In-depth reviews

Hyundai i20 hatchback review

"The Hyundai i20 is more fun than before and lots of tech has been added as standard"

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Used car deals

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Good to drive
  • Lots of standard tech

Cons

  • Just one engine
  • Some cheap interior materials
  • No longer a bargain

The supermini class is one of the most hotly contested in Europe but that's not stopped the Hyundai i20 winning praise in the past. The previous model was always a sensible choice, thanks to its reliability, practicality and low running costs. The new version continues this theme but is more fun to drive too.

That's important in a class that contains not only the Ford Fiesta but the latest Renault Clio, which is also better to drive than before. The latest i20 has been developed with a hot ‘N’ version in mind, and feels firmer as a result.

Just one engine is available at launch, so it's a good job it’s likely to be the pick of the range when others arrive anyway. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo has 99bhp, which is peppy enough and feels smooth and refined. It's also fitted with mild-hybrid tech that recoups energy as the car slows down, boosting efficiency by powering the car's systems and bolstering acceleration.

The result is a competitive 54.3mpg fuel consumption figure with 118g/km of CO2, which is also helped by an innovative system that can decouple drive from the gearbox when you come off the throttle, allowing the car to 'coast' with the engine temporarily switched off. If that sounds jarring, know that the i20 has one of the smoothest mild-hybrid setups we've tried so far. 

The i20's interior is a bit of a mixed bag but there’s more good than bad. On the positive side, there's lots of tech and space. Hyundai has fitted a new eight-inch touchscreen to the left of the instrument binnacle, with clear graphics, and there's a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel. Features like air-conditioning, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also come as standard in the entry-level SE Connect trim. There are almost no options available but Premium trim adds LED lights, folding mirrors, auto wipers, heated front seats and even a heated steering wheel, along with 17-inch alloy wheels. Ultimate gets big-car features like keyless entry, a Bose sound system and contrasting roof colour.

What's slightly disappointing is some of the interior materials, because while the swooshes across the dashboard look quite good, there's a lot of hard and scratchy plastic lower down in the car. There's more chrome or gloss-black trim in the Fiesta and Clio, and even cheaper plastics tend to be patterned to make them look more attractive.

There are no worries about space, with enough room in the back for two six-foot adults, which is about as much as you can ask for in a supermini. Its 352-litre boot is also plenty big enough for a car in this class, easily beating the 311 litres of the Fiesta. Hyundai has also fitted the i20 with plenty of safety kit, clearly wanting to better the four-star result of the outgoing i20. Its 'SafetySense' suite of technology includes active safety kit like autonomous emergency braking to help mitigate collisions.

Most Popular

Cupra Formentor SUV review
Cupra Formentor SUV front 3/4 cornering
Cupra Formentor
13 Oct 2020

Cupra Formentor SUV review

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback: base model starts at under £30k
Volkswagen ID.3 - front 3/4 view - 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show
Volkswagen ID.3
14 Oct 2020

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback: base model starts at under £30k

Audi Q8 gains plug-in hybrid versions with 28-mile electric range
Audi Q8
14 Oct 2020

Audi Q8 gains plug-in hybrid versions with 28-mile electric range

More on i20

2020 Hyundai i20 hatchback: prices, specs and release date
Hyundai i20
21 Oct 2020

2020 Hyundai i20 hatchback: prices, specs and release date

The next-generation Hyundai i20 has more tech and starts at £18,595
2020 Hyundai i20 N hot hatch finally revealed
Hyundai i20 hatchback
20 Oct 2020

2020 Hyundai i20 N hot hatch finally revealed

Hyundai i20 N has 201bhp and chassis upgrades to rival Ford Fiesta ST
Hyundai i20 hatchback (2015-2020)
Hyundai i20 hatchback
26 Jun 2020

Hyundai i20 hatchback (2015-2020)

"The Hyundai i20 is a roomy, affordable and attractive supermini, but keen drivers should look elsewhere"
Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest
Jeep Cherokee SUV
24 Apr 2020

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest

Take a look at the best and most memorable special edition cars
All-new 2020 Hyundai i20 leaked before tonight’s reveal
New Hyundai i20 leaked
Hyundai i20
17 Feb 2020

All-new 2020 Hyundai i20 leaked before tonight’s reveal

The next-generation Hyundai i20 will be shown at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show
Best cars for £15,000
Best cars
23 Dec 2019

Best cars for £15,000

If your budget for a new car is £15k, you might think you’re limited to a small hatchback. Our top 10 rundown proves this need not be the case and fea…
Hyundai reveals i10 and i20 Play special editions
Hyundai i20 Play - front
Hyundai i10 hatchback
2 Apr 2019

Hyundai reveals i10 and i20 Play special editions

Play versions of the i10 and i20 offer more equipment for less money
Updated Hyundai i20 prices and specification announced
Hyundai i20 hatchback
25 Jun 2018

Updated Hyundai i20 prices and specification announced

Refreshed petrol-only hatchback gets new safety kit; priced from £13,995
Hyundai unveils new i20 Active and Santa Fe SUV at Frankfurt
Hyundai i20 Coupe
16 Sep 2015

Hyundai unveils new i20 Active and Santa Fe SUV at Frankfurt

Korean brand showcases new SUVs among a flurry of motor show activity
Hyundai i20 Coupe (2015-2017)
Hyundai i20 Coupe
14 May 2015

Hyundai i20 Coupe (2015-2017)

"The Hyundai i20 Coupe will appeal to young drivers thanks to a combination of good looks and low running costs, but some rivals are much more fun to …
Today's news from the Geneva Motor Show
Audi R8 coupe
4 Mar 2015

Today's news from the Geneva Motor Show

Live updates around the clock
New Hyundai i20 priced from £10,700
Hyundai i20 hatchback
21 Jan 2015

New Hyundai i20 priced from £10,700

The new Hyundai i20 costs between £10,700 and £16,700 as it goes on sale this week
More equipment for new Kia Rio supermini
Skoda Fabia hatchback
6 Jan 2015

More equipment for new Kia Rio supermini

2015 Kia Rio gets a new look and more standard equipment to compete with its latest supermini rivals
New cars 2015: next year's most important cars
Honda Civic hatchback
21 Dec 2014

New cars 2015: next year's most important cars

There are plenty of new cars planned for launch in 2015 - here are some of the best
Hyundai i20 Coupe joins the range
Hyundai i20 hatchback
10 Dec 2014

Hyundai i20 Coupe joins the range

The new Hyundai i20 Coupe promises a sleek new look and efficient engines
More kit for new Hyundai i20
Hyundai i20 Coupe
12 Nov 2014

More kit for new Hyundai i20

The new Hyundai i20 will be priced slightly higher than the current car
New Hyundai i20 2014: price, release date & specs
Hyundai i20 Coupe
2 Oct 2014

New Hyundai i20 2014: price, release date & specs

The second-generation Hyundai i20 is bigger on the inside and more attractive on the outside
Hyundai i20 hatchback (2009-2015)
Hyundai i20 Coupe
24 Sep 2014

Hyundai i20 hatchback (2009-2015)

"The Hyundai i20 is a decent choice if you’re after a solidly built, well equipped and good-value hatchback. However, its design and driving experienc…
Hyundai i20 Coupe shown in official sketch
Hyundai i20 Coupe
3 Sep 2014

Hyundai i20 Coupe shown in official sketch

The three-door Hyundai i20 will be replaced by a sleek, sporty coupe
Deal of the week: Hyundai i20
Hyundai i20 five-door 2013 front quarter
Hyundai i20 Coupe
5 Feb 2013

Deal of the week: Hyundai i20

Save up to £1,200 on the Hyundai i20 1.2-litre Active five-door.