The Hyundai i20 hatchback is a rival for the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz. And that means it has some pretty fierce competition to face. In order to make sure the i20 stands out from its rivals, Hyundai has worked hard to ensure that it's cheap to buy and run, well equipped and solidly built, so you can rely on it no matter what.
The i20 comes in two different bodies (three and five-door) and three trim levels (Classic, Active and Style). The Style model is only available in five-door form. Even the entry-level i20 Classic three-door comes with air-conditioning, electric windows and a four-speaker stereo that you can connect your MP3 player to. As with all Hyundais, the i20 boasts a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.
The engine range begins with a 1.2-litre petrol, which is also the pick of the bunch. It provides adequate performance on the open road and is very nippy around town.
The 1.4-litre petrol is the only one offered with an automatic gearbox. And while the 1.4-litre diesel engine promises more than 76mpg fuel economy, it costs £2,500 more than the 1.2 petrol, which is much nicer and quieter to drive.
With that in mind, our pick of the range is the i20 1.2 Classic, the cheapest model in the range. But we'd recommend paying an additional £600 for the five-door version. This improves access to the back seats – which is useful for young families or less mobile passengers – as well as providing shorter doors, making it easier to get in and out of in a row of parking spaces.
The i20 has been part of Hyundai's range since 2009. It was given a full five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating and all models include six airbags as standard.