5 / 10

Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review

Hyundai i20 Review

It’s not perfect but Hyundai’s i20 will sell like hot cakes

What’s small, cute, cool, and is built in Chennai, India? Answer: The Hyundai i20.

Korean automotive juggernaut Hyundai, have just launched their third new car in Australia this year and like its big brother the Hyundai i30, they almost certainly have another winner on their hands.

Sales of the little hatch have gone gangbusters in Europe (over 209,000 produced as of June 2010), where it was launched in February 2008. So much so, they’ve had to open another factory in Izmet, Turkey, just to handle the demand for left hand drive five-door versions of the car.

That said Australia is a tough market and the light car segment, which the Hyundai i20 will compete in, has become the most competitive segment in the country with no less than 17 brands and way too many models and variants to list here.

There are some real winners in this bunch, volume mid-range sellers like the Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift, Honda Jazz, Mazda 2, have all proven to be the popular choice of Aussie buyers looking for big car features in a small and affordable package.

The premium end of the segment is occupied by the likes of Volkswagen’s Polo and Ford’s stylish Fiesta model, and it’s these two cars as well as those mentioned above, that the i20 was benchmarked against.

Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review

It might be built in India (nothing wrong with that) but the i20 was conceived and styled in Hyundai’s design studio in Russellsheim, Germany.

While it preceded the company’s latest ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design philosophy, which gave us the ix35 compact SUV and i45 sedan, i20 is nonetheless decidedly Euro in its look, with strong character lines through the bonnet and down the side of the car, providing a dollop of contemporary ‘cool’.

The front grille and black air dam treatment also looks considerably fresher than the i30 styling, which is of course understandable, given its 2007 release.

There are three model specs on offer; Active, Elite and Premium, and all are packed to rafters with features.

Standard kit includes and air-conditioned glove box (cooling drinks or chocolates), keyless remote entry with central locking and alarm, Electric Folding side mirrors and windows, USB and full iPod compatibility (you just need to buy the special lead) and full size spare wheel.

There’s even speed sensing automatic door locking which Hyundai calls HALO (Hyundai Active Locking Operation) and the moment you remove the key fob from the ignition barrel, the doors automatically unlock. Not bad for a car with a recommended retail price of $14,990.

When it comes to safety, it’s the same story. Don’t think for one minute that because you’re buying a small car that safety has taken a back seat. Not as far as Hyundai is concerned, at least.

Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review

Standard specs include ABS brakes and EBD, ESC Stability Control with TCS (Traction Control System) across the range with Driver and Front passenger airbags on the entry level Active variant, while the Elite and Premium come fitted with additional Front side (thorax) and curtain airbags.

Hyundai were keen to have all six airbags as standard spec on the entire i20 model line-up, but a ‘factory constraint’ had made the job impossible to achieve by the launch date. However, ‘Active’ spec cars rolling off the ship from September will be fitted with all six albeit at a slightly higher price.

The interior trim and switchgear is nicely styled and well positioned.  The part leather seats in the ‘Premium’ car are particularly well sculptured and complete with a driver’s side leather armrest. I can’t say the same about the fabric pews in entry level ‘Active’ variant, which don’t hold you quite so snugly.

While there is plenty to sing and dance about with the i20, I’m not a fan of the hard plastics that make up the dashboard and much of the door trim. Blame that on the cost of slush molding as opposed to the less expensive injection molding.

Features and looks might do it for many buyers, but how does the i20 perform as a driver’s car?

I posed that same question to Hyundai’s senior manager product planning, Roland Rivero, who I know to be a bit of a petrol head, and he explained to me, that the company went to great efforts to ensure that the car’s suspension was tuned specifically for Australian roads.

Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review

There are two powertrains on offer, a 1.4-litre petrol engine and a 1.6-litre petrol engine. The 1.4-litre powers all ‘Active’ spec cars and with just 73.5 kW and 136Nm of torque, you’re not about to get anywhere in a hurry. That’s irrespective of  whether you choose the four-speed auto or five-speed manual gearbox.

That said initial acceleration from a standing start is fine, but with so little mid-range torque to call upon (135Nm @ 4200rmp) you really need to stomp on the accelerator pedal and leave it there, if you wan to achieve even a moderate pace.

The upside to this rather lacklustre powertrain is its relatively low fuel consumption, just 6.0-litres/100km for the manual transmission, while the automatic sips slightly more, at 6.4-litres (combined).

The four-speed auto has well placed ratios and does the best it can, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want another gear for a more efficient use of the available power. The five-speed unit is certainly the better drive, but not by any great margin. You can take the revs up a little higher in the lower gears, and that at least gets things moving a tad more urgently.

Step up into an Elite or Premium i20 and engine displacement increases to 1.6-litres. Things are also decidedly better in the performance stakes, with power and torque rising to 91.1 kW and 156Nm respectively. The result is stronger in-gear acceleration and less need for ‘pedal to the metal’ style driving and the resulting harsh engine note, when doing so.

Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review

The transmissions don’t change though, still the same five-speed manual and four-speed auto boxes as in the lower spec ‘Active’ car, but you’re grateful for the extra grunt.

Hyundai Automotive Group do in fact build an i20 CRDi powered by a 1.4-litre diesel, producing 67kW and 224Nm of torque and I can’t help but think that it would be a great addition to the model range.

Where the i20 really shines is in the handling department. You can put the car into a corner at speed, and there’s absolutely no body roll to speak of. The car corners flat and is ‘hot hatch’ agile through the tight bendy sections.

It helps when the steering is accurate and there’s plenty of weight in the steering wheel from dead-centre.  The i20 is one of the best examples of how it should all work and without looking at the specifications, I would have sworn it was an electro-hydraulic steering set up, so natural was the level of power assistance. I was wrong, it’s a fully electric power steering system and it works a treat.

As far as ride quality goes, I was hoping for a little more compliance in the suspension, as it’s quite firm, but never harsh.

On the other hand, the i30 has one of the best small car suspension set-ups in its class and frankly, I was expecting more of the same in i20. At 1147 kilograms, it’s a much lighter car than its larger sibling, but there’s no doubt that the i20’s exceptional handling has meant a degree of compromise in overall ride comfort.

Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review
Hyundai i20 Review

With good looks, excellent handling and class leading levels of kit, the i20 will have no trouble finding plenty of willing buyers.

New i20 range – Manufacturer’s List Price:

  • i20 Active 1.4-litre petrol manual 3-door                   $14,990
  • i20 Active 1.4-litre petrol automatic 3-door               $16,990
  • i20 Active 1.4-litre petrol manual 5-door                   $15,990
  • i20 Active 1.4-litre petrol automatic 3-door              $17,990
  • i20 Elite 1.6-litre petrol manual 5-door                      $18,490
  • i20 Elite 1.6-litre petrol automatic 5-door                  $20,490
  • i20 Premium 1.6-litre petrol manual 5-door              $21,490
  • i20 Premium 1.6-litre petrol automatic 5-door         $23,490
  • Optional metallic/mica paint                                        $320.00

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Hyundai i20 Review
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  • TomJ

    This is actually a surprisingly bland offering from Hyundai, The Honda Jazz is actually quite stylish, the Ford Fiesta and Mazda 2 very much so.

    Is this going to be the new Getz replacement?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Anthony Crawford

      No, the i20 will sit under the i30 and above the yet to be released i10, which will replace the Getz.

      • Jazrod

        My Dad works for PaulWakeling Motors and the i20 is infact the Getz replacement. The i10 is a significantly ‘lesser’ offering and is going to be a competitor for the likes of the Suzuki Alto. It is going to be Hyundai’s entry level vehicle with a sub $15k price-tag.

        • andrew

          Well I’m very glad I bought my Getz then! Not only do I not trust Indian manufacturing, I actually prefer the simple and clean looks and especially the interior of Getz. And given the competition it faces, I don’t think this car will sell all that well in our market.

        • CarrRAHHH!

          The gets is 12990 drive away its already sub par 15K.

          The i20 is running along side the getz. notice the drive away prices between getz & i20 are much different and size is alot different

        • http://www.caradvice.com.au Anthony Crawford

          That’s not correct at all. The Getz will soon be phased out and replaced by the i10. That’s according to Hyundai’s planning department.

          • Jabba the Hut

            Jazrod your dad has been misinformed and as a consequence so have you. This car is NOT the replacement for the Getz. That car won’t arrive until early next year with the i10 badge . It is expected to land for a little more money than the Getz.

            I read the statement by the CEO of Hyundai Australia and he stated the i10 MAY be introduced to replace the getz early next year. Since that statement he has since come out and said it WILL be introduced when the Getz seizes production.

        • sma

          now that you’ve mentioned where your dad works, he may loose his job if this was a confidential info.

    • Andronicus

      Yes I agree. Something more along the lines of where they are headed stylistically with the ix35 and i45 would have been a more desirable option.
      It will fit nicely in to the market and sell but it may not be the best car in its class.

      I myself would prefer a Fiesta which astounded and really did surprise me when I had one a few months back for a couple of days or the new Polo.

    • jojo

      Nice review and pics…Styling from side panel creases and rear tailight curvature and shape is straight off a Yancia Ypsilon which is now 5 years old.

  • Micky

    Don’t let the name fool you – the i20 is not from the “NEW” generation of Hyundais (like the ix35 and i45). The mechanicals are all old school (4 speed auto for example) and the styling is not the new “fluidic sculpture”. I’m not saying it’s a bad car, it’s just that Hyundai Australia needed this car 2 years ago…

  • Jabba the Hut

    It may not have the “fluidic design” but this car will sell and sell well. The 5 year warranty is going to be the clincher for many. I quite like the styling and the interior is at least well presented. It is well placed against Toyota’s Yaris.

  • Bezza

    Constraint at the factory for fitting extra airbags!!! Hmm, would that constraint have been to launch the car at a price-point of $14,990 and establish that in the minds of buyers? Then sneak it back up later with airbags that no one will feel happy to argue about because it’s about the emotive issue of safety.

    If I’m right I’d call that a marketing FAIL.

    Otherwise seems Ok but rather Corolla-ish and bland in every direction except perhaps road manners.


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000019885375 Taki Yamauchi

      Talking about marketing fail…
      Well, not bad as iSnack 2.0 !!!

      • Bezza

        iSnack 2.0 was truly dumb but look at the exposure it got for the company (even now). The principle here is set the benchmark and ppl always remember the first impression they get. And if that is that i20 is $14,990 then that is what they will tend to see it as till their dying day.

        Will work even tho it is manipulative. I guess it is up to customers to decide.


  • ox

    I rekon this is going to be a hit, but personaly I prefer the 2 or fiesta, but the polo would be the ultimate small car.

    • matt

      yeah it shoudl sell fine, it does not look right though hey, looks like a weird cross between a 207 and an old echo from the back

  • Nick K

    Yawn! No diesel or fuel efficient auto… Who cares, there are better such as Jazz and Polo. Hyundai can nail this segment if it’s 6 speed auto and the 1.4 diesel was available, but have chosen mediocrity instead.

    • NasalExplorer

      5-year warranty makes it a no-brainer for many, though.

      • Joober@work

        Perhaps, It would kill it if the competitors come match the 5 year warranty, no doubt they’ll be a few competitors out there who want to bury this car who have been basking in small car sales in recent times.

  • Justin

    That Center plastic silver dash (around stereo etc) is truly awful. Looks very cheap and tacky.

    • Jabba the Hut

      Apparently people like cheap and tacky. Look at how many buy Corollas and the centre stack in those is aweful.

      • John

        Since when is a Corolla “cheap and tacky”?

        It’s the world’s best selling car by far. I guess Corolla-bashing is a trendy thing these days, makes people feel special – a brotherhood of sissys who don’t want to admit that they’re good.

        Obviously you’ve never owned one, never will and don’t know much about cars to begin with.


    • Devil’s Advocate

      Reminds me of the tacky silver plastic used in the center console of “Australia’s Favorite Car”. At least this has the excuse of being less than half the price…

      You wouldn’t believe what the the anti-spam word was. LOL :-)

      • Glen

        Woohoo! So now you’ve got some ideas on how to “improve” the aesthetics of a car that has sold 40 million units. /Sarcasm

        Pretty sick of people who dismiss the Corolla. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. You should present a neutral review rather than attacking a brand that is probably older than you are and has won so many accolades.

        What you’ve missed is that Corollas are designed for modest people interested in quality and reliability like what a dutiful wife is compared to a slutty attention-seeking whore.

  • Adam

    I’d rather spend an extra few grand and get a Polo.

    This is a bit of a let down, nothing more than a glorified Getz.

    • Golfschwein

      Polo for me too, although I see the appeal for non-car people.

    • Kampfer

      In the sub-small car market, few grands make a BIG different… If VW can get the Polo’s quality right I’ll pick 5 doors GTi DSG for sure. But not everyone going to spend $30k on a small car… Hell, I’d like to have a Mini Cooper S too…

      If the pricing listed above are before on-road cost. It’s right up there with Mazda2 and Fiesta.

      So Thai build cars with “better” brands or India build Hyundai with longer warranty…

      (Of course there’re sooooooo many other available it’s hard to compare them all…)

      • Kampfer

        The i20 is two years old now. If this come out 2 years ago I’ll pick this over the last Polo.

    • Gan Tan

      Easy to say that Adam if you got the $$$. Try telling that to John Pensioner who needs cheap, reliable transport

      • Kampfer

        I think the i20 will be too $$$ for John Pensioner now…
        He’d likely to pick up the Getz while he can or KIA Rio, or may be a Malaysia taxi (Proton S16).

  • Bimmerc

    There is no doubt that i20 is a great little car, but the price of i20 premium is right up there again Fiesta Zetec and Polo TSi 77. And no Cruise control (both Fiesta and Polo have it)

    It would be wise to make it bellow 20K.

    • gt6

      Agreed, the Premium will be a hard sell against the euro based vehicles sold here. In Australia this segment needs a certain something ??? to compete at that price bracket in the light car makes.

      • Jabba the Hut

        Like a 5 year warranty?

  • The Oracle

    I saw one of these a couple of weeks ago in my local shopping centre. The badges were taped over, but you could still see it was the Hyundai logo. The exterior styling is very bland, but at least it isn’t over-styled and over-decorated like the i45 or the ix35. I had a sticky beak through the windows when it was parked and the interior plastics are really very ordinary, hard and shiny, though assembly looked good and it seemed roomy enough for its size. I really wouldn’t chose one of these over the Mazda2 we have, a Fiesta and the others that are certainly worth the few extra dollars. Though it seems that Hyundai may have for once got the ride, handling and steering right. It will be interesting to see what other reviewers think about it.

  • nickdl

    The thing is, a high-end Polo or Fiesta costs the same as the Premium model of the i20. Ultimately Hyundai have priced the i20 with the high-end of the market even though it’s only good for the middle of the light-car segment. The base will sell in droves, though I believe the middle variant is the best.

  • Golfschwein

    It looks like a nice, honest offering from Hyundai, and I suspect that’s the appeal of the brand to many. They’re nicely styled, completely lack pretence and don’t hide smugly behind a self-crafted banner of being the world’s most reliable cars, which they probably are now, in any case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sammo.8191 Sam Moss

    Well let’s be frank, this car isn’t really anything revolutionary. Hyundai will hype it up and market it as a ‘game changer’ as they did with the i45, and hence it will sell very well.

    The exterior is kind of cute, even elegant on some angles, but the proportions just don’t look quite right. That interior doesn’t convince me at all either, ok it’s a step above the Getz but in comparison to 2, Fiesta and Polo it’s really a class below; it looks cheap even in the brochure images. I think the cut-price Indian production lets this car down, as it did with the Suzuki Alto, but I’m sure the 5 year warranty will come in handy.

    • Dhanav

      Sam, I can guarantee that there is nothing wrong with a car being produced in india – the quality of parts and the labourers is equivalent to most of the developing world and definitely better than australia’s. The only one by which hyundai cuts cost by manufacturing in india is because it costs lesser to hire one unit of labour in india than anywhere else.

    • Adarsh

      Excuse me? Just exactly how does the Indian production let it down? What an absolutely despicable thing to say.

      I don’t believe there is difference between a pair of brown hands in comparison to a pair of white ones. Any monkey can be trained to be fairly competent in assembling a bunch of steel panels with screws.

      What’s more, these cars are built for export and not only the Indian market which is probably what you were thinking, so the standards will certainly be the same across the regions.

  • Myke

    The base model will sell, however I fail to see many people opting for the Premium at $21500+.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sammo.8191 Sam Moss

      Yeah good point, especially when you can get a European badge small hatch for under 20k – they’re maybe not any better specified than the i20, but most probably will be a much better drive, (207, Polo, Punto).

  • Alexander

    i also doubt the top spec models will sell that well either, you barely ever see high end i30’s…

    When will the i10 be released?

    • Shak

      YOU may barely ever see them but i see them quiet a bit.

      • Dennis

        When i’ve seen them atleast 8 out of 10 are not SR’s…

  • Shak

    No Offense to either the 2 or Fiesta, but they look a bit girly, and this would suit me just fine. If the Journo is right, i want a good handling little hatch.

    • Baddass

      And the 120 is dripping with masculinity, right Shak?

  • http://ozmazda.com ozmazda

    I would rather a Mazda 2 than one of these….my choice

    • Jabba the Hut

      Mazda have ruined the front of the 2 (and 3 for that matter) with that ridiculous front opening. I like the new polo though. I still think people are ignoring the significance of that 5 year warranty.

      • The Oracle

        The i20 is bland and anonymous. Mazda have a history of a much more coherent and stylish theme than the “Fluidic Scribble” that Hyundai are trying to make work. Though this car predates the newer models, Hyundais now have too many curves, bumps, bulges and bling and as a result the whole design is overdone.
        The Mazda2, Fiesta and Polo kill the i20 in so many ways, not the least with style, fit and finish.

      • The Oracle

        The 5 year warranty is just a bit of a con to try and keep you going to the dealer and paying the exhorbitant prices that all brands charge for parts and service. Of course, that’s not necessary to keep your warranty, but no dealer or manufacturer is going to suggest that.
        I guarantee you, in a lot less than five years, you’ll be sick to death of this bland & boring piece of whitegoods.

        • Hayzel

          You are way too biased for anyone to take u seriously. You owned a mazda 2 you said it yourself thus it’s obvious that you would defend your purchase. Why not just stay neutral and comment about the car instead of being a brand biased and just decide to be perverse. I think all of the commenters here need to understand that.

          I am looking for a small car and it’s nice to see new products on offer..but that doesn;t really mean that I would buy it.

          • The Oracle

            There is a difference between bias and expressing and opinion. Yes, my household has a Mazda2. I’m not the primary driver, but after looking at the i20, (yes I have seen one in the flesh, see my other posts) my prefence for style is the Mazda. I’m not a fan of the Hyundai styling, it is overdone on the newer cars, yet this one is derivative and bland. That is my opinion and that is the purpose of the forum. If you have a different opinion, that’s OK, i’m not worried.

          • Jabba the Hut

            Styling is subjective Hayzel. I don’t like the mada 2 styling but others do. I like the ix35 styling (so much I am picking mine up in the morning) but yeah you hit the nail on the head in this instance.

        • Jabba the Hut

          Not everyone likes the look of the new i45 .However after reading many reports as a potential buyer I have noticed that even some who once motoring writers who previously dismissed the brand used words like “stunning” to describe it. I’ve yet to hear that applied to the mazda 2.

          Certainly I personally think the mazda 6 is a fantastic looking car but then it doesn’t have that gaping hole in the front that the 2 and moreso the 3 have taken on.

          I’d describe the styling of the i20 as cheeky. It has a cutsy look about it and that will no doubt appeal to the young female audience for starters. That’s a good thing because typical cars like this and the mazda 2 are driven by women with their partners taking the occassional stint behind the wheel.

          • Jabba the Hut

            Same old personal attacks and dribble. Try and find some new lines. You’re rather boring. I must have hit a nerve though for such a lengthy attack. It isn’t hard though when someone is trying to deflect criticism after such a stupid statement regarding hyundai’s warranty. Now you are trying to twist your original statement. Other dealers charge an extra $1000 per year to extend theirs so how is a free additional two years a con?

            As Hayzel already said “YOU are way too biased for any of us to take you seriously”. Your need to keep plucking garb out of your thesaurus in a futile attempt to appear intelligent is a poor way to mask your ignorance.

          • Jabba the Hut

            The related post was removed.

          • The Oracle

            Jabba, You criticise me because I quote my previous statement verbatim, disproving your assertions and also because I have a better vocabulary than you. Hmm, who is sensitive now?

            Call the 5 years a con, a marketing ploy or a good idea, the effect is to entice you to continue service at the dealer. The cost of it is factored into the price you pay for the car anyway. There is no free lunch there, mate.Read my post from July 16th 4.20pm again. Take your time, read it slowly.

          • The Oracle

            Jabba, I think you are way too biased to be taken seriously. Hyundai’s are better with each model, but still have a way to go on many models with interior materials, seat comfort and most particularly ride, steering and handling balance. Apparently the i20 is best in regards to the dynamics. Good to see their making progress. Take off you blinkers and acknowledge that they still have significant issues to improve upon.

          • The Oracle

            Jabba, one final point.

            I see elsewhere that you claim to have purchased an iX35. If that is true, then I hope you have enjoyable and economical motoring with it and that the average dynamics doesn’t frustrate you and cause too much grief.

            Happy motoring!

            PS Why do you name yourself after a fat, repulsive and nasty character from an SF movie? Hardly seems very flattering or an image builder for you.

            PPS I decided to keep these replies brief so you can study and comprehend them.

          • The Oracle

            Sorry Jabba, I forgot to mention something.

            See if you can pick the deliberate spelling and punctuation errors I put in for you.

            There is a prize if you identify them all correctly.

          • The Oracle’s Headache.

            Still banging on with the same old tripe. The only spelling mistake you made was your name . That’s not how you spell orifice because you truly made an a** of yourself and rather than admit your error you are trying to dig yourself out of another kind of orifice. It must gut you to be voted down so hard by these people in here. Hence your continued attacks on me .

            Thankfully these people are wise enough to see through your attempt at a smoke screen and chuckle at your ridiculous statement about the hyundai warranty. If you go and have a read elsewhere you’ll find a hint that I don’t think their cars are perfect. 😉 But then neither are you so get rid of that ridiculous name.

            I recall numerous reports about the mazda 2 being a deathtrap in the wet when this current model first went on sale. I’ll take my slighlty firm ride over your coffin. My partner loves the car too and so does my daughter. Infact if you go and read the thread on the ix35 you’ll notice it is a common theme in there. Cheers.

            Meanwhile sit back and watch as Hyundai passes Mazda as an importer into Australia. Your endless rants in the hyundai threads merely highlight what others have already said about you. If you don’t like the cars why are you in here recycling your rubbish? Stalker? Fetish for Jabba?

          • The Oracle’s Headache.

            …oh and no need to read your post again. Even the otiginal writer of this thread saw through your dribble. As did others.

          • The Oracle

            Re the Mazda2 tyres. As usual you overstate the situation. The original 14″ tyres on the base model Neo were found to be lacking sufficiently in the wet to lose it points in the Wheels COTY. This was promply rectified by fitting the 15″ wheels and tyres to the Neo. This was a much easier fix than the inherent dynamic issues that many Hyundais have. The Maxx (which is what we have here) and Genki trims had no problems. Your deathtrap description is a pretty desperate and shrill comment.

          • The Oracle

            Fetish? I think you flatter yourself too much. Anyway, look up the meaning of the word.
            I’m bored now. I’ll speak next time I want to show you up.

            The Oracle. (The one and true Oracle)

            PS I like my name, so I’ll be keeping it.

        • http://www.caradvice.com.au Anthony Crawford

          “bland & boring piece of whitegoods” Oh really. Did you even read the review of the car, or is it that you don’t read reviews but just form an opinion based on…. what, I have no idea.

          Fact. The i20 is one of the best handling light cars on the market today.

          • Jabba the Hut

            I hope I am ok to mention this here but a rival website tested this car and supports Anthony’s view regarding the handling. Infact their tester was positively glowing and he wasn’t so over the moon when testing the i45. So it is apparent already that this car handles quite well. Something no-one will accuse the yaris of doing.

            I doubt anyone that buys this car will be claiming it is “boring whitegoods” in 5 years time. Rather they will be rejoicing in their 5 year warranty, excellent economy and Hyundais proven reliability.

            The i30 has been around a couple of years now and whilst it certainly won’t win any style awards it is holding up well. This car will be no different.

          • The Oracle

            Hello Anthony,
            I’m not the only one to comment that the styling is bland and derivative. Many others have done so, too. I’m not a fan of Hyundai’s fluidic styling for the reasons I’ve expressed before. Cars in this class can be considered as commodities, like whitegoods. Inexpensive transport for people wanting something easy to drive with features and reliability, which is not a criticism, it serves the market needs well. However, others such as the 2, Fiesta and Polo do this and offer a lot more flair and style (in my opinion).

            Yes, I did read the review and I commented earlier on your remarks regarding the handling. I said it seemed to be a good thing and I would be interested in the opinion of other reviewers. What is the problem with that?

            My general opinion of Hyundai overall is that the cars are much much better then even a couple of years ago and are heading in the right direction. Not a fan of the styling, new engines and transmissions are very good or better in some cases, interiors look well assembled, but cheap materials and average comfort, ride, handling and steering below class averages and need a lot more work. Sorry, but the brand doesn’t do it for me at the moment. In a generation or two, who knows?

            Everyone who posts here expresses an opinion and by doing so demonstrates their bias and preferences. Is that not the idea of the forum? Some are happy to engage in debate and others feel the need to be aggressive and abusive. It seems that any contrary opinion is an affront to their masculinty and intelligence and they respond with a Tourette’s episode. I could name one or two suspects, but I don’t think that is necessary.

          • Jabba the Hut

            Yep Hayzel pretty much summed it up. Oh and several reviewers have commented that they like the styling. It’s the parts you keep leaving out that demonstrate your biased. I can go back through countless Hyundai threads and in every single one of them your comments are the same.

            You lost any remaining microbe of credibility when you typed that dribble about their 5 year warranty being a con. Right there and then it became more than obvious that you have some deep-seeded hatred for this particular brand. You stuffed up and rather than acknowledge your error you are now trying to shift the focus onto others.

            Anyone with any ounce of knowledge knows there is no obligation to use Hyundai parts or service in that 5 year period provide neither cause damage to the vehicle. Except you it seems.

        • Frank

          If a 5 year warranty is a con and a marketing tool, why don’t all the other makers offer one? Ask BMW to offer a full 5 year UNLIMITED KM WARRANTY- it will cost more than the car.

          What Hyundai has figured out is they are now making serious quality cars at prices nearly nobody else can compete with.

          Sounds though in the case of the i20 (India) it will be priced pretty much in tune with the Mazda 2 (Thailand), Ford Fiesta (Germany, but soon Thailand), Polo (SA & Spain) and holds its own within its peer group.

          Probably only the Polo really blows them all away from the refinement standpoint, but again, the VW is priced well above all these cars when it is comparably equipped.

          Good for Hyundai who will keep the other guys on edge so that they continue to make better product at affordable prices.

          Of this bunch I would buy the Polo, but I would consider the i30 which you could get for nearly the same price as an i20.

  • Hyundai45

    2 years 2 little 2 late


  • so-pleaz-can-i-have-yo-number?

    Does it have that Indian plastics smell like the Mahindra ute?

  • RK

    European styling? Mmm. Looks like a bland box to me. Very Toyota Echo. I’m not sure where you got that it’s meant to compete with the Polo either, since the price for the base model and feature list makes it run pretty much exactly up against the Mazda 2/Fiesta/Yaris group.

    A 1.4L engine on the base model gives it a tough road to hoe in that company, though, and the base features are pretty standard in the class apart from the glovebox gimmick. A lot will depend on the road dynamics. I’m sure it’s much improved on the Getz or Xcel, but the question must be posed to our reviewer: is the handling of the same quality as the Fiesta or the 2, and how does the NVH compare as well?

  • Chris

    I have to admit the Hyundai i20 looks impressive. The only concern I have for this car is the dashboard; looks old and dated. I surprised CarAdvice didn’t take any photos of the back seats.

  • Luke Brinsmead

    Rather a Polo, even if it’s only slightly more expensive – better car and not embarrassing to drive to a dinner party in and park next to the European premiums and luxuries.

    • Luke Brinsmead

      Nice car if one isn’t that concerned about how the car handles sporty driving.

    • Bum

      Right, and it’s embarrassing because it shows you’re not pompous and self-centered?

      Interesting perspective you have but not everyone cares about such things.

  • Hendrik

    looks like an Opel Corsa without the nice interior..

    Fiesta anyday!

  • Tinman

    So, by the end of the year, Hyundai will have 5 model lines with 5 star safety and a commercial line with 4 star safety.
    Only an absolute mug would think that this company isn’t world class.

    • c1ockwork

      Last time I checked, being ‘World Class’ meant more than X model lines with high safety ratings. Personally, I don’t think they’re quite there yet. They do get an A for effort though, and a ‘most improved’ stamp.

      I appreciate it has nothing to do with being world class, but they’re still not exactly desirable are they? Sensible? Check. (Sometimes) reasonably priced? Check. Caring about my cars, would I want to own one? No.

      (New) Polo for me thanks.

      I’m sure they’ll sell a boatload of them in basic trim.

      • Frank

        For the money, Hyundai is very hard to beat. For the cars they offer and features included, nothing really comes close.

        The VW Polo is a very good car with a lot of highly technical features but when things go wrong, and things ALWAYS go wrong, it will cost you a small fortune to repair.

        If anyone should be offering better than 5 yr unlimited km it is VW and probably BMW. The big question is, why don’t they? Because their repair rates for various models are dismal.

        Footnote: Hyundai in the USA offer a 10 YEAR warranty! And the cost of the comparable base model i30 CW (as they call it the Elantra CW) starts at $16,000. We are all getting ripped off on cars over here.

  • T

    I bet it sells like mad!!

    it will drive nicer than a mazda 2 ( thats not hard ) tiny cramped ricebubbles!

    shame the base model doesnt have the 1,6L i might consider upgrading my 8 yo jazz if it did.

    i wonder how clever the rear luggage space is? if its just a fold up seat, it might STILL be another jazz in my driveway.

    • vid_ghost

      the mazda 2 is one of the best small cares to drive. i would say even better then the mazda 3 and it won WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR!

      If you ask people what car is more of a ricebubble over the two its simple .. i20! and up until lately the 2 was made in Japan, so the Mazda 2 is $1000 less but you get $1000 more car… 1.5L Engine and all around better car.

  • T

    also, put ur hand over the grille and look at the rest of the front, looks like corsa headlights and bumper. definately euro inspired ( or stolen? lol )

  • Chairman

    IMO it looks better than the i30


    We Aussies are so gullible. We’re the suckers that Hyundai have targeted to buy their Indian-built-Korean small car with a European small car price tag. Why would anyone in their right mind buy a top of the range i20 for $21,490 + On road costs when they could have the bigger i30 at $20,990 drive away with everything they could possibly want, (reality check: all they really need). The i30 is a smarter and more logical choice; a slightly larger car with 5 star safety, larger engine, a lot more for a lot less, and at the very least its built in Korea. But, most of us are suckers because we are easily enticed with items like alloy wheels, spoilers, electric folding mirrors, and the like. Wake up people, alloy wheels and spoilers aren’t going to save your lives in the event of an accident. So why should we be forced with cars like the i20 where to have 6 airbags we need to buy the mid too top of the range models that come with all the other nonsense. Start looking beyond the cosmetics department people, and buy cars with safety features in mind, and stop paying premium prices for cars with glitz and glamour.

    • The Oracle’s Headache.

      Of course being gullible can take on many meanings when purchasing RALLYX. Like being lured into buying a car with great chassis dynamics like the VW Golf and the prestige of the badge only to have it being taken back to the dealership countless times for repairs. If it had a 5 year warranty there would be less risk to the owner’s hip pocket.

      That is not to take too much away from German vehicles. I love the new Golf, but only from a distance. There are simply too many horror stories regarding its reliability to ignore. I am prepared to take less than class leading dynamics as a trade off for not having to shell out several grand everytime my transmission packs in. The question regarding reliable v’s prestige is “at what point do they meet for you?”

      One poster actually stated that you pay extra in the price of the car for that 5 year warranty. Even more impressive then that they can offer more standard kit at the same time for less money. I’ve never been a badge snob. Pretty much most brands of vehicle manufacturing make at least one vehicle I like. But I will never put a badge above reliability.

      I will say this though. Lord help the Germans if Hyundai do get to a point where they match their chassis dynamics. At the rate they are learning it can’t be ruled out in future.

      • vid_ghost

        Mazda already have the dynamics once they get the new engines and trannies next year theyl only have to improve the plastics inside and walla! you have a Jap brand thats better then German.

        • Jabba the Hut

          I only just an hour ago read a rival website’s roadtest of the mazda 2 and they weren’t exactly complimenting its “harsh ride and tyre scrubbing” despite it getting a mid life face lift. They were also critical of its staid interior.

          Infact they they rated the fiesta as being superior in both areas but marked the fiesta down on its “girly car looks”.

          • Kieran

            Must be the MY10 Mazda2… I chose my ’09 because it had the best ride out of all cars in that segment. Sure, it probably won’t do me any favours on the track, but it’s pretty compliant when pushed hard. Most importantly, it’s very comfortable to drive long-distance. Have done BNE-SYD (return) without getting uncomfortable, and I still felt fresh upon arrival (unlike the time I did the same trip in the family ’99 Pajero…). Tested a newer Mazda2 auto for my sister, and I agree with you about the ride comfort – not up to the standard I expected having driven mine for 18 months!

            In contrast, the Fiesta was appalling in every way. Seriously, who puts a smaller engine in the auto-spec than in the equivalent manual?!

            Not trying to force any hands; just sharing my experiences :-)

    • Frank

      I agree one would be a fool to buy an i20 for what the i30 is priced at now.

      If Hyundai is smart they will begin to relax their prices on the i20 and say it it the benefit of the Aussie dollar getting stronger than have the i30 go up in price, that would be detrimental to Hyundai in my opinion.

      Hyundai has build themselves up as a good car for the price and the i30 has been the car to put them into the big leagues.

      Don’t mess this up Hyundai, keep the price of the i20 down and you guys will be laughing.

  • Capt

    I’m currently in the market for a low end i20, Fiesta or Mazda 2. I have to say I like the styling of the i20, with the Fiesta a close second. Really not a fan of the Mazda 2, especially with that new front grill.

    • The Oracle’s Headache.

      Couldn’t agree more. The Fiesta has grown on me but the mazda hasn’t. The i20 is inoffensive and no doubt well built.

  • Sam

    Look! For $22K I could drive away for a Holden Cruze 1.8cc Auto Sedan. Why bother with a i20 costs $21K? Even i30 only cost $22K. Hyundai Australia you did not get the pricing right!

  • Jonno Smith

    The i20 price structure seemed a little too rich for a Hyundai. The most relevant model for most would be the 1.6 litre auto but that costs $20+ grand (before dealer costs) – it’s very close to the small car segment with Hyundai’s own i30, Holden Cruze, KIA Cerato. Also, the i20 styling by Hyundai is so bland – it looks like a transportation white goods box. The i20 styling looks stale as it looks similar to big brother i30 which has been around since 2007.
    With regards to the 5-year warranty, my previous Hyundai car @ 4.5 years old was already creaking and groaning that I suspect that it would fall apart once the 5 year warranty was up. It’s just not as well built as Japanese cars. The 5-yr warranty is more a marketing ploy.
    Hyundai is losing its unique selling point that is, keen pricing and value for money products. The used car value of a Hyundai is still very poor compared to Japanese cars. Against the i20, there are better products out there like the Honda Jazz, Mazda 2 and Suzuki Swift.

  • Kieran

    I had a similar choice – Mazda2 Neo, Getz 1.6, or Polo 1.4 (Fiesta wasn’t yet released). I didn’t want to like the Mazda, but on a purely practical level, it was the best. It’s a bit bigger, handles fairly well, and runs off the smell of an oily rag (as do they all), but it was significantly more comfortable than the German (oh, for autobahn-quality roads…). The Getz, however, could only be described in one word: “utilitarian”. The seats were uncomfortable, it crashed over potholes, and the road noise was as bad as the ’98 Lanos I was trading up from.

    Try to put the looks aside and focus on which one is the nicest to drive around every day; after all, you don’t get to see the outside from behind the wheel!

  • John

    The car is over weight, therefore ultimatelly lazy.
    The top spec variant with outdated transmission will not sell well because it goes against sofisticated Fiesta and Polo.
    However I would by one if it had a CVT.

  • Fenno

    I think Hyundai’s strategy over the last 20 years has been spot on. Start off with Good value (not cheap) vehicles and condition the market to the brand, styling (hit & miss a bit here) and overall value for money (features for your $$$).
    Once you have established a reputation for reliability(and Hyundai certainly have now) you can slowly start to increase the profitability. It starts with the I20 and will trickle through the rest of the range over the next 5 years I would say.

  • Sol-CME

    I like the style of this car. Wouldn’t bother with base model due to comparative lack of power & airbags. Active & passive safety plus handling & performance all seem good, if a bit pricey.
    I would definitely lean more toward a fiesta though, but not a mazda2 – yuck (sorry guys I love the mazda3&6 but number2 is just ugly).
    Would I buy an i20 … hmmm m-a-y-b-e … !!

  • http://www.iusedtires.com Used Tires

    Too Good for Hyundai Motors Generation! after so long have seen improved Cars

  • Millatime

    Fenno is absolutely spot on.

    Hyundai are now going for the cash.

    i45 is way too expensive, so is this i20.

    I also agree with most of the posters above, i20 looks bland and will date quickly.

  • brooke

    I have just purchased the new i20 and have to say, the interior and the way it drives is impeccible. This will be my 3rd Hyundai, and I have nothing but raves for the brand of car. I am getting 6 years unlimited kms with it.

  • Frank

    The diesel will be the pick of the bunch without a doubt. Let’s hope Hyundai do not get greedy and price these things beyond their reputation.

    Ironically with the state of the dollar the prices on these things should be plummeting, but of course they are not.

    They should stick to their pricing model and continue to offer good cars for the money. If they do that they will stomp all over the Mazda 2/ Fiesta and even maybe a bit of the VW Polo.

    Certainly miles better looking than the Toyota Yaris and even the Mazda 2 for that matter.

  • Shak

    Looks like the i20 just got a whole lot better value, with many reviews of the new fiesta commenting on the fact that while it is cheaper, quality of the interior plastics has gone down accordingly. And some publications have said that the DSG is slightly jerky like the first gen VAG ones. While styling of interior and exterior is subjective, the i20 also seems to be winning acclaim for its less polarizing and less feminine styling from many people as well.

  • Pasha

    I just got my i20 on the 9 nov and i love my car.

  • Who knew

    It seems that the boring looks, deficient handling and the mediocre interior and high prices of the i20 is being reflected in the poor sales figures. Perhaps the buying public is waking up to the hype of these overrated little boxes. A Fiesta, Mazda2, Jazz and Yaris are all much superior and there is no price disadvantage in buying one of them. I reckon Hyundai will be discounting these very heavily very soon.

  • Sarah

    This car reminds me of a mix between a bmw (what the i30 was originally modelled off) and mazda 3 with a Hyundai badge. In saying that I would be more interested in the i30 than i20

  • lulu_lacrevette

    Why does the red car have Maharashtra plates when its made in Tamil Nadu and shud have TN plates? hmmmmm some smuggling going on here.

  • noel

    Having checked out the I20 with my daughter yesterday, I was impressed. Great feel. All the safety features. Ideal for the young driver.

  • Pete

    My grandmother just brought a 5 door model i20 and these cars are actually really good… Simple and modern it even came with free alloys. Its got the same size engine as a corolla and drives really well.. Ive never been a Hyundai person but their cars are becoming excellent vehicles with excellent extras like warranties and alloys.

  • Reid

    i don’t understand what everyone is going on about… The i20 is $15k drive away no more to pay, it has a 5 star ancap safety rating and a 5 star green rating. It has a 5 year unlimited km warranty and its cheap as chips to repair being a hyundai. A polo is $30k and fiesta around $25k and both being German are expensive to repair and service, they are not in the same field as the i20. It may not be the best car but what you get for the price you pay it is a great car!

Hyundai i20 Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$7,150 - $8,130
Dealer Retail
$8,420 - $10,010
Dealer Trade
$5,500 - $6,500
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
136Nm @  4200rpm
Max. Power
74kW @  5500rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.4L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1000  Unbrake:450
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
185/60 R15
Rear Tyres
185/60 R15
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Torsion bar, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System
Mobile Phone Connectivity, Power Steering
Radio CD with 4 Speakers
Power Mirrors
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Metallic Paint
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Pass Side Under Front Seat
Country of Origin