Hyundai ix20 mini MPV

Price  £12,515 - £16,335

Hyundai ix20 mini MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Decent build quality
  • Spacious interior
  • Economical engines
  • Underpowered engines
  • Poor used values
  • Notchy gearbox

At a glance

The greenest
1.6 CRDI 115PS Blue Drive 5dr Style 5dr £16,335
The cheapest
1.4 5dr Classic 5dr £12,515
The fastest
1.6 5dr auto Active 5dr £15,010
Top of the range
1.6 CRDI 115PS Blue Drive 5dr Style 5dr £16,335

"The Hyundai ix20 crams the practicality and versatility of an MPV into supermini proportions and still comes at a reasonable price."

If you’re looking for a small car with deceptive levels of space inside then the Hyundai ix20 is well worth a look. It's a five-seat mini MPV that competes with the likes of the Honda Jazz, Toyota Verso and Nissan Note, and offers excellent levels of passenger space and a surprisingly large boot.

Performance wasn’t really a priority when Hyundai designed the ix20, so it gets a range of petrol engines that are cheap to run rather quick. That doesn’t really matter because the Hyundai is more suited to comfortable cruising than quick cornering anyway, and the Nissan Note is more fun to drive.

The range is competitively priced and all cars get air conditioning, electronic stability control, and a USB connection. The ix20 can be had in three trim levels - basic Classic, mid-range Active, and top-of-the range Style.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3 / 5

All engines are efficient but none are exempt from road tax

No matter which ix20 you choose it should be cheap to run. The car comes with a choice of four engines – two petrols and two diesels. The cheapest model to run is the 1.4-litre diesel. Its emissions of 114g/km CO2 means that road tax will cost just £30 every year, while economy of 66mpg is pretty solid. Go for the 1.6-litre diesel if you want a useful boost in performance at little cost to economy - it can still manage 64mpg and road tax stays at £30.

The petrol engines are quieter, which could make them more appealing, but they can’t match the efficiency of the diesels. Still, 50mpg for the 1.4 litre isn’t too bad, but road tax will be £100 per year. The 1.6-litre petrol only manages 44mpg and road tax jumps significantly to £180.

Servicing and maintenance costs should be very reasonable, and the Hyundai gets a five-year warranty.

Engines, drive & performance

2.5 / 5

The ix20 is capable but not as agile as rivals and the engines are underpowered

With a high driving position, light steering, and excellent visibility, the Hyundai ix20 should be easy to drive around town. Soft suspension means there is plenty of body lean when taking corners at speed, although the flip side of this is the Hyundai’s comfortable ride.

If you’re expecting the ix20 to be quick you will be disappointed because all of the models in the range struggle for power. Picking between the 1.4-litre petrol or same-capacity diesel comes down to whether you value the performance of the petrol engine over the economy of the diesel. The fastest model is the 1.6-litre petrol, but it still only manages 0-60mph in 12 seconds. The 1.6-litre diesel also feels slow, despite having a reasonable 115bhp.

Interior & comfort

2.5 / 5

The ix20 is more comfortable than some of its rivals

Hyundai didn’t worry too much about making the ix20 fun to drive but it has made it comfortable to travel in thanks to soft suspension that soaks up bumps and potholes in the road. The soft setup does mean the car leans a lot through corners but this is the trade-off for the car’s comfort, which is an area in which the ix20 excels, particularly when compared to the Honda Jazz.

The petrol engines are the quietest, with the diesel engines getting a bit noisy under hard acceleration, but all models do a good job of keeping wind and road noise out.

Practicality & boot space

3 / 5

Spacious and versatile interior is one of the ix20’s key strengths

Getting into the ix20 is easy thanks to doors that open wide. Once inside, passengers should find it easy to get comfortable and the Hyundai has back seats that can slide backwards and forwards, as well as being able to recline. The front seats are spacious and the driver has height adjustment for their seat as well as reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel. We did think the amount of cubbyhole storage could be improved.

Boot space, however, is very impressive. Even with all the seats up there is 440 litres of load-lugging capacity at your disposal. That’s much bigger than you get in the larger Volkswagen Golf, which can only manage 380 litres, while a Ford Focus estate trumps the Hyundai by just 35 litres. Dropping the rear seats down reveals 1,486 litres of space in total.

Reliability & safety

4.1 / 5

The ix20 comes with a five-year guarantee and a five-star safety rating

The Hyundai ix20 climbed 24 places in our 2014 Driver Power survey, but still only managed to come in 87th place out of 150 cars, although it scored very well for seat comfort and practicality. It also got an above average score for reliability and the car comes with Hyundai’s excellent five-year/100,000 mile warranty too.

A five-star rating was also achieved when the car was evaluated by Euro NCAP and all models get traction control, stability control, airbags, anti-lock brakes, and a pair of ISOFIX tethers for safe mounting of a child seat. The ix20 also gets hill-start assist, which safely holds the car on a hill before you move off.

Price, value for money & options

3.5 / 5

Decent equipment levels, low price and long warranty make the ix20 very competitive

All models of the ix20 get good levels of equipment for the price. Basic classic trim gets air conditioning and USB connectivity, while moving up to Active spec adds alloy wheels, a Bluetooth phone connection, stop-start technology for added economy, parking sensors, steering-wheel-mounted controls, rear electric windows and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. At the top of the range is the Style trim level, adding a panoramic sunroof, which gives the cabin an airy feel, and rear tinted windows.

The Hyundai is priced to undercut cars such as the Vauxhall Meriva, while its long warranty should mean decent second-hand values.

What the others say

3.7 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
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.
4 / 5
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.
3 / 5
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 
21 May 2014

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