Hyundai i20

£10,995 - £17,700

The Hyundai i20 is a good-value alternative to some of the UK's most popular cars, such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Corsa. Hyundai doesn't have the same reputation for quality as these other manufacturers, but the overall quality of Hyundai cars has improved enormously since the brand first arrived in the UK. Its reputation for reliability is backed up by a five-year warranty, giving extra peace of mind to owners.

The current i20 is larger than the previous version, both inside and outside. This review is for the five-door Hyundai i20 hatchback – there's sleeker, sportier version called the Hyundai i20 Coupe which we've looked at separately. Their prices are broadly similar, but the Coupe's design is a little bit more eye-catching.

The five-door i20 comes with a choice of six engines: three petrol and three diesel. The most efficient of the petrols is the 1.2-litre, which produces 74bhp and is theoretically capable of 58.9mpg (though this figure is optmistic for real-world driving). The problem with this engine is that it feels underpowered for the car – you'll definitely notice this with a full load of people and luggage.

Upgrading to the 1.4-litre gets you a stronger 99bhp power output, with claimed fuel economy dropping to 51.4mpg.

All the diesels will be very cheap to run. The most efficient is the tiny 1.1-litre Blue Drive, which is claimed to be capable of 88.3mpg. But with only 74bhp on tap, its 0-62mph time is 16 seconds – slower than a Land Rover Defender. We'd recommend the 89bhp 1.4-litre CRDi, which suits higher-mileage driving.

All i20 models have easygoing, light steering that can be rewarding in corners. Body control is good, although this car doesn't match the fun factor of the Ford Fiesta.

The outside of the Hyundai i20 looks great, with firm, meaningful lines and a distinctive nose. The front grille is bold and helps the car stand out from the crowd.

Inside, though, it feels a bit dated. The plastics are hard and old-fashioned and the lack of a touchscreen infotainment system in all but the poshest trim levels doesn't help matters. But it's very roomy front and back and the boot is one of the largest in this class.

Trim levels range from S to Premium SE Nav. All models come with power-folding heated wing mirrors, electric front windows, an adjustable steering wheel and a USB connection. Multiple airbags make this a safe car, too. Our favourite trim level is SE, which comes with air-conditioning, electric windows all-round, rear parking sensors and 16-inch alloys.