Hyundai i20 Used Car Buyers’ Guide

Hyundai i20: Know the car

Hyundai’s largest selling car in India needs no introduction. The Hyundai i20 when launched, created a new segment in India – that of premium hatchbacks. Into its 10th year of production in the country, the i20 has seen numerous updates and a complete generation change.

Hyundai i20: Car Summary

It is currently sold with two engine options along with an optional automatic with the petrol motor. Prices start at about Rs 5.5 lakh, ex-showroom which is 15% higher than the launch price in 2009. The Hyundai Elite i20, as it is called now, is also offered in a rugged or a pseudo-SUV flavour under the ‘i20 Active’ brand name.

Brief history of the Hyundai i20

The Hyundai i20 was initially launched with a 1.2-litre petrol motor in limited number of trims. However, within months, owing to poor response at that time, Hyundai quickly introduced lower priced variants. Soon a 1.4 diesel engine was also introduced. The car took a while to catch up in terms of sales as it was priced close to entry level sedans.

The second generation model named Hyundai Elite i20 was launched in 2014 and received a new design theme and all-new interiors. An year later, the i20 Active was rolled out. With minor design tweaks, body cladding and higher ground clearance, the Hyundai Elite i20 Active cross-hatchback was aimed at those looking at a rugged and adventurous vehicle in the same price bracket.

A minor facelift of the Elite i20 was launched at the Auto Expo in 2018 and the car currently manages to do around 9000-10000 units each month, making it the largest selling Hyundai model in India.

Hyundai i20: Typical new car buyer profile

Positioned as a premium hatchback it primarily targets young individuals in the age group of 24-30 years who beginning to settle down in life. A majority of the sales comes from bigger towns and it will be fair to say both first and second time car buyers will be looking at the i20.

The Active on the other hand is aimed towards adventure seekers who want a car that does multiple roles. Comfortable weekday commutes to work and exploring the unknown on weekends. Further, given the automatic option (in the Elite only), the car is also preferred by those who want a mix of features, brand value and easy of driving. The Hyundai Elite i20 is a also a good alternative to the entry level sedans as it does offer a lot of cabin space for five adults.

Hyundai i20: Typical used car buyer profile

A used Hyundai i20 is aimed at young first time car buyers who finally want an independent vehicle and do not want to rely on the car their parents own. Such a set of consumers are usually looking to buy a large hatchback but are on a budget. For example, a new entry level small car like the Alto would cost about Rs 4 lakh (on-road) and the same amount will be ample to get a 3-4 year old Hyundai i20. A larger car that belongs to a higher category is of importance to a lot of buyers, and it does elevate their social standing.

Alternatively, young buyers also opt for a used Hyundai i20 in order to modify it in terms of aesthetics. This includes alloy wheels, wider tyres, LED or HID lights, minor sticker work and so on. The i20, specially the Elite version, does look stunning if the modification carried out is tasteful.

Key positives of the Hyundai i20

A used Hyundai i20 offers many benefits: though a hatchback, it seat five adults comfortably. Higher variants that come more loaded with features are more affordable when buying used. Diesel variants are the most refined in segment and finally, you get pride of ownership with a Hyundai i20 as it is accepted as a premium htachback car.

Key negatives of the Hyundai i20

There aren’t too many negatives to the Hyundai i20. It is not as much fun to drive as a VW Polo or Maruti Suzuki Baleno. The steering is a bit vague—though some prefer its lightness—and clutch hardens easily. The ride too can be a little bumpy. And the petrol versions drink as much fuel as bigger sedans.

The ideal Hyundai i20 used car

Ideally, avoid used examples of the first generation Hyundai i20. The current model, called the Elite i20 was launched in 2014 and is the one to go for in the used car market. It looks better, has modern interiors and the higher trims come loaded with features.
The Hyundai Elite i20 is a fairly reliable car and owners have not reported of high maintenance even post a few years of ownership. Here are a few good examples of used Hyundai Elite i20s.

This four year-old top-end petrol trim (Asta O) can be had for under Rs 5 lac and has just 33,500km on the odometer.

The diesel model however doesn’t hold its value too strong. For example, a four year old diesel i20 in the mid-level Magna trim can be had for Rs 5 lac. This one has 38,000km on the odometer.

The overall depreciation factor of the i20 is average which means it does end up losing as much as 20% of its value in two years. A 2018 top end Asta petrol i20 retails for Rs 6.35 lakh which can further be brought down post negotiations.

Pros and Cons of older and newer Hyundai i20 Used Cars

Older and newer cars. People buy used cars that are almost new as well as quite old. So someone who considers a hatchback at 50k kms may decide to go for sedan at 75k kms. So we need to cover all common ages that can be found in the used car market for that specific car.

Given the popularity and sheer numbers of Hyundai i20s sells month-on-month, the used car market is flooded with ample options. The first generation model that sold from 2009 till 2014 have a lower resale value in the market. However, given modern day hatchbacks on sale, you may keep away from investing into a used first generation Hyundai i20.

A used Elite i20 is a good example and you can even pick an automatic variant. This is only sold with the petrol motor and makes city drives a breeze – this isn’t a low cost AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) set-up. The diesel Elite i20 should be picked if your monthly running is over 1600-1700km. It’s a great motor which also powers the Verna, Venue and the Creta making it a tried and tested unit.

The Hyundai i20 Active is hard to find in the used car market due to poor sales. However, if you do find one, negotiate hard to get the price down as demand for this model is far less.

Depending on your budget, you can pick from the various options above. The pre-2014 models can be had for as low as Rs 2 lac. Do note that Hyundai has never sold CNG or LPG kit equipped i20 ever. Hence if you do come across any, best is to stay away from them.

Hyundai i20 used car for enthusiasts

The i20 is primarily meant for young buyers in metro towns. This urban premium hatchback is an all-rounder that ends up satisfying a wide audience. It isn’t exciting to drive as such but does look rather good for the price. If want bling, a half-a-lac spend will get you alloy wheels, wider tyres, a nice body kit et al.

But if its driving thrills you are after, best ignore the i20 and search for a less used Polo GT TSI or even a Baleno RS!

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Hyundai i20 Used Car: Buying Advice

What to check before buying

The first generation Hyundai i20 was prone to suffer from steering rattles and even faced recalls worldwide for the steering assembly.

Old i20s also suffer from faulty or leaking seals around the windows and the doors and this can lead to water seeping in. Next, most cars that are run over 30,000-40,000 km also suffer from hard clutch – so do take a note of that. Newer models, that of the Elite i20, however, are largely problem-free.

Typical problems and maintenance issues for used Hyundai i20 explained

For the steering judder issue, potholes and sharp undulations easily get filtered into the steering assembly and can be felt by the driver. So watch out for this. In the same context, Hyundai has also issued numerous recalls worldwide for the power steering assembly for this particular or pre-2014 model. There were cases wherein the steering lost complete power or assistance and became very hard. So when you go for a test drive of a used Hyundai i20, make sure you execute multiple u-turns to check the steering.

Faulty seals: Open all the doors including the boot hatch, pull down the seals and find signs of moisture or corrosion

Hard clutch: Take the car for a spin in traffic so that you end up using the clutch a lot. If its too hard, you might be in for out of pocket expenses.

Expected service costs, spares and repair costs for used Hyundai i20 explained

1. Though steering judders can be rectified in the first gen Hyundai i20 easily, they end up coming back with time. But thankfully, the rectification bill for the same won’t be too high. However, if the steering assembly needs a change, that will be a huge dent, at over Rs 30,000.

2. Seals aren’t too expensive to change but should be done from an authorised workshop only. Also make sure the date of manufacturing on the package isn’t too old as rubber tends to become hard with time

3. A full clutch assembly replacement is expensive for the i20. However, after market OE spares are easily available for the i20 and will be a cheaper option than visiting an authorized workshop.

4. Expected real-world mileage. (also, who should worry about mileage, who shouldn’t) What should people buy if they want mileage. Example: Superb Diesel instead of petrol for those worried about mileage.

i20 Used Car: Expected Real World mileage

The Hyundai i20 is available in engine options from the beginning. The 1.2-litre petrol isn’t too efficient yet delivers about 10-12 kmpl easily in city traffic with the air-con running. The same increases to 16-18 kmpl out on highways for cruising speeds of 90-100 km/h.

The diesel Hyundai i20 fares much better. The latest versions (Elite i20) are better than the older models and easily deliver 16-18 kmpl in city usage. The 6th gear does come handy out on the open roads where you can expect over 22 kmpl if cruising speeds are around 90-95 km/h.

Used Hyundai i20: Maintenance and service tips

If you are purchasing a relatively new Hyundai i20, check if warranty is still valid. In that case, continue to take the car to an authorized workshop for routine servicing. If the car is out of warranty, thanks to OE spares, most organised workshops not have i20 parts in their inventory – just make sure the parts aren’t too old and have a fresh manufacturing date on the pocket.

Hyundai keeps coming up with complimentary service camps and these are a good platform for used i20 buyers to get their cars checked in and out.

Used Hyundai i20: What to avoid

The newer batch of Hyundai i20s is relatively trouble free. That said, stay away from examples that are fitted with after market CNG or LPG kits. Likewise, Hyundai i20 cars with modifications need to be double-checked and if you get the slightest hint of abuse, ignore it and move on.

The ideal used Hyundai i20: What you should look for

We say you should ignore the older generation i20 and opt for the Elite model that went on sale from 2014 onwards. These look better, have (more) modern interiors and feature list is impressive. Engine-wise, there isn’t much to pick between the two generations though the latter offers slightly better fuel economy.

Our recommendations

In our opinion, opt for a 2 year old Elite i20 that came with a higher safety kit as standard. The recent versions look better, offer more features and might be available with factory warranty still in place.

For such an option, post negotiations, be ready to pay about around Rs 5 lakh for a petrol and just under Rs 6 lakh for a diesel model. If you are lucky, get yourself the Active version – market demand is poor and hence you won’t be paying a lot extra for this one.

Hyundai i20 Used Car: Alternatives You May Like

The i20’s chief rival is the Maruti Baleno. However, this offering has a higher resale value in the market. That said, it’s easier to find an automatic variant Baleno than an auto i20. Likewise, the RS variant will keep enthusiast happier in terms of performance. Also see our Maruti Suzuki Swift Used Car Buyers’ Guide

The Honda Jazz also rubs shoulders with the i20 and suffers from poor depreciation. This means value wise, a used Jazz will be a better deal than a used i20. Futher, the Jazz also better cabin space. However, the diesel version suffers from poor NVH or noise, vibration, harshness levels.

For the same price as a used hyundai i20, you may also look at a used entry level or sub-4 meters compact sedan. The likes of the Tata Tigor and Hyundai Xcent don’t really hold their value too well in the market which means its possible to pick a 2-3 year used option for less price than what you would pay for a used i20.

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