9th June 2016
Presented by Will Titterington
Looking for an objective review of the Hyundai i20 Hatchback? OSV has got you covered, from engines to lease deals.
The slick new Hyundai i20 Hatchback is all grown up, and it would make a fab addition to any family. This little pocket rocket comes powered by a useful 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine, and the car offers more cabin space than any other car in this class.
The super-mini market is awash with talent. In this review, we’ll also take a look at the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, two names which are mainstays of any supermini buyers’ shortlist. To get to the top of your particular list, the Korean brand’s offering has to be excellent indeed.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Hyundai i20 Hatchback review.
The new car offers a pleasant driving experience, though many of its engines lack the power needed to keep up with traffic. Sound body control and light steering contribute to reasonable handling, and there is minimal body lean when you tackle bends. However, the Hyundai i20 can’t offer as much fun as the Fiesta or Corsa, while comfort is lacking.
The 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine is impressive, but the rest of the line-up is underwhelming, to say the least. This is a punchy and smooth engine that replaces the dated 1.4-litre petrol. You can pair it up with i20 Active crossover model, a trim which is set up to be higher and stiffer. It’s arguably the best model in the range. This 1.0-litre engine is also exempt from road tax.
A 1.2-litre petrol might look more attractive on paper, but in reality, it sounds strained and struggles for breath. It takes 12.8 seconds to cover the 0-62mph dash, but feels slower than those numbers suggest (and they don’t even suggest a lot!). It’s fairly expensive to buy, too.
The dies engines are slower, but they have more character about them and suit the city car nature of the i20 well. The 1.1-litre Hyundai diesel takes 16.0 seconds to get you from rest to 62mph, and although it’s noisy when you first fire it up, it doesn’t take long to quieten down.
The 1.4-litre diesel engine is equally noisy on start-up, but it’s got more punch and it feels smoother. It also offers more performance than the smaller diesel power plant.
Interior space is not a problem in this car (as we’ll find out soon), but it’s the design itself that comes in for a bit of criticism. Everything is neatly arranged and looks smart, but the quality is lacking. Compared to rivals, the i20 just isn’t as upmarket.
The dashboard comes under the most fire for its use of cheap materials. They look okay, but touching them makes you feel very differently. The materials are hard and scratchy, and the same can be said of the centre console.
There is a touchscreen system, but it’s only reserved for the pricier Premium models. As such, the cheaper trims have to settle for a busy-looking dashboard that isn’t exactly pleasing on the eye. Still, there are a few personalisation options, with Hyundai letting you choose from four different colours for your interior.
One of this cars main strengths is its practicality. It’s bigger than last time around, and can now boast class-leading space, as well as a boot that is very nearly the biggest in this sector. Legroom is excellent (rear legroom is actually the best in this class), it’s easy enough to park, and visibility is good.
The panoramic sunroof diminishes headroom slightly, but the door bins are big, the glove box is cavernous, and the boot measures 326-litres. Its wide and deep, and it’s easy to load in bigger, bulkier items, thanks to relatively small lip.
The basic model gets split-folding rear seats, 15” step wheels, cloth upholstery and daytime running lights, while the S Air model throws in a cooled glove box, air conditioning, and stop-start technology.
The SE adds 15” alloys, a digital radio, a leather steering wheel, cruise control and rear parking sensors, while the Active trim also gets a 5” touchscreen media system and a variety of interior and paint trim options. The Premium models jazz things up with LED daytime running lights, heated front seats and a panoramic sunroof.
Prices for the new car start out from just under £11,000 and rise to around £17,700. If you prefer to lease, you can pick up Hyundai i20s deal from as little as £150 + VAT per month. For more information on our i20 deals, check out our page here.
Running costs are okay, but they could be better. The 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit is new and fairly cheap to run, but rivals are more efficient. The cheapest engine in the range is the 1.1-litre diesel engine that powers the S Blue i20. It delivers up to 74bhp and can achieve average fuel economy returns of 88.3mpg while costing nothing to tax.
The aforementioned 1.0-litre petrol engine benefits from turbochargers when it comes to fuel consumption, and can return 65.7mpg. It’s also exempt from road tax. The best all-rounder in the range, meanwhile, is the 1.4-litre diesel engine. It will set you back just £20 a year in road tax, and returns 72.4mpg.
The car is inexpensive to insure, with the basic model occupying insurance group 4. The most expensive sits in group 11, which is competitive in this class.
The new i20 looks far better on the dance floor (okay showroom) than it ever has done. We’re not saying it’s got its dancing shoes on and is ready to finesse Saturday Night Fever, but it’s got a spark to it. It’s suited, booted and looks cute.
A spacious interior is one of this cars biggest strengths. It’s grown in size considerably since last time and is among the roomiest cars in this class.
Fit and finish is good, but the interior is on the whole a bit lifeless.
There are seven engines in total, but the older petrols have to do without turbochargers. As such, they feel lethargic and dated. Worse still, they just don’t feel as though they have enough power to cope with this car on a full load.
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Hyundai i20 Hatchback review.
The Ford Fiesta Hatchback, Hyundai’s i20 comparison has been around for over two decades and is finally the UK’s top selling car. Let’s find out why.
In the small hatchback sector, the Fiesta is easily the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off. Whether you’re looking for your first car, or whether you’re a city commuter in need of a bit more entertaining on the way to work, the dynamic Fiesta is nimble, agile and a real pleasure to drive.
However, to get the best out of it we recommend that you overlook the 1.25 and 1.6-litre petrol units, as they’re dated – and you can really tell. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engines are when things start to get interesting. Available in either 98 or 123bhp guise, they might be small on paper, but thanks to some smart technology they have the power of an engine much bigger.
There is also a 138bhp variant of the same engine available, and is the quickest in the range. It can get you from rest to 62mph in around 9.0 seconds.
Ford have kicked most of the Fiesta’s diesel engines into touch, so that only one now remains. This is a 1.5-litre TDCi unit that you can get in two different guises. Our preference is a 93bhp version, which does 0-62 n 10.9 seconds.
Running costs are low, which is unsurprising when you consider how small this car is. The cheapest engine to run is the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel, which Ford claim can achieve very impressive fuel economy returns of 88mpg. It’s free to tax, and will make a lot of sense to first-time drivers working on a budget. Most of the modes are affordable to run and service, and many are exempt from road tax.
The new Fiesta looks more determined than ever. Its slick and edgy makeover on the outside is complemented by a bold makeover inside. The driving position is good, the steering wheel and seat offer plenty of adjustment, and the swooping dash is easy on the eye. Ford have been very careful not to funk up their cabin too much, but things like the blue needles on the dials really enliven things.
Quality is not absolutely fantastic, and some of the parts seem a bit flimsy, but a good amount of soft touch plastics have been used.
In terms of practicality, the Fiesta doesn’t score massively well. It can’t really stretch its dimensions anymore than it already has without growing into a different car altogether, but it doesn’t use its space as well as some rivals. Head and legroom will be a bit tight for rear-seated passengers, while three-door models suffer from poor rear access. However, the car is available with five doors for a bit more practicality.
There are plenty of storage spaces here and there so that there’s no excuse for not keeping the car nice and tidy, and we like the two big cup holders on the centre console. Perfect for when you and your colleague need a morning coffee. The boot measures 290-litres with the rear seats up, and 974 with them folded down.
Hyundai – £11,000 – £17,700
Ford – £13,395 – £18,595
The new Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback is one of the most value-for-money cars in this sector. It’s affordable, practical and sports a pleasant interior that’s a nice place to spend your time.
Last time around, the Corsa wasn’t what you’d call fun to drive. Vauxhall recognised this, and have shored up its drivability. It still can’t match the Ford Fiesta for out and out fun, but an improved suspension setup and better body control make it a more entertaining and engaging companion.
The petrol range has been overhauled so that there is a bit more oomph this time around. A 1.3-litre 113bhp turbo petrol engine is new, and can get you from a rest to 62mph in an impressive 10.3 seconds. It’s efficient and refined, and is our top pick.
If you want to keep running costs down as much as possible, though, you’ll need to have a gander at the diesel engines. A 1.3-litre CDTi diesel unit is the cheapest to run. It produces up to 94bhp, averages fuel economy returns of 83.1mpg, and doesn’t cost a penny to tax. The petrols are less efficient, with the most expensive 1.4-litre version costing £130 a year in road tax while returning around 55.4mpg – according to Vauxhall, at least.
The Corsa’s interior is better than ever. The suspension has been softened so that you’re more comfortable, while refinement has also been improved. Overall, this cabin is one of the best in this sector. A small criticism would be that the seats and upholstery feel a bit cheap, but the brand’s Intellilink 7” touchscreen is a highlight, and gives the cabin an upmarket quality.
You can get the Corsa as either a three-door or five-door model, but because both cars sport the exact same layouts at the front, you won’t automatically realise that the latter has considerably more interior space. Rear headroom in both models is not fantastic, thanks to a sloping roofline. However, there is a good amount of room overall for five adults. The boot, meanwhile, measures 285-litres and its square shape makes it easy to use.
Vauxhall – £10,155 – £18,520
There are a few things we’ve come to expect from Hyundai down the years: Top notch fit and finish, reliability, and practicality. All these key ingredients are present here, and the i20 is a much more attractive proposition than it ever has been. Its handsome good looks can now rival the cutest cars in this sector, and it can boast one of the biggest interiors in its class.
Useful, chirpy and all grown-up, the new Hyundai i20 Hatchback is a great addition to any family.
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