i20 1.2 Comfort 3-door
i20 is a very persuasive
car whether you need to move
your family or just yourself, these
50+mpg supermini-sized hatchbacks
fit the bill...
REASONS TO BUY ONE ARE MANY and varied: highly competitive price, high-value
spec, longer than normal five-year unlimited mileage warranty and designed and
tested in Europe. All valid reasons but the strongest pull has to be the i20's
real-world fuel economy 50+mpg.
Powerplant choices for the i20 hatchbacks are a pair of petrol engines (1.2
and 1.4-litre) along with a 1.4 CRDi diesel unit. Adding some variety are three
levels of trim and spec: Classic, Comfort (the most popular) and Style. Prices
start at a headline-grabbing £9,745 and top-out at a still competitive £13,745
for the best-specified diesel model.
The 1.2 Comfort three-door tested here costs £10,595 but for just another £500
you could buy the five-door version having those two extra doors
makes life easier if you need to carry passengers or even for just dumping coats,
bags or shopping on the rear seats. The three-door models may look sportier
but in real-life five is the most versatile number.
While the three-door might not be the biggest kid on the block, boot and load
space are good for its 3.9m-long footprint: 295 to 1,060 litres.
My test i20 returned
Thats really excellent
for a petrol engine
and shows just how well
developed are the new
generation petrol engines...
As mentioned earlier, the single most compelling reason to buy one of these
i20 models is its real-world fuel economy.
Officially, this four-cylinder 1.2 'Kappa' petrol engine, with its modest 77bhp
and 87lb ft of torque, looks no more than okay on paper.
Far more newsworthy is the Combined Cycle economy 55.4mpg; and
my test car returned 51.8mpg. This is excellent for a petrol engine and shows
just how well developed are the new generation petrol engines.
Furthermore, this 51+mpg was not down to any 'pussyfoot' driving but around
300 miles at the legal maximum on motorways with another 200 or so miles on
country A and B roads plus another 100 miles of stop-start commuter driving.
I was genuinely impressed and on the strength of this result I would recommend
the i20 to anyone.
Low, too, are the tailpipe emissions just 119g/km, so road tax
in the first year of ownership is £0 and only £30 per annum thereafter. Company
car drivers will raise a toast (but not when they're driving!) to the 10% Benefit-in-Kind
rate. This is as good as most small diesel engines but without the extra £1,100
'penalty' a small- to medium-sized diesel generally costs over the same petrol
model. And the low Group 8 insurance rating will be affordable to even the youngest
Admittedly the acceleration, flexibility of power delivery and outright top
speed are not so attention grabbing, but the 1.2-litre i20 is definitely not
sluggish. Top speed is 106mph (although that's of no real relevance) and the
benchmark 0-62mph acceleration time is 12.9 seconds; both more than enough for
most drivers. Even steep hills didn't cause any real problems although getting
past slower traffic on busy A-roads needed some planning and swift gearchanges.
Fortunately the petrol engine revs freely so during hard overtaking acceleration
it was very easy to hit the rev-limiter; thankfully the five-speed 'box is slick
and precise. A six-speed unit would be nicer as it would reduce revs at cruising
speeds and consequently engine noise. Customers wanting an automatic transmission
can have one for an extra £1,045 but only and sensibly
when mated with the larger 1.4-litre petrol engine, which still doesn't cost
the earth to buy or run.
the European design and testing, the i20's ride comfort and road holding are
not its strongest features, being no more than acceptable: the suspension doesn't
absorb potholes and bumps with ease; road noise intrusion is quite high; and
there's body-roll during cornering. That said, none of these negative comments
would put me off buying one!
Reasons to buy
50+mpg fuel economy,
low road tax and
very attractive pricing,
long warranty and
a high level of kit
thats a lot of car
for the money...
Nor does the i20's conservative styling help it to stand out in a crowded car
park but neither is it off-putting; it's just not the strongest
reason to buy this particular Hyundai.
The specification, however, is the opposite: for the money it really is first
class. Included in the best-selling Comfort trim is air conditioning, ESP electronic
stability control, power windows and door mirrors, cooled glovebox, remote audio
controls on the steering wheel, trip computer with mpg readout, Bluetooth connectivity
with voice recognition, a decent sound system with Aux-in, full USB and iPod
compatibility, active front head restraints, a comprehensive array of airbags,
15-inch alloy wheels and a five-year warranty.
Against: Functional rather than fun to drive, conservative styling, bland interior,
high road noise intrusion and indifferent but nevertheless capable handling.
More than making up for this though is the 50+mpg real-life fuel economy, low
road tax and insurance costs, very attractive pricing, long warranty and a high
level of specification a lot of car, in fact, for the money. I
must say that this 1.2-litre i20 is an impressive ownership proposition for
many would-be supermini buyers. David Miles
Hyundai i20 1.2 Comfort 3-dr | £10,595
Maximum speed: 106mph | 0-62mph: 12.9 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 77bhp | Torque: 87lb ft | CO2 119g/km