2020 Hyundai i20 First Look Detail-Walkaround
The 2020 Hyundai i20 is radical, full of crisp, refreshing info, and distinct from everything else in its segment. Now in its third generation, fourth if you count the revolutionary Getz, on the outside, it is larger, on the inside it is more spacious and, as ever, it comes with a host of first-segment features. But while the 2020 i20 catches your attention and comes loaded with a pack.
While the clean lines and Audi-like minimalism of the current i20 gave it plenty of durabilities, this all-new i20 third-generation pushes the design limits even further. Yeah, the dimensions of the new car are typical, but the tipped forward location ensures that the frameless grille (the design’s focal point) is positioned low down, the chin is full of interesting cuts and creases, and the fenders and doors are both heavily sculpted. How the chrome highlight gets a sharp ‘kick-up’ at the ‘C’ pillar is also fascinating, and the black band that runs all the way around under the doors makes it look even sportier and even lower-slung.
Still, it’s at the rear where the most interesting is the design. A distinctive signature forms the ‘Z’ shaped LED tail-lights, the piano black detailing fits well in comparison, and at the bottom, there is even a faux splitter. This car would be no mistake from the back.
One of the reasons that large hatchbacks, even in this age of SUVs, are steadily finding more buyers is because they are perfectly in tune with the urban climate. They strike the perfect balance, superbly packaged, and just the right size. This is possibly also true of the new Hyundai i20, which is just 10 mm longer than the previous second-generation car at 3,995 mm, but is a significant 41 mm wider and built on a longer 2,580 mm wheelbase, the longest in its class.
It is also important that the 2020 Hyundai i20 or BC3, as it is internally called, is manufactured using a very high percentage of high-strength steel. In addition to the massive weight savings, which are sure to have a positive effect on performance and fuel economy, the new car is also around 13 percent stiffer when it comes to torsional rigidity. While the tires have not been upgraded, the 16-inch ‘diamond-cut’ alloys are appealing and the i20 has a 170mm clearance.
The word loaded takes on a whole new significance here with its huge 10.25-inch HD touchscreen, large digital instrument panel and features such as wireless phone charging and the seven-speaker and sub-woofer fitted Bose sound system.
In reality, the 2020 Hyundai i20 comes with so many segment firsts (and segment-best), it’s better equipped at this price point than most sedans or compact SUVs. And in the BlueLink connectivity app, Hyundai has also bunged, which allows you to start the air conditioning from the comfort of your home, another category first. In addition to many of these segment-first or segment-best specifications, the 2020 Hyundai i20 also has a large sunroof, ambient lighting, an air purifier, and a rear-view camera that can be used to complement the mirrors during normal driving.
The 2020 Hyundai i20 dash also stands out for its multitude of horizontal slats and floating center console. The two wide screens are located far closer and, notably, on the same plane, making them easy to see. With its pod-like cluster of buttons, the center console is neatly executed, and although the cabin is mostly black, it also gets some nifty red highlights to give it a sporty look. On the vents, on the steering wheel, on the doors, on the seats, and even on the very practical blower and temperature control ‘paddles’, for instance, there are anodized red flourishes.
The 10.25-inch bright and sharp touchscreen is the same spec as on the Creta, and it works in a slick way here, too. The contrast is fantastic, it is vivid, and it makes for a great experience because the touch feature is slick and you never have to press a button twice.
As with the i20s in other markets such as Germany, where you can view just about everything, the cleverly done instrument panel is not a computer. And it’s not easy to read the virtual ‘dials’ (similar to those on Verna). Nevertheless, the digital readouts make it fairly usable and the multi-info-display in the middle also blends nicely into the design.
While the quality standards of the plastics are generally on par with the rest of the class, under the harsh arc lights, the mostly black plastics on top of the dash feel tough and look a little too bright. Any soft-touch plastics, as well as a two-tone interior theme, would have been cool.
As a mid-size sedan upfront, the 2020 Hyundai i20 now also feels as important, and some of that is down to the wider cabin. The driving posture is sporty and low, the driver’s seat adjusts over a wide range (so you can sit high if you want to) and there is also fairly good side bolstering on the wide leatherette seats. Although visibility is generally good, a bit of a blind spot may be caused by the wide free-standing screen, especially at low speeds.
However, there are plenty of places to store your odds and ends-there is a reasonably wide cooled glove box, the front door bins run the full length of the door, under the center console there is a cubby hole (where the cooled wireless phone charging pad sits) and between the seats, there are also a pair of cup holders. The only disappointing thing is the small elbow box. There are also USB sockets up front if you need to charge other devices or attach them to a cable.
The cabin is very spacious with the lengthiest wheelbase in the class and generous width. Hyundai claims that the rear legroom is the best in class, there is 40 mm more occupant shoulder space than on the earlier i20, meaning that seating three on the rear is slightly better, and the headroom on the rear is still fairly generous with the scooped-out roof.
The bench is a little short, but your thighs are well supported by the seat, the backrest is perfectly reclined, and the seat is both supportive and soft enough to be comfortable. You also have an elbow rest, and the back has a USB port. Although the door pocket at the rear is not too large, a bottle and some odds and ends can still be kept.
For this class, the 311-liter boot is a little small; it is the smallest here, but those interested can fold and flip down the rear backrest. The seats, however, are not divided.
The first i20 was something of a pioneer in safety. It came with ABS and six airbags and all four seats had seatbelt warning lamps. It gets six airbags, electronic stability control, a tire pressure monitoring system (a segment first) and hill assist control to aid on slopes. The new-gen car is taking it forward.
With a large range of engines and gearboxes, Hyundai has launched the i20 in India. There are three engines on sale, two petrol, and diesel, and there is also a clutchless manual or iMT, a twin-clutch automatic, and an IVT or CVT automatic as well, apart from a 5- and 6-speed manual.
The revised ‘Advanced’ 1.2 Kappa petrol, which gets lighter parts, a more powerful variable intake system, and better low engine speed responses, is the bread and butter engine. It will be available with a 5-speed manual, producing 83hp, and with an automatic IVT or CVT, producing 88hp. For the manual, the ARAI mileage figure is 20.35kpl, while 19.65kpl is classified for the CVT version. A major 100hp, 1.5 diesel driving a 6-speed manual will also come with the i20, an option that could offer tremendous output and economy; its ARAI rating is 25.2kpl.
With what should be the most fun car of the bunch, a 120hp version of Hyundai’s 1.0 petrol, the range will be topped off. The ‘turbo’ model will be the most powerful car in its class and will come with an automatic twin-clutch and an IMT or clutchless manual. For the DCT, Hyundai reports a 0-100kph time of 9.9sec, which should make it quicker than the new VW Polo automatic torque convertor fitted and similar to even the VW Polo manual 1.0 turbo-petrol.
For the entry-level model, Hyundai has priced the 2020 Hyundai i20 between Rs 6.80 lakh and Rs 11.18 lakh for the top-spec petrol-DCT version (ex-showroom, India) for an introductory period, until 31 December 2020.
While only when we have it for a full review will we be able to tell you what the car is like, first impressions are very promising. The 2020 Hyundai i20 seems to be the all-rounder to beat, looking sleek, spacious on the inside, well designed, and generously specified with a wide range of engines and gearboxes.