Hyundai i20 – New Benchmark for Premium Hatchbacks

The all-new Hyundai i20 elevates to segment-topping levels with its striking Euro styling, premium and tech-laden cabin and rewarding dynamics.

Hyundai i20 – New Benchmark for Premium Hatchbacks
Hyundai i20


The third generation Hyundai i20 was one of the major launches of 2020. With its European-inspired styling, premium interior, extensive features and new BS6 petrol/diesel engines, the new i20 aims to become the benchmark for premium hatchbacks in India. It takes on the Maruti Baleno, Tata Altroz and Volkswagen Polo primarily.

Build Quality

The new i20 is underpinned by Hyundai’s K2 platform which has improved stiffness by 10% over the previous model. Usage of high tensile steel has also increased resulting in a stronger and safer shell. Hyundai has maintained tight control over panel gaps with the new i20 showing consistency. Paint quality is also impressive with a smooth uniform finish. Interiors sport better fit and finish with reduced plastic clatter.

Exterior Design

The European-spec styling of the new i20 is a major departure from the previous generation model. The front is distinguished by the parametric jewel pattern grille flanked by LED headlamps. With its long hood, sloping roof and sharp lines, the side profile exudes a sporty character. Other highlights include Z-shaped LED DRLs, 16-inch diamond-cut alloys, and LED tail lamps. The rear has a distinctive C-pillar design. Overall, the new i20 is a stunning looker in its segment.

Interior Design and Space

The cabin sports an all-black theme with tasteful blue accents on the air vents and door pads. The free-standing 10.25-inch touchscreen is a segment-first feature adding to the premium appeal. The flat-bottom wheel, metal pedals and leatherette seats further add to the sporty ambience. Space at the rear is generous with adequate kneeroom and headroom for tall occupants. The 311 liter boot can easily hold multiple bags. Overall, the interior is a major leap over the predecessor.

Features and Practicality

Top-spec Asta variants get a sunroof, air purifier, wireless charger, ambient lighting, powered driver’s seat, tyre pressure monitoring and multiple drive and traction modes making it high on tech. Hyundai’s BlueLink connected features include remote operations and SOS calling. Storage spaces are well thought-out with slots for phones/tablets and bottled drinks. Cabin comfort is excellent though visibility is compromised by the small rear windshield.

Engine and Performance

Petrol engine options are a 1.2L NA petrol making 82 bhp and 114 Nm of torque. You get manual and automatic gearbox choices. On the road, it delivers smooth, tractable performance. Gearboxes are slick shifting although the iVT automatics have a slight lag.

Ride and Handling

The new K2 platform has improved driving dynamics significantly. Ride quality shows good compliance absorbing bumps silently even at higher speeds. Body control is also impressive with minimal roll around corners. The EPAS system weights up adequately at speed but lacks feedback. High speed stability is also notches above the previous i20. Braking performance from discs at front and rear is strong and progressive.

Price and Verdict

Hyundai has priced the new i20 between Rs. 6.99-11.16 lakh, ex-showroom which is on par with other premium hatches. For the money, the new i20 offers an upmarket European design and creature comforts hard to find in its segment. It sets new benchmarks for premium hatches with its styling, packaging and dynamics. Buyers looking for a stylish and feature-loaded Euro-style hatchback can’t go wrong with the all-new Hyundai i20.