Hyundai ix20 mini MPV
Price: £12,430 - £16,255
- Decent build quality
- Spacious interior
- Economical engines
- Underpowered engines
- Poor used values
- Notchy gearbox
"The Hyundai ix20 crams the practicality and versatility of an MPV into supermini proportions and still comes at a reasonable price."
The Hyundai ix20 is a supermini-MPV that aims to take on cars like the Honda Jazz, Toyota Verso and Nissan Note. It has the dimensions of a supermini like the Vauxhall Corsa, making it easy to manoeuvre and park, but interior space is on a par with cars from the class above, such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. There's space enough to fit five adults, and the rear bench slides allowing you to easily adjust it for more legroom or more bootspace depending on your needs.
Build quality is on a par with its Japanese rivals like the Honda Jazz, but it looks better – Hyundai has somehow managed to make the boxy MPV design look quite stylish. It's quiet, comfortable, practical and the engines are efficient, too. To cap it off, it comes with Hyundai's five-year warranty ensuring that the cost of repairing any faults is covered for quite some time.
MPG, running costs & CO2
All engines are efficient but none are exempt from road tax
The Hyundai ix20 comes with a choice of four engines: a 1.4-litre petrol, a 1.6-litre petrol, a 1.4-litre CRDI diesel and a 1.6-litre CRDi diesel. None have emissions lower than the 100g/km CO2 threshold that would make the model exempt from road tax, but the larger diesel offers the best economy – it will do 64.2mpg and emits 117g/km CO2, so it is at least free to tax for the first year of ownership. The 1.4-litre diesel is almost as efficient, returning 62.8mpg and emitting 119g/km CO2 – fairly impressive considering it's a rival for the hybrid system in the Honda Jazz.
The petrol engines don’t perform so well, though. The 1.4-litre will do 47.1mpg and 140g/km CO2, and the 1.6-litre returns 43.6mpg and emits 154g/km CO2.
Interior & comfort
The ix20 is more comfortable than some of its rivals
The ix20 is pretty comfortable thanks to a suspension set-up tuned to absorb bumps and potholes. It ensures that passengers are going to be fairly well protected from even the most run down of Britain's poorly maintained roads. This is a particular strength given that a common criticism of the Honda Jazz – one of its key rivals – is its uncomfortable ride.
The engines are fairly smooth, too, although the smaller diesel gets a little noisy if you’re heavy with the throttle, but all are capable of cruising quietly. The cabin is well insulated, too, so you won’t be bothered by wind noise.
Practicality & boot space
Spacious and versatile interior is one of the ix20’s key strengths
The ix20 offers a lot of interior space, despite its supermini dimensions. There is plenty of space in the front and rear for passengers, and it will carry five adults in relative comfort. There are plenty of clever cubbyholes, too, such as under-the-seat storage bins, and a spacious glove compartment. The doors open to a wider angle than on most cars, which means getting in and out is never a squeeze.
The boot is huge, too, and with 440 litres of space it's substantially bigger than the Honda Jazz and only 35 litres shy of the boot capacity in the Ford Focus Estate! Fold down the split-folding rear seats and the area expands a van-like 1,486 litres. The loading area is flat and wide, which makes it easy to cram in even the most bulky and awkward of items, and the back seats can be individually slid forward, allowing you to adjust the space as needed.
Reliability & safety
The ix20 comes with a five-year guarantee and a five-star safety rating
The Hyundai ix20 secured the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP's crash safety tests and comes fitted with latest safety technology, including a range of airbags, traction control, electronic stability control (which prevents the car spinning out of control if it starts to skid), anti-lock brakes and ISOFIX points to securely fit child seats. It also comes with hill-start assist that automatically uses the brakes to hold the car on an incline to prevent it from rolling back before you can accelerate forward.
Hyundai did well in the latest Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, finishing 14th out of 32 in the manufacturer rankings and receiving positive feedback from owners for build quality and reliability. There weren’t enough responses from ix20 owners for the model to be eligible for the top 100 cars league table, so it's harder to comment on specific reliability but there have been no reports of major faults and it's covered by the firm's five year warranty – so if anything does go wrong, you’re covered.
Engines, drive & performance
The ix20 is capable but not as agile as rivals and the engines are underpowered
There are four engines available with the ix20, but whichever one you go for, you will find it struggles for power. Both the 1.4-litre diesel and 1.4-litre petrol produce 89bhp, but the petrol is faster and is the one to pick if you’re only planning to use the ix20 for nipping about town. The 1.6-litre diesel offers a little more power at 115bhp. But even the most powerful engine available – the 123bhp 1.6-litre petrol – is sluggish, and will take just over 12 seconds to go from 0-62mph. Speed may not be an important criteria for you, but you’ll notice that lack of power when trying to overtake on a motorway or move out speedily from a busy junction.
Aside from this, the ix20 drives well. The high driving position gives you a great view of the road (although the thick A-pillars do create some frustrating blind spots), the steering is light and easy to use, and there's plenty of grip so it corners fairly well. Even so, it's not as good as many of its rivals – especially the Nissan Note.
Price, value for money & options
Decent equipment levels, low price and long warranty make the ix20 very competitive
The ix20 is fairly well equipped. There are three specification levels: Classic, Active and Style. All models get air-con and USB connectivity, while Active and Style models also get alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, stop-start, parking sensors, steering-wheel mounted controls, rear electric windows and leather steering wheel. Style also comes with a panoramic sunroof and rear privacy glass. It's competitively priced, too – undercutting many rivals, including the Vauxhall Meriva, while offering more equipment as standard.
You won’t find a better warranty than its comprehensive five-year cover, either, with the exception of the seven-year guarantee offered by the Kia Venga (which is based on the ix20). Breakdown recovery comes free of charge, too, and you can get fixed price servicing plans offering great value for money. The lengthy warranty should also ensure that the ix20 holds on to its value well.
What the others say
The ix20 certainly has strong green credentials, with class-leading CO2 emissions figures of 114g/km. Fuel consumption is similarly low, with stop-start, low-rolling-resistance tyres and an alternator management system contributing to combined economy of 65.7mpg.
Car buyers' demands are increasing: now it seems they want everything squeezed into one package and that has forced manufacturers to come up with all kinds of niche models. The ix20 is aimed at people who want something compact and easy to drive around town, but also want enough space inside for passengers and luggage. It's a tough ask, but Hyundai has achieved it with the ix20.
The ix20 is roomy inside and the touches designed to make it versatile work pretty well. The cabin looks quite stylish, too, and the safety equipment is comprehensive.
Last updated: 23 Jan 2014