New Hyundai i20 – first details and pictures

What is it?

This is Hyundai’s latest supermini, which aims to build on the success of their previous foray into this segment.

Hyundai hope that class-leading practicality, value and improved quality can further improve the i20′s market share which has shown a steady increase year-on-year since the first model’s release. The big question is, will it be good enough to compete with the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo?

What’s new?

Pretty much everything, really. The i20 is based on a new platform, and has grown slightly in length and width over the old model. A 45mm increase in wheelbase aims to improve interior space, while a 16mm drop in height aims to give the car a more sporty profile. The new car was designed at Hyundai’s European design centre in Germany, and aims not only bring the model’s looks more closely in line with the rest of the range, but also to give the car a more refined style that was slightly lacking in the old i20.

The interior has received quite an overhaul too. Interior design and materials have been improved, while Hyundai claims the longer wheelbase gives genuine space for five adults. A generous boot volume of 326 litres should make this one of the most practical cars in the segment.

What engines are available?

At launch, there will be five engine options available. There are two variants of the 1.25-litre petrol, producing either 74 or 83hp, and a 1.4-litre offering 99hp. Meanwhile, two diesels are available: a 1.1-litre with 74hp and a 1.4 with 89hp. Very low CO2 emissions mean that both of the diesels are free to tax. Unfortunately, thanks to the new car tax laws, you can no longer show off the whiff of smugness free tax entitles you to at the Post Office…

Later in 2015, Hyundai will introduce a new engine to the range. The 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol will produce 118hp, and promises to be the most sprightly model in the range. It also promises to be one of the most efficient, too. Hyundai claims that thanks to various pieces of efficiency-improving tech, the new unit will comply with strict Euro emissions standards not due to come into effect until 2017.

Anything else?

Upgrades to the five and six-speed transmissions should make the gear change feel a little smoother and snappier than before, while the suspension tweaks have been considered with European roads in mind, so a slightly sweeter ride/handling compromise can be expected.

When can I have one?

Fairly soon! The i20 will go on sale in November. Prices are yet to be announced, but Hyundai’s usual focus on value for money should make it a tempting proposition.

In a line…

Is this finally the car that makes Hyundai a serious contender in the supermini class?

comments powered by Disqus