Sunday 17 November 2019

The Getz is gone, meet Hyundai’s new Supermini the i20

Hyundai i20
Hyundai i20
Hyundai i20 interior
Hyundai i20

Bob Flavin

It wasn’t all that long ago when the launch of a new car from Hyundai wouldn’t have troubled European car makers, but those days are long gone. Now when Hyundai show us something new it causes a long hard look at the competition.


Over the last few years I’ve been impressed with the motors Hyundai have brought to the market. The i30 is a proper rival to the big boys and the i10 is simply brilliant. There’s also that five year, unlimited millage warranty to think about. When you consider that Hyundai have come from nowhere to now sit in the top five in the charts there has to be a few hair-pulling sessions among the rivals.

So Hyundai quietly launch the i20 which is a rival for cars like the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio and the newly launched Opel Corsa. I know going up against any of those names would give me the sweats but have Hyundai managed to pull it together with the i20?

The i20 manages to be inoffensive in the styling department along with having a smart interior and a big boot. It’s these key ingredients that mean the i20 has a fighting chance in the market at the moment.

The exterior design is a bit ‘middle of the road’, there’s an element of every other car in the segment in the look. This kind of design won’t hurt sales because most people will like it, that still doesn’t make it exciting.

The interior is clever enough and feels like it’s the biggest of the rivals, there’s plenty of room for the family and enough storage to cope with the bits and pieces that build up around the family lifestyle. There’s no touchscreen or anything, the controls are laid out in a way that makes it easy to find everything. Nothing exciting means that the car is easy to live with in the long term but it might struggle to find a home among the younger buyers.

Four engine options will be available from launch in Ireland: the 1.25ltr in either 75bhp or 84bhp taken from the outgoing model; the 1.4-litre 100bhp with automatic transmission; and Hyundai’s 1.1-litre 75bhp diesel engine which won’t shift many as the segment doesn’t go for diesel very often.

Hyundai i20

Hyundai are now the big player in the market and that’s great for the consumer, there’s a real choice out there and it’s reassuring to see a five year warranty. Although the i20 fails to excite in the way that its Sister company Kia have done the i20 is still worth a big look in the category.

Prices start at €15,995 which is right in where it should be and has a decent amount of kit and a high amount of safety equipment. It’s disappointing to see that Bluetooth is only standard from Deluxe model up. I think Bluetooth should be standard on all cars as a safety device.

The Hyundai i20 is in showrooms now.


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