“Practical, stylish, and highly reliable, the ix20 offers spacious and flexible family transport at a very competitive price.”
The Hyundai ix20 is a stylish new addition to the mini-MPV segment, and is a generously equipped and practical small car that's hard to fault. Build quality is on a par with Japanese rivals like the Toyota Verso and Nissan Note. With seating for five, there's plenty of space inside, and a sliding rear bench and big boot makes it a great choice for busy families. Quiet and comfortable on the motorway, the ix20 is easy to drive. Hyundai's unlimited five-year warranty means ownership is a hassle-free experience.
There are four engines available – a 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.4 and 1.6-litre diesel. The 1.4-litre engines both come with 89bhp. The petrol is nippy around town, but thanks to an additional 83Nm of torque and a six-speed gearbox, the diesel is better for longer journeys, but has to be worked quite hard to make progress. The 123bhp 1.6-litre petrol is only available with a four-speed automatic gearbox, and can’t match the class-leading fuel economy of the smaller engines. The ix20 has plenty of grip and corners well, but isn’t quite as poised as some rivals. The steering is light, making it easy to manoeuvre, but isn’t as direct or accurate as rivals like the Nissan Note, and it feels like a big car to park.
The comfortable suspension set-up eases the car over bumps without disturbing the occupants. The 1.4 CRDi diesel can sound quite harsh at higher revs, but a tall sixth gear prevents this being a big issue. Wind and tyre noise are kept low, and the comfy seats make finding the right driving position easy.
The ix20 has yet to be crash-tested, but the i20 hatchback on which it's based scored a maximum five Euro NCAP stars overall, performing well for both adult and child protection. Electronic stability control is fitted to all models, as are anti-lock brakes, twin front airbags and Isofix child seat mountings. There is also a hill-start assist that gently applies the brakes when stopped on an incline, preventing the car from rolling back. The neat interior is well built and sturdy, and the materials used are all of a reassuringly high quality. Hyundai has a growing reputation for good reliability, and the i30 hatchback was the overall winner of the 2010's Driver Power survey.
The 440-litre boot is above average size for this kind of car, and what's more, it swells to an impressive 1,486 litres when the back seats are folded flat. The wide, flat loading bay makes loading bigger items easy, and the rear seats slide independently of each other, allowing you to adjust the amount of space in the back. The glovebox is large and there are plenty of storage spaces dotted around the dash. The boot can be also be split in two with a dividing panel, and the wide-opening doors make getting in and out easy.
Value for money
The ix20 is one of the best-value mini-MPVs around, undercutting rivals like the Vauxhall Meriva and offering more equipment as standard. Even entry- level ‘Classic’ models get air-con and traction control. For an extra £1,100, the mid-range Active adds 16-inch alloys, a leather steering wheel, all-electric windows, reversing sensors and Bluetooth. Top-spec Style models get a panoramic glass sunroof, front fog lights and folding door mirrors. The diesel and petrol engines are similarly powered, but there's a £1,400 premium for the more efficient 1.4-litre CRDI. Thanks to the great warranty, resale values will be strong.
The 1.6-litre petrol automatic is the most expensive to run, but even that offers 43.6mpg and emissions of 154g/km, costing £155 a year to tax. The lowest running costs come with the 1.4-litre diesel engine.