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In-depth reviews

Hyundai ix20 MPV (2010-2019) - Engines, drive & performance

The Hyundai ix20 is capable but not as agile as rivals, and its engines feel underpowered

Carbuyer Rating

2.8 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.1 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

2.0 out of 5

The ix20 range was designed to be easy to drive, and on that front it succeeds admirably. a high driving position, light steering and excellent visibility make the ix20 easy to drive around town.

Many buyers want more than that, though, and cars like the Ford B-MAX can put a smile on the driver’s face as well as providing comfort and practicality. Drive the ix20 enthusiastically and you’ll find its soft suspension means there’s plenty of body lean when taking corners at speed, although the payoff is a comfortable ride on poor roads.

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At higher speeds on motorways, the steering has more weight to it, which is reassuring when you need to drive in a straight line. And once you settle into a cruise, the ix20 feels assured and comfortable.

The standard manual gearbox has five or six speeds depending on whether it’s connected to a petrol or diesel engine. Both versions are easy to use and gearchanges are smooth and quick. Models with the manual also get stop-start technology, which ‘pauses’ the engine when you stop in order to reduce CO2 emissions and therefore running costs.

Only one engine comes with an automatic gearbox – the 1.6-litre petrol, available in both SE and Premium trims. This engine isn’t available with manual transmission.

Petrol engines

The 1.4-litre petrol gets from 0-62mph in 12.8 seconds, but while that figure disappoints on paper, the ix20 is still plenty nippy around town and is able to keep up with traffic. You might want a little more power on the motorway, though.

Unfortunately, the more powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine is only available with a power-sapping automatic gearbox. While its 11.4-second 0-62mph acceleration time is a big improvement, it comes at the cost of dramatically reduced fuel-economy.

Diesel engines

The 1.6-litre diesel engine doesn’t offer sparkling performance, either – its 115bhp is enough for 0-62mph in 11.5 seconds. It’s far from quick, but does at least offer a more muscular feel, and is comfortable on hills and when fully laden. It’s also more relaxing to travel in at high motorway speeds, despite being a little noisier than the petrol engines.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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