On March 28th, Hyundai launched the i-Gen i20 at a starting price of Rs. 4.73 lakh. The new i20 gets a refreshed front and rear design. The interiors of the new i20 get only minor changes but gets new features such as smart key with push button start and rear parking camera.
Maruti had launched the face lifted Swift in August 2011 which is i20’s main competitor. The new Swift had refreshed headlamps and taillamps, redesigned front and rear bumpers. The interiors too had a makeover with a new dashboard layout, refreshed instrument cluster. Though there were no major changes in the engine specifications of the old and new Swift and only the mileage was slightly improved. Read more about the New Hyundai i20 here.
The Swift rules the premium hatchback segment while the i20 maintains the second spot with regard to sales. Here, we will see if the new i20 with its fresh looks and new features has what it takes to dethrone the Swift and take on the No.1 spot.
Performance and handling
First, we compare the Swift petrol with the new i20 petrol. The new i20 gets the 1.2-litre Kappa2 engine that powers the new i10. This engine puts out 4 bhp more power than the 1.2-litre Kappa engine of the old i20. Hence, the total power output of new i20 petrol engine is 84 bhp which is close to the power output of the Swift’s 1.2-litre K-series engine that puts out 86 bhp of power. However, we expect the Swift to be slightly quicker than the new i20.
Coming to the diesel variants, the new i20 is powered by the same 1.4-litre CRDi (common rail direct injection) motor that puts out 88 bhp of power. When compared to the Swift, the i20 has an advantage because it has more power and torque than the Swift’s 1.3-litre DDiS motor that puts out 74 bhp of power. Hence, expect the new i20 diesel to perform better than the Swift.
When it comes to handling, the new Swift retains the same sporty aspects of the old Swift. The new i20 is expected to come with a more precise steering especially when driving at high speeds. But till we test drive the new i20, we will refrain from passing a judgment about handling. See our Maruti Suzuki Swift Video Review here.
Overall, the petrol Swift has an edge over the new i20 petrol while in the case of diesel the new i20 may have a slight edge over the Swift.
Space and comfort
The new Swift has improved interior space, but still has less space when compared to its chief rival, the new i20. The Swift gets about 28 mm more legroom and 20 mm more knee room, but it’s still not good enough to beat the Hyundai i20.
The Hyundai i20 is longer and has more cabin space and boot space. The rear floor is flat, making it comfortable for three passengers in the rear. The same can’t be said about the Swift though.
With regard to boot space too, the Swift’s 210 litres boot is much smaller than the 295 litre boot offered in the new i20. The new i20 also offers split rear seats which can further extend the boot space. The Hyundai i20 is a more spacious and comfortable car than the Swift.
The new i20 gets a fluidic front, clamshell bonnet and hexagonal lower air dam. The new i20 has new alloy wheels, chrome door handles. The rear too gets a refreshed tail lamp cluster and bumper integrated reflectors. The interiors of the new i20 are a lot more refreshing with the dual tone (grey-beige) treatment.
On the other hand, the Swift features large headlamps, sporty front bumpers, a side swept tail lamp cluster with angular red lights and a new boot door. The interiors of the Swift look dull due to the extensive use of dark grey both on the dashboard and upholstery. Though looks are subjective, we feel that the new i20 with its soft looking front face will appeal to more buyers than the Swift.
With regard to base variants, the Swift and i20 comes with minimal equipments such as AC and electric power steering but lack safety features such as airbags and a music system. When it comes to top-end variants, Hyundai has loaded the i20 with six airbags, sunroof, auto-folding and heated mirrors, push button start, rear camera, auto headlight and rain sensing wipers. These features are not offered on the Swift top-end as it comes only with two airbags and climate control. Hyundai offers the new i20 in 12 variants giving more options to the buyers. Also, the new i20 has an immense advantage over the Swift when it comes to features and gizmos.
Price, mileage and overall VFM
The Hyundai i20 is priced at a premium to the Swift. The base petrol variant of Swift is nearly Rs. 29,000 cheaper than the base petrol variant of i20. The top-end variant of Swift is Rs. 97,000 cheaper than the i20 top-end petrol variant.
Similarly, the base diesel variant of the Swift is Rs. 54,000 cheaper than the i20 base diesel variant. The top-end variant of Swift is Rs. 68,000 cheaper than the i20 top-end diesel variant.
With regard to mileage the Swift has an edge over the i20, particularly the diesel engine variants. The Swift diesel has a claimed mileage of 23.4 kmpl while the new i20 diesel has a claimed mileage of 21.9 kmpl only. The claimed mileage of the i20 petrol is 18.5 kmpl which is close to the claimed mileage of Swift petrol (18.6 kmpl). So there is clear no winner here.
Overall, the Swift has an edge over the new i20 in terms of price and mileage particularly in the diesel version. Hence, it is a better value-for-money proposition than the new i20.
Pros and Cons
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The Hyundai i20 and the Maruti Suzuki Swift are strong rivals, with both cars out to please two different types of buyers. If you want a premium hatchback with sporty handling and performance as well as good fuel economy, go for the Swift. If you want a premium hatchback that is feature-loaded, spacious and comfortable with decent performance, go for the new i20.