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Hyundai i20 Review & Prices

The Hyundai i20 is still a supremely sensible and practical car, but it feels firm over bumps and there’s only one engine option

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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Easy to drive around town
  • Very responsive touchscreen
  • Decent-sized, practical boot

What's not so good

  • Feels firm over bumps
  • Only one engine option
  • Interior feels cheap in places

Find out more about the Hyundai i20

Is the Hyundai i20 a good car?

The Hyundai i20 is a small hatchback that’s long held a reputation for being practical and sensible, pitching itself as an alternative to UK favourites such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo.

Remember that one very quiet kid at school? The one that seemed to ace it in maths and had covered all the food groups in their packed lunch each day. Now in their early 20s, learned to ride a motorbike and became the lead singer of an Indie band — and you have the new Hyundai i20. Once understated in style, but decently practical and sensible in how it went about its business, this new i20 looks comparatively wild at a first glance.

Updated in 2023 front, the grille is slightly slimmer than before the refresh and has angular headlights either side. The side has plenty of sharp creases to add some character, while the rear is a bit too fussy for our tastes – even with the funky rear light bar-like effect.

The sportiness of the exterior continues to the cabin. With two large screens as standard, you can get bright colours that can match the bright outside tone, while it’s certainly got a dynamic nature to it, with different textures to keep it interesting. If the pre-facelift model is to be believed though, the materials inside aren’t the best.

It is redeemed by its space, though. There’s plenty of adjustment in the driver’s seat and steering wheel, so you won’t struggle to get comfy there, while passengers in the back get a good amount of head and legroom for a car of the i20’s size.

Boot space is reasonable too, coming in at 352 litres — that’s a single litre over the Volkswagen Polo, but is a few litres down on the Skoda Fabia.

There's loads of stuff to help you avoid a crash, and loads of stuff to make every trip feel quite luxurious

Mat Watson
Mat Watson
carwow expert

There’s one engine for the Hyundai i20 from 2023, and that’s a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol. This engine produces 100hp and is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

It is a good engine — punchy enough for motorway use and handy around town.

The Hyundai i20 does tick all the basics for pottering around town, which is probably why you’d look at this kind of car. Testing the pre-facelift model, we found that the steering is light, the turning circle is impressive and it’s super easy to park. A light clutch makes stop-start traffic effortless plus a seamless mild-hybrid system helps cut emissions and boost economy without you ever really noticing it — though firm-set suspension means you’re going to feel bumps a bit more than you might like.

It’s fine on a motorway as well. It’s nothing special and the Volkswagen Polo is comfier for longer journeys, but the Hyundai i20 offers enough power for overtaking easily. It gets noisy though, with wind, tyre and road noise all filtering into the cabin rather noticeably.

Where the Hyundai i20 might surprise you most is on twisty roads. The firm suspension results in little lean and a lot of grip – though the steering doesn’t feel the most engaging. It’s fun, but not quite so much as the Ford Fiesta.

That quiet kid-turned-Indie rocker will still be the smart, sensible mind at heart and that’s the same with the Hyundai i20. It’s practical, good to drive and ticks all the basics of town driving — but the visual transformation is maybe just a bit too much.

To find out how much you can save on a Hyundai i20 when buying through carwow, take a look at our latest new Hyundai i20 deals, while you can also check out used i20 deals. There are used Hyundai deals on carwow as well, while you can sell your car and get the best price from our trusted dealers.

How much is the Hyundai i20?

The Hyundai i20 has a RRP range of £20,770 to £25,320. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,878. Prices start at £19,188 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £216. The price of a used Hyundai i20 on Carwow starts at £11,880.

Our most popular versions of the Hyundai i20 are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.0T GDi Advance 5dr £19,188 Compare offers

When you compare the prices of the Hyundai i20 to its most obvious alternatives, like the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia, it can seem a bit more expensive.

On paper, this is true, but you also have to dig a bit deeper. Adding an extended warranty to the Skoda or VW to match the Hyundai’s standard five-year, unlimited cover quickly brings up the price of the Fabia or Polo to a similar point.

For those paying with their own cash, the i20 rewards when you come to sell as it holds its value very well, so you get back a bigger slice of your original spend than you do with a Vauxhall Corsa.

Performance and drive comfort

Hyundai has covered all the bases with the i20, but it’s not quite as much fun as a Ford Fiesta or as quiet as a VW Polo

In town

There’s a lot to like about the Hyundai i20 when you’re driving around town. For starters, it has a tight turning circle, so you can weave past obstacles quickly or make a U-turn without having to make multiple stabs at it.

Every i20 comes with rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard, which is better than most others of this size and price. Small windows in the rear pillars help when backing into a space, while the front pillars don’t impede vision when pulling out of junctions.

The 100hp 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine has plenty of get up and go, and the standard six-speed manual gearbox has a really good feel to it. Or, you could go for the seven-speed double-clutch automatic, which is smooth and makes slow-moving traffic hassle-free.

In traffic, you’ll notice the mild hybrid system used in all i20s often switches the engine off as you coast to a halt to save fuel. The Hyundai can also pull away using battery power before the petrol motor cuts in imperceptibly.

Where the i20 is not so impressive is the comfort and how it deals with bumps. It just feels as if Hyundai has started with a sporty setting and forgotten to ease it off for anything that’s not a sporty N Line model. The outcome is you feel a few too many lumps and humps, and the i20 doesn’t fully settle into its stride like a Ford Fiesta.

On the motorway

The firm ride of the Hyundai i20 in town has an upside when you head on to the motorway as the car feels more than able to hold its own among trucks and vans.

The firmness at lower speeds eases away to let the i20 enjoy a controlled, composed ride. You also have lane keep assist and Forward Collision Avoidance, plus automatic emergency braking to ward off any potentially dangerous situations.

It’s not all comfort and joy, though, as there’s too much wind and road noise inside the i20’s cabin.

The 100hp 1.0-litre engine has just enough puff to cope with motorway driving, but you will need to drop down a gear or two to accelerate at a decent pace to join off the slip road or get up hills easily.

Choose the N Line with its 120hp motor and it has a bit more in reserve to feel more at ease on these faster roads.

On a twisty road

The Hyundai i20 is so close to being a lot of fun on back roads that it’s a bit annoying it doesn’t quite finish the job.

The problem lies in the steering, which just doesn’t feel very connected to the front wheels. It turns the car in just fine and the i20 holds its line perfectly well with lots of grip, but the driver just isn’t aware of much of what’s going on. Ford gets this spot on in the Fiesta, so it’s frustrating the i20 doesn’t measure up.

Still, the firm-ish suspension keeps body lean from ever being an issue, though you will hear changes in road surface quality all too often.

The N Line has slightly firmer settings to be a decent warm hatch that handles well, if you don’t want to go the whole hog with the i20 N hot hatch.

Space and practicality

One of the best cars of this size for passenger space and carrying ability, it’s just a pity the Hyundai i20 doesn’t have more flexible options in the load bay

Hyundai has made a cracking job of the i20’s driving position. You get a height adjustable seat in all models, and the steering wheel moves for both height and depth. It makes it super easy to find the right seat set-up no matter what size you are.

There are a couple of minor points to bear in mind, though. For starters, the i20 doesn’t come with any sort of lumbar adjustment, though the front seats do offer good support.

Also, the backrest is adjusted via a number of fixed settings, so it’s not quite as good at offering the perfect angle as, say, a Ford Fiesta with its rotary adjuster.

However, the controls are all ideally in line with the driver when you’re sat in the Hyundai, and there’s good all-round vision as the front pillars are not too thick.

Rear parking sensors and a reversing camera are fitted to all i20 trims, so it’s a doddle to park.

Big door bins take care of water bottles, and there are two cupholders in the console between the front seats. Here, you’ll also find a cubby with a lid that moonlights as an armrest, too.

There’s more storage in front of the gear lever, where Hyundai has fitted a 12-volt charger and USB port to work with your phone. In the Ultimate trim, this pad works as a wireless phone charger.

In the glovebox, there’s a bit of extra space for small items alongside the car’s owner’s manual.

Space in the back seats

The i20 offers more rear seat space than many other small hatchbacks. You get plenty of head, leg, knee and shoulder room.

For anyone sat in the middle of the rear bench, there’s still just about enough space for feet, but you will definitely be rubbing shoulders with the people on either side of you.

A trio of triple-point seat belts are fitted to the i20, and there are ISOFIX mounts in the two outer rear seats. It’s not as quick to access these secure mountings as in some others as you have to poke the kiddy seat’s lugs into the fabric of the seat to find the brackets.

With a child seat fitted, you might need to move the front seats forward a bit.

Door bins offer plenty of storage space, and there’s a map pocket on the passenger side. Hyundai also includes a small angled tray to stash a mobile phone in, with a USB conveniently placed just below for charging.

Boot space

With 352 litres of boot space with the rear seats up, the Hyundai i20 has a single litre more carrying capacity than a Volkswagen Polo. What that means in the real world is the i20 has a decently big boot for this type of car.

The floor can be adjusted to two different heights, and in its higher setting it just about sits flush with the load sill.

The rear seats split 60-40 and tip forward easily, but there’s none of the cleverness of the Honda Jazz in here. Instead, Hyundai simply offers a maximum boot capacity of 1,165 litres, so it’s good without being the best in the class.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The i20 is well made and well equipped, but not everyone will appreciate Hyundai’s styling or the scratchy plastics

There’s no doubt the Hyundai i20 will last for a long time and put up with all the usual trials of life, but why did they have to use so many hard, cheap-looking plastics in the cabin?

Everywhere you look and feel, Hyundai seems to have used a stock of scratchy plastic that makes the i20’s cabin appear less appealing than a Volkswagen Polo’s or Skoda Fabia’s.

Things are not improved by the big strakes that run across the dash. Not sure what the designer was thinking here, or the people who signed off on the look, but it doesn’t do anything for the overall ambience inside the i20.

Luckily, the person put in charge of the controls was a much more sensible individual. They came up with clear, easy to read digital dials for the main instruments and they’re standard on all trim levels. There’s also a small information cluster between the main dials that you can scroll through menus with to see various bits of data about your journey or the car’s well-being.

In the middle of the dash, there are quite a few buttons to work the heating and ventilation, but it’s not too bad to use once you’re used to it.

Much better is the infotainment system in the i20. With the Connect SE trim, you get an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen. It works easily with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and if you didn’t know any different you’d be very happy with its clear graphics and quick responses.

However, Hyundai has kept an ace up its sleeve with the 10.3-inch touchscreen used in the other three i20 trims. Its big, bright display is ideal to use while driving, and there are shortcut buttons to take you straight to the most used menus.

There’s even a rotary dial close to the driver’s left hand to change the stereo volume in an instant instead of the slightly small steering wheel buttons.

MPG, emissions and tax

The most efficient Hyundai i20 is the SE Connect model with the six-speed manual gearbox, which gives a combined economy of 55.4mpg. It also emits 116g/km of carbon dioxide. If you opt for the automatic gearbox, those numbers become 54.3mpg and 117g/km.

The Premium and Ultimate models use the same engine but their larger wheels mean 54.3mpg and 119g/km for the manual, or 53.3mpg and 122g/km for the auto.

The N Line with its own 120hp version of the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine delivers 53.3mpg with the manual or auto gearboxes. For emissions, it registers 118g/km for the six-speed manual transmission and 121g/km with the auto.

With the efficiency figures for the facelifted model yet to be announced, you can expect the latest i20 to perform similarly. 

Every i20 falls into the same road tax bracket, which is £190 for the first year, while company car tax is fairly low as well - just not as low as an electric vehicle.

Safety and security

There’s no shortage of safety kit as standard for the Hyundai i20. Every car comes with six airbags, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and Forward Collision Avoidance.

You also get eCall, Intelligent Speed Limit Warning, and a driver fatigue alert.

Go for the Premium trim and you also benefit from a blind spot warning, Forward Collision Avoidance for junctions, and Lane Follow Assist.

Reliability and problems

Hyundai is confident in its i20 to supply it with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty as standard from new. That exceeds most of the other cars in this class unless you pay extra for their extended warranties.

There has been one recall for this generation of Hyundai i20, which was for a possible fault with its eCall emergency response system not sending all of the car’s details. This should have been resolved now and it only concerned a small number of cars.

Buy or lease the Hyundai i20 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
Spring Sale
RRP £20,770 - £25,320 Avg. Carwow saving £1,878 off RRP
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