New Hyundai Elite i20 Review – What Critics Say

2016 Hyundai Elite i20

Hyundai Elite i20, launched in the second quarter of 2014, turned out to be quite a successful product for the Korean carmaker in India. Despite being pricier than its older version, the new-gen model managed to double its sales in the highly competitive premium hatchback segment. The Elite i20 is a complete package with all new design, well-equipped interior and improved handling and ride. Based on the company’s new ‘Fluidic Sculpture 2.0’ design philosophy, the new i20 looks sportier and more refreshing than the old model.

The front-fascia features Hyundai’s new hexagonal grille with a new slim horizontal strip. The blackened C-pillar grants a floating roof effect. The wider bonnet, LED running lamps, new wrap-around windows and boomerang-shaped tail lights add more to its sporty appearance. The top-end Sportz and Asta trims are offered with the 16-inches alloys, while the rest variants are assembled with 14-inches steel wheels. Hyundai engineers managed to increase the car’s wheelbase, while complying with our sub-4 meter norms.

The Elite i20 is certainly more premium, in terms of quality, features, comfort and cabin space. The old 4-spoke steering is replaced with a new 3-spoke steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls. Other add-ons include a new dual-tone (beige and black) dashboard, touch-screen stereo system with Bluetooth connectivity, push start-stop button, double-DIN audio player, rear AC vents, automatic climate control, smart pedal, four airbags and ABS with EBD. Seats are comfortable, and offer decent under-thigh support. The hatchback offers a generous boot space too.

The new i20 derives its power from the familiar, but mildly tweaked engines – a 1.4-litre CRDI diesel motor and a 1.2-litre Kappa petrol unit.  The diesel engine is paired with a 6-speed gearbox, however, the gearbox ratio on 3rd, 4th and 6th gears are shortened for better drivability. It doesn’t require much effort. The engine remains quite, even at idles, and refinement levels are quite impressive. However, it takes its own time to respond.

The petrol engine isn’t responsive either. It’s a bit prompt at low-revs, but isn’t best-in-the-segment. The torsional rigidity is much improved, thanks to the lightweight, high-tensile steel metal components. The handling and ride quality is the new i20 is far better than its predecessor. What justifies pricing of the car are its premium styling, quality interior and improved ride and handling.

This is our take on the new Hyundai Elite i20, now have a look at what critics say about the hatchback.

“The crux of the matter is that the Elite i20, with it’s improved driving dynamics, added features, more space and new styling, will easily fill in the big shoes of its predecessor. With a price tag of Rs. 4.89 lakh for the base petrol and Rs. 7.67 lakh for the top-end diesel, I agree that the Elite i20 is a pricey package, but that didn’t deter many in the past and we doubt it will affect the new-generation model’s prospects either. – NDTV Auto

“The new i20 builds on the previous car’s strengths and addresses some of its weaknesses to retain its spot as the quintessential premium hatchback in India. Bigger and better in every way, it has an upmarket feel that puts it half a segment ahead of most other hatchbacks. It’s very spacious, it’s well equipped, and the light controls make it easy to drive. Neither of the engines is particularly thrilling and the handling isn’t as sharp or responsive as we would have liked either. It’s an ideal choice for normal day-to-day motoring with all the bells and whistles to pamper its owners. Sure, it’s not cheap, but it still offers terrific bang for your buck”. – Autocar India 

“Hyundai definitely have a finger on the pulse of the Indian buyer, they very effectively know just what it is the market demands and are responding with highly emotional products. The only emotions they aren’t touching are the ones that enthusiasts bear, so if you are looking for a hot hatch and the i20 definitely looks the part, this is not the car for you”. – Overdrive

“Frankly, if you are sensible and honest about what you need from a car, an i20 is all the car you’d ever need. Ride is a bit bumpy, but not uncomfortably so. The petrol is good, but the diesel with a six speeds is an almost hot hatch. Handles better than a lot of hatches and even more expensive cars, but not the ultimate corner carver. Hyundai is known for good service, and the engines are efficient. The diesel is an all-out miser”. – Top Gear India

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