending in a body-colored spoiler and by the 1st in segment R16 diamond cut alloy wheels.
The rear of the Elite i20 is as good as it can get. The spread out tail lights with three bold lamps in it are particularly stylish while the upper lip is slightly swollen.
The Hyundai Elite i20 has a length of 3985mm, scales to 1734mm in width and measures 1505mm in height. The car has a wheelbase of 2570mm and a ground clearance of 170mm.
Interior, Features and Ambience
Once inside the Hyundai Elite i20, you come to know what the hatchback has more on offer besides a beautiful face.
The cabin is spacious and feels upmarket due to the two-toned well laid out dashboard. The similar color combination continues over the seats as well. The utilization of silver accents at all buttons as well as on the gear knob and lever further helps the hatchback in maintaining its case. In terms of features, just like any other Hyundai car, this vehicle has an elaborate set of options. A 2-DIN integrated radio with Bluetooth, AUX and USB connectivity is available in the lower variants while a 7”touchscreen audio video navigation system is offered in the top Asta variant.
Apart from that, there is rake and reach steering wheel adjust, glove box cooling, engine start/stop button, front and rear AC vents, climate control, manual driver seat height adjust, parking camera, rear wash/wipe and defogger, steering mounted controls and power windows with pinch guard among other features.
The sitting arrangement in this hatchback is good; the seats are comfortable with a good amount of head and legroom at both the front and the back seats. Lumbar and under-thigh support is proficient as well. The centre console is a tad restrictive and will compromise the legroom when three people are sitting abreast.
The Hyundai Elite i20 has a generous boot space of 285 litres.
Engine and Performance
The Elite i20 is available with 3 engine options- two petrol and one diesel. First up is the popular 1.4-litre (1396cc), 4-cylinder U2 CRDi diesel engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. This engine has a maximum power output of 90hp @ 6,000rpm and a peak torque of 220Nm between 1,500-2,750 rpm. It has a claimed fuel efficiency of 19.5kmpl on the highways and 13.8kmpl in the cities.
This engine is a familiar power-mill to drive as it was featured in the previous i20. Therefore, asthe power and torque remain the same, the performance is identical to its predecessor as well. The gearbox is light and easy to use as well as the engine exhibits a linear power delivery. There is no punch of power before the engine hits the 1800rpm mark. However, drivability on the highways past 2,000rpm is easy.
Second is the 1.2-litre (1197cc), 4 cylinder Kappa dual VTVT petrol engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. This engine has a capability to churn 82hp @6,000rpm and a peak torque of 114Nm @ 4,000rpm. It has a claimed fuel efficiency of 15.2kmpl on the highways and 11.5kmpl in city traffic.
This petrol-powered engine is a feel-good power-mill. It has a linear acceleration and feels easy to maneuver in traffic. However, similar to its diesel sibling, the petrol engine too does not fare well at low rpms and picks up only after it has crossed the 1600rpm mark.
Moreover, in order to expand their horizon even further, Hyundai has come up with a third engine option, the newly launched 1.4-litre (1368cc), 4 cylinder dual VTVT petrol engine mated to a first in segment 4-speed automatic transmission. This engine has a maximum power output of 98.5hp @ 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 132.3Nm @4,000 rpm. However, this engine is only available in the middle Magna variant.
Ride Quality and Handling
After a test drive of the Hyundai Elite i20, it is probably safe to say that the hatchback sure does feel sporty from the outside but being behind the wheel, this Hyundai car is a bit of a disappointment. The engines are not very peppy or punchy. However, they do offer a linear power delivery.
The gearbox is smooth and light but the feedback received from the steering wheel of the petrol-powered engine is a downcast. It gets light at high speeds and results in the driver losing confidence.
However, refinement in this car has definitely been leveled up. The hatchback has McPherson Strut suspension upfront and Coupled Torsion Beam Axle at the rear tires which aid the Elite i20 in absorbing all kinds of tarmac at low speeds. The cabin is quite and the NVH (Noise, Vibrations and Harshness) levels are well controlled. The suspension clunk is heard only at high speeds over large potholes and big road breaks.
Braking and Safety
The Hyundai Elite i20 is a host of numerous safety features for both the driver as well as the passengers. To charge speed, the hatchback is equipped with disc brakes in the front tires and drum brakes in the rear tires. The car has 6 airbags, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), reverse parking camera with sensors and impact sensing door unlock as well as speed sensing auto door lock to keep the occupants safe.
The Hyundai i-20 is the car you should pick if you are in search of a premium looking hatchback generous with equipment and safety features as well as offers a decent driving experience.