Ford EcoSport vs Hyundai i20: Solving a dilemma

A comparison between a Ford EcoSport and a Hyundai i20? No, it’s not the heat having got to us, this actually stems from a serious dilemma some of our Cartoq community members have been having. It does make sense to compare these two, since the Hyundai i20 is attractive for the sheer number of features it offers, while the EcoSport has attractive styling and some practical elements to it.

Since the Ford EcoSport is so attractively priced, with only Rs. 1 lakh of a difference between comparable variants of the Ford EcoSport with the Hyundai i20, buyers are tempted to stretch the budget by a little (which would mean about Rs. 2000 more on your EMI). Is it worth the stretch? We sort it out for you. Also read: Ford EcoSport vs MUVs, SUVs, sedans and hatches

Why the Ford EcoSport may make sense

The whole reason why buyers are looking at the Ford EcoSport over the Hyundai i20 is the attractive “SUV” styling, although dimensionally, the Ford EcoSport is really no bigger than the Hyundai i20 overall (see specs).  However, it does have some distinct advantages. The key one being ground clearance!  Given some mammoth speedbreakers in cities, the EcoSport’s 200 mm ground clearance and 550 mm of water wading capacity definitely help.

Among the petrol engine variants, the Ford EcoSport has a distinct power advantage, both with the 1.5 litre petrol and with the 1-litre EcoBoost engine. So if you are an enthusiast, you should definitely take a look at the Ford EcoSport – it has a slight advantage (even when you consider power to weight ratio).

Handling and driving dynamics is the third advantage the Ford EcoSport has over the Hyundai i20 – but only just. With the Hyundai i20 being a closer to the ground hatchback, there isn’t as much sideways movement (body roll) as you would find in the Ford EcoSport, but otherwise, the EcoSport does feel much better to drive. The EcoSport can also swallow a bit more luggage than the Hyundai i20. Watch: Ford EcoSport VIDEO review

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Why the Hyundai i20 makes sense

If you really wanted maximum gizmos for your buck, the Hyundai i20 does please. The top-end Hyundai i20 Asta comes with daytime running lamps, power folding mirrors and a rear-view camera, some features that the Ford EcoSport does not have. All other features are comparable. Hyundai also throws in an optional audio-visual navigation system in the car.

The diesel Hyundai i20 also has a bit of an advantage when it comes to performance – it has a six-speed gearbox which helps it cruise much better at higher speeds and there is a power-to-weight advantage as well, since the Hyundai i20 is lighter than the Ford EcoSport.

The i20 also has marginally more room for five passengers compared to the Ford EcoSport, where five would be a bit of a squeeze.

Of course, another benefit is the price, as the Hyundai i20 would cost less, and you get a few more features. Also read: Hyundai i20 road test and review: Feature rich hatch

Which one to pick?

It is a call you really have to think about. The Ford EcoSport would give you a few distinct advantages in terms of drivability and rough road use. But the Hyundai i20 would pamper you with its creature comforts. So if it’s a car that’s only going to be city bound mainly, taking you to work every day on paved roads, the Hyundai i20 would be a sensible choice. But if you want to score a bit more on the social scale, the Ford EcoSport’s a vehicle that can add that glamour quotient. Also read: Ford EcoSport vs Maruti Ertiga – Win some, lose some