The NamasteCar review:

Hyundai i20

₹ 6,79,90011,17,900

The new i20 takes the premium hatchback segment to a whole new level.


WE LOVE: Design, quality, features, turbo petrol- DCT combination, most spacious hatchback, wide engine/gearbox choices

WE DON’T LOVE: Expensive with the top-end versions being pricier than some other compact SUVs. The new i20 also has a firm ride and is not as comfortable as the previous i20. Lastly, no manual gearbox is being offered with the turbo-petrol engine

1. Introduction

Hyundai can be credited for starting the premium hatchback segment in India with the Getz and later with the i20. The i20 was something which the Indian car buying public was getting for the first time with premium features and a bigger size despite still being a hatchback. However the Elite i20 launch in 2014 changed the small-car market forever and made the i20 a household name. The Elite i20 had a really premium cabin along with new features while giving a premium car experience not found elsewhere at that time which made it a strong seller even till the last month of it being on sale! Now though Hyundai has brought out the third generation i20 and that is a huge change with a new platform, new design along with new interiors plus more engine options. The new i20 is also a lot more expensive now so is the new i20 worth the high price? We find out.

2. Looks from outside

The new i20 has grown a lot when compared to the older Elite i20 with a new platform along with a new design language. The new i20 gets a much bigger grille along with wider LED projector lamps while the side or the front features cut lines allover which adds to the sharpness of the design. In terms of length or width the i20 has grown while now being the largest hatchback with also being the widest. It looks lower and wider as a result. The turbo gets a dual-tone treatment while the extra black painted parts like the side mirrors looks sporty. The grille is all black and at the front, Hyundai has decided to give it a sporty look with no chrome. The side is where you can see the length of the car plus those sporty 16inch alloys which have a different design with a diamond cut. The side uses chrome in the belt line while the rear has also a chrome line while you get Z-shaped tail-lamps. The paint finish is also nice while you have 6 colours and 2 dual-tone options including new colours over the earlier i20.

3. Driving feel

The previous i20 only had a 1.2l petrol while a 1.4l with an automatic was there but later discontinued along with a 1.4l diesel. The i20 only had an automatic with the CVT 1.2l while the diesel remained a manual only choice. With the new i20, Hyundai has made sure that it gives the customers more choice especially in the petrol range. To make the new i20 even more premium there are multiple gearbox options paired with the new set of engines. In total the new i20 offers a 1.2 l Kappa (BS6) Petrol (5MT/ IVT), 1.5 l U2 CRDi (BS6) Diesel (6MT), 1.0 l Kappa Turbo GDi (BS6) Petrol (iMT/ 7DCT). We drove the i20 turbo DCT and the 1.2l petrol briefly while also trying the diesel.

Turbo petrol DCT

All engines are impressive but the best one is the 1.0 turbo petrol which is also there in some of the other Hyundai cars like the Nios or Venue or Verna. The turbo petrol delivers 120 bhp and 172Nm which is similar to the Venue. However the turbo petrol does not get a regular manual gearbox as instead it gets an IMT clutch-less manual and a 7-speed DCT dual clutch automatic. We drove the 7-speed DCT version of the i20 turbo and it s fairly impressive. Starting up does not give any 3-cylinder vibrations at all and the i20 turbo is very smooth. The 7-speed DCT makes for quick progress in the city and removes any lag along with helping you drive smoothly. At low speeds the gearbox plus the engine reacts to your inputs very well. DCT gearboxes require a certain driving technique at low speeds and we faced no heating issues in traffic despite driving it all day. It is out on the open road when the i20 turbo becomes much faster and feels quick. The turbo engine gets into its best side when you push it hard as acceleration is very quick plus it is linear. The gearbox also adapts while providing the fast shifts which you need. The i20 turbo is very quick and you can easily do triple digit speeds with ease. You can also use the sports mode along with manual shifting for further sporty performance but there are no paddle shifters like on the Venue. Still the i20 turbo is for those who enjoy driving.

1.2 petrol

We then shifted onto the new i20 1.2l petrol which would form the majority of sales as it is cheaper plus available with more trims. The engine makes 83 bhp and 115Nm but interestingly the 5-speed manual version gets the 83 bhp while a CVT automatic gets 88 bhp with the same torque. We drove the 5-speed manual. The 1.2l petrol is even quieter and smoother to drive with being one of the most refined hatchbacks in its class. The 1.2 petrol is a good city hatchback with decent acceleration while the new i20 is also lighter which helps. There is obviously not the huge performance which you get on the turbo with the extra torque and power it has but for city use along with highway driving every now and then, it is sufficient. The manual is light to use and the gearbox shifts well with the typical Hyundai preciseness.

1.5l diesel

Also we drove the new diesel on offer and that is significant since the other than the Tata Altroz, only the i20 gets a diesel. The diesel engine is a new 1.5l unit which makes 100 bhp and 240Nm. That is slightly less than the Verna diesel but the i20 is a smaller car hence that is not a problem. Just like the other Hyundai diesel cars the i20 diesel is a brilliantly refined car as for a diesel the vibrations are very low. There is some diesel noise but it is very less and you will have no problem driving it or living with it. In-fact this diesel is amongst the most refined. To drive the i20 diesel only gets a 6-speed manual and the clutch for a diesel is very light while even the gearbox is slick enough with good shift quality. Plus thanks to the diesel torque you do not need to downshift a lot in the city which means you can nearly drive it like an automatic. Out on the highway the diesel matches the turbo petrol for acceleration while the additional torque makes it cruise at high speeds easier still.

Ride and handling

The new i20 with the advanced platform it uses makes it lighter and that has helped in its handling. The new i20 handles much better and body roll is less when compared to the previous i20. The steering is also much better as it is much more connected while not as light as the previous i20. The grip or stability at high speeds is a big improvement also while the cornering ability along with general driving feel is improved. However while the new i20 is a much better driver’s car when compared to the previous one, the low-speed ride is a bit firm but gets better at high speeds. Overall the new i20 is more stable and is a better drive which is a big improvement along with the steering feedback.

4. Interior features and feel

Inside the new i20 is completely different from the earlier generation i20. You are first greeted by the new look four-spoke steering which is seen in the new Creta also while behind that you will see a new digital cluster which has a large TFT screen which has the MID display. Then you see the even bigger 10.25- touch screen and that is bigger than even the Verna or even the Venue with being the same size as the Creta. The touch screen is big and has a HD display which is separated by a three view display. In terms of slickness and use, the touch screen works very well and is the best touch screen in its class by a long shot.

Below the touch screen there are air vents which are matched to a pattern which is all across the cabin which adds to the sense of space and looks premium. Below you have digital temp screen and a set of high quality buttons to adjust the climate control. We must mention that quality and the feel good factor is very much higher with the interior belonging to a much more expensive car. The turbo version gets extra special bits which looks better with the red accents and metal pedals along with the leather upholstery with a black sporty look. The 1.2l petrol and the diesel get a slightly plain looking cabin minus these things but still the quality levels are high. Storage is well looked after with a decent sized glove box and big enough door pockets. The boot is also big enough at 311 litre.


The new i20 has the longest wheelbase at 2580mm and that shows with the width plus sheer space being given is excellent. The i20 can fit three passengers easily and also headroom/legroom is very good with enough headroom also for very tall passengers. The front seats are also comfortable while the driving position is also easy to adjust with both rake/reach steering adjust.


Here there is no other hatchback than can match the i20 as Hyundai have given it a lot of features to make sure that it is the class best. It starts with the digital instrument cluster, 10.25 inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, LED projector lamps, leather (turbo), electric sunroof, height adjustable driver seat, adjustable rear arm-rest, 7-speaker Bose audio, steering controls, push button start/stop, cruise control, air purifier with air quality indicator, powered mirrors, wireless charger with cooling pad, climate control, tilt and telescopic steering, USB chargers at front/rear, rear ac vents, rear camera with sensors, auto headlamps, puddle lamps, tyre pressure monitoring system, ESC with Hill start control, Blue Link connected tech with Hello Blue Link voice command feature.

Some of the highlights we think are the sunroof, the music system- which sounds great along with the BlueLink connected tech which brings a lot of features. The BlueLink brings OTA map updates and is also integrated with the smart-watch and also the i-Blue audio remote app. Of course you get location based services like real time traffic updates and tracking along with monitoring your car and maintenance. There are remote functions like start/stop and alert services. However the fact that we can wake up the car using the wake up word Hello BlueLink and through that you can control a lot things like the air flow to the climate control.

5. Ownership

The Warranty Options are 3 years/ 1 00 000 kms, 4 Years/ 50 000 kms and 5 Years/ 40 000 kms. There is also a 3 years BlueLink Subscription and 3 Years Road Side Assistance. As far as mileage is concerned it is 20.35 kmpl for the 1.2l manual, 19.65 kmpl for the 1.2l CVT, 20.25 kmpl for the turbo DCT, 20 kmpl for IMT, 25.2 kmpl for the diesel.

6. Our opinion

“The new i20 takes what the earlier i20 had and takes it to a new level in terms of features or design or engines.”

Prices for the new i20 start at Rs 6.8 lakh for the 1.2l manual while the top-end 1.2l manual is Rs 9.2 lakh. The CVT 1.2l starts from Rs 8.6 lakh while the top-end CVT is Rs 9.7 lakh. The 1.0 turbo IMT is Rs 8.8 lakh starting while the top-end is Rs 9.90 lakh. The 1.0 DCT is priced between Rs 10.67 lakh/11.18 lakh. The diesel range starts at Rs 8.2 lakh and goes till Rs 10.6 lakh.

The new i20 takes what the earlier i20 had and takes it to a new level in terms of features or design or engines. The new i20 now expands the premium hatchback segment by offering you space, features and technology not just seen in its class but also in sedans above along with compact SUVs. We like the turbo petrol as well as the diesel while space on offer is actually more than a Verna or Venue or even a Sonet. Hence while the new i20 is a lot more expensive for a hatchback, fact is, it is offering you way more in terms of value and driving experience. Overall it is the best hatchback on sale right now and an appealing alternative to a sedan or SUV.

Advanced 1.2 l Kappa

Petrol (BS6)

1 19783 / 6 00011.7 / 4 2005MT20.35 kmpl
88 / 6 000IVT (Intelligent Variable Transmission)19.65 kmpl
1.5 l U2 CRDi Diesel (BS6)1 493100 / 4 00024.5 / 1 500 –

2 750

6MT25.2 kmpl
1.0 l Kappa

Turbo GDi Petrol (BS6)

998120 / 6 00017.5 / 1 500 –

4 000

7DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission)20.25 kmpl
iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission)20.0 kmpl
Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee

Been in love with cars for as long as I can remember and love writing about them along with driving them of course. Nothing makes me happier than a fast car and an empty road! Favourite Car: Ferrari 458 Speciale Quote: Life's too short to drive boring cars