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Hyundai i20

When it finally gets to Australia, the Hyundai i20 is sure to prove a very popular city car.

Model Update

Are you crazy about small, fuel efficient cars? If you love the benefits that a small car offers, then do make sure you check out the 2010 Hyundai i20. The Hyundai i20 looks good, is fun to drive and is light on the fuel. One of the best bits about owning the lovely looking Hyundai i20 is that it is a complete doddle to park in tight city streets.

What’s on offer inside? Slip inside the very modern i20 interior, and you will be quick to notice the detailing in the cabin is first rate. The well organised dash, silver trimming with quality plastics, fully adjustable cloth seats that offer superior support and comfort, and leading technologies which make travelling from A to B a little more exciting give the 2010 Hyundai i20 plenty to boast about.

The i20 Elite and Premium are fitted with steering wheel audio controls. All models provide USB input and iPod connectivity to make listening to your old musical classics just so simple. The glove box is linked to the air conditioning system – so you can keep drinks and food snacks cool all year round. Air conditioning is standard across all variants of i20, while the i20 Premium features a fully automatic climate control system. Elite and Premium variants offer an elasticised cargo net that can be mounted flat, or hammock-style.

Five star safety, and a 1.4 litre or 1.6 litre petrol engine that emits ultra low CO2 emissions and you have yourself a little car with lots of influence. The Hyundai i20 has been judged ECOcar Magazine’s “ECOcar of the Year 2010”.

It’s time to challenge the thinking that bigger always equals better, and to downsize. Let’s face it: larger vehicles can be a bit harder to squeeze into a smaller garage, while smaller hatches (like the Hyundai i20) are easier to fit into those little parking spaces and driveways. And – the real beauty of smaller cars – little city hatches tend to be cheaper to fill up and to run.

However, several questions remain to be answered when it comes to the Hyundai i20 (or any other small car). Is the Hyundai i20 comfortable? Is it safe? Does it look good? Does it handle well? Can you fit all the family into it, plus the shopping and schoolbags? Because if the Hyundai i20 doesn’t pass these basic practicality tests, you may as well use a skateboard or a bike to get around in (OK, those who are really serious about economy and the environment will probably use muscle-powered wheels for shorter trips, but sometimes, only a car will do. Ever tried to carry a 10 kg sack of potatoes, three shopping bags full of groceries and a tray of eggs while riding a bike?)

To answer the questions about the Hyundai i20 briefly: yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

Let’s take comfort, for a start. The Hyundai i20 can seat the average family (2 adults, 2 kids) comfortably, and the driver’s seat is height-adjustable, as is the steering column. The active front head restraints front and rear aren’t just there in case of accidents – they also cushion the head during a long journey, which is a must for comfort. In the “Comfort” package, the cloth trim of the interior is highlighted by coloured inserts (red or blue) that look very striking, while the “Style” package has leather all over the place – although we’ll have to wait a bit longer than we thought before we see exactly what we’ll get for the Australian Hyundai i20, which has had its debut over here postponed until 2010. The glove compartment has a cooling function – no more melted chocolate – and the air conditioning combines with the tinted windows to keep everything at a comfortable temperature. All the controls are placed within easy arm’s reach of the driver and, to a lesser extent, the front passenger. The rear passengers will only be able to reach the electric windows and the capacious storage compartments.

While bells and whistles aren’t strictly comfort, they certainly make the drive around town easier and more enjoyable. So what’s the Hyundai i20 got? The basic model (at least in the UK), has a pretty snappy sound system featuring 4 speakers in the base model (known as the classic) and 6 speakers in the more up-market variants. The actual system is an MP3 compatible radio/CD system with an auxiliary jack (the more upmarket variants add in a USB port and steering wheel mounted controls).

Next comes the safety: an absolute must with smaller cars like the Hyundai i20. The Hyundai i20 is fitted out with not only the active head restraints already mentioned, but also dual front airbags as well as front side and curtain airbags. Active safety features in the Hyundai i20 are the ESP, which works in tandem with the braking system that combines EBD and ABS. Traction control not only adds to the safety of the Hyundai i20 but also enhances the handling.

Does the Hyundai i20 look good? In both the 3-door and the 5-door variants, the little hatchback looks great. The headlights are big and give the Hyundai i20real character and personality, while the lines on the bonnet and the sides are attractive. The Hyundai i20 is styled in a way that looks complete and lacks a lot of the “chopped off” look of some supermini hatchbacks – it doesn’t look as though the Hyundai designers have taken one of the sedan models and chopped the back off.

The handling in the Hyundai i20 is crisp and responsive, and is aided by the active safety features already mentioned. But handling’s nothing without an engine. Four engine options are available in the Hyundai i20, at least overseas: the 1.2 petrol, the 1.4 litre petrol and two 1.4 litre diesel options (the 75 ps diesel and the zestier 90ps diesel). A five-speed manual transmission is the most common option, but the 1.4 litre petrol engine can also be harnessed to a 4-speed auto transmission. The little 1.4 diesel engines are surprisingly grunty for their size, managing to wring out 220 Nm of torque at 1750–2350 rpm (that’s the 1.4 CRDi 75ps; the 90ps extends the peak torque curve to 2750 rpm).

And as for space, the Hyundai i20 has 295 litres of space available, and the rear seats fold flat (that’s a 40/60 split fold) if you need to fit more stuff in. Admittedly, the Hyundai i20 probably isn’t the best choice of vehicle if you have three teenagers and your family tends towards six-foot tall bodybuilders, but most people will find that they have ample room for heads, elbows and knees.

It’s a pity in many ways that Australians will have to wait longer than expected to get behind the wheel of a Hyundai i20. But I’m sure that it will be well worth the wait!

The current model series includes the:

  • Hyundai i20

For any more information on the Hyundai i20, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Hyundai dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!

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