Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Official New Car Reviews

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd September 2014, 09:55   #1
Senior - BHPian
S2!!!'s Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,782
Thanked: 8,737 Times
Default Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review

The Hyundai Elite i20 has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 4.89 - 7.66 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• All-rounded package in a sharp design. Improved over the 1st-gen i20 in nearly every way
• Spacious interiors with outstanding quality, fit and finish. Practical 285 liter boot too
• 1.4L diesel has excellent driveability, refinement, performance & fuel economy. 6-speed gearbox is smooth
• Mature suspension offers a comfortable ride and neutral handling characteristics
• Hyundai's fuss-free ownership experience & excellent after-sales-service
• Loaded with features & gizmos (16" rims, keyless entry & go, 8-speaker stereo, rake & reach steering, rear air-con, reversing cam, cooled glovebox and lots more)

What you won't:

• Missing equipment vis-a-vis old i20: Rear disc brakes, side & curtain airbags, sunroof, auto-wipers & DRLs
• 1.2L petrol is nowhere as impressive as the diesel. Mediocre highway performance for a premium hatchback
• Anyone over 5'11" will find rear headroom to be insufficient. Sloping roof eats into cabin height at the back
• Dynamics & steering aren't to an enthusiast's tastes. Swift, Polo etc. are more fun to drive
• On-road price difference between the petrol & diesel is ~1.3 lakhs. That's higher than the competition
• Rear wiper only on the top Asta trim! No fuel-efficiency indicator, auto-locking doors or height-adjustable seatbelts on any variant

The i20 Active:

Link to Review (Hyundai i20 Active: A Close Look)

Last edited by GTO : 17th March 2015 at 14:36. Reason: Linking to i20 Active report
S2!!! is offline   (54) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 09:57   #2
Senior - BHPian
S2!!!'s Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,782
Thanked: 8,737 Times
Default Intro & Exteriors

In its relentless pursuit of market-share, Hyundai's product onslaught continues. Over the last 3 years, the company has launched 8 new cars, namely the Eon, Grand i10, Xcent, Verna, Elantra, Santa Fe, Sonata and now, the i20. The Korean giant knows how to keep its product range updated.

The 2nd-generation i20 makes its global debut in India, thereby highlighting the importance of our market for this car. The Elite i20 is Hyundai's 5th hatchback currently on sale. In what is a significant development, it will no longer be exported from India (discussion link (Hyundai stops exporting cars from India to Europe)). Hyundai says that European exports have been stopped so that the Chennai plant can concentrate on production for the local market. Turkey will now supply i20s to Europe. The international i20 differs from the India-spec car in length (50 mm longer), boot size (41 liters more) and richer equipment levels. Although the European i20 is longer, its wheelbase is identical to the Indian model. Compare pictures of the two and you'll notice that Hyundai India has greatly trimmed the bumpers, to bring the i20 within the sub-4 meter tax bracket of small cars.

The i20's India story is quite an interesting one. Launched in December 2008, Hyundai's internal sales projection was ~1,000 units a month. The domestic output didn't really matter at the time, since Hyundai had primarily set up the production line for exports to Europe. In fact, i20 exports began before the car's Indian launch, and the company was already shipping 6,000 - 7,000 units a month by early 2009. The market's initial response exceeded the company's modest targets. Still, sales performance was nowhere close to the level seen in the 2010 - 2013 period, because the i20 was perceived as an expensive hatchback at the time. Then, the Jazz came home! Honda adopted a ridiculous pricing strategy for the Jazz, effectively killing the product within 60 seconds of launch. Overnight, the i20 became a value-for-money proposition and its sales shot through the roof. In 2012 & 2013, the i20's average monthly tally was 7,100 and 6,000 respectively. To put things in perspective, that's more than what the entire VW group (VW, Skoda, Audi) has been managing in the recent past.

It's important to note that Hyundai's first big hatch for India - the boring Getz - was a failure. But it's the i20 that actually went on to create the premium hatchback segment. Hyundai doesn't want to mess with the formula, thus the 2nd-generation i20 is an improvement of the same overall package. It's not revolutionary at all. The company's attempt at retaining an identical strategy also reflects in the pricing; the Elite i20 is only slightly more expensive than the car it replaces. The price hike of the entry-level petrol & diesel variants is merely Rs. 8,000 & 15,000 respectively.

Name:  Capture.PNG
Views: 560074
Size:  11.0 KB

Today, in a very narrow price band, Hyundai's showrooms have the Grand i10 hatchback, Xcent compact sedan and i20 hatchback. There's a lot of price overlap between the different variants of these 3 cars. Hyundai & Maruti - both - acknowledge the product overlap in their model range, and honestly don't care as long as the customer remains in the same showroom. Considering the almost identical pricing of the Xcent & i20, which should you choose? Simply put, the i20. Other than 122 liters of boot space, the Xcent doesn't hold a single advantage over the Elite i20. The premium hatchback trumps the compact sedan in every which way. Unless you absolutely need that additional boot space, the new i20 should be your pick.

The styling is decidedly European in nature. Gone is the curvy design of the 1st-gen model, the Elite i20 is edgy & aggressive. It's more mature as well; the fluidic theme is nowhere as flashy as what we've seen on the Verna or Elantra. The i20's looks are universally appealing, this is important for a mass market product. The face is dominated by the large hexagonal radiator grille & swept-back headlamps. What folks will miss though are the outgoing i20's daytime running lights. The side profile is fairly sporty, thanks to the sloping roof line, long bonnet and tight rear. Those wide tail-lamps look striking, albeit the rear is otherwise rather plain Jane. The new i20's overall length is actually 10 mm shorter, but it doesn't look it. Despite the shorter length, the wheelbase has increased. Hyundai claims this is the largest wheelbase of any hatchback, compact sedan or compact SUV (Verito Vibe & Quanto aside). The car is wide and it does have a more planted stance than the older i20. The fatter 195 mm tyres & 16" rims help too (the only other hatch with 16" rims is the Punto Evo Sport).

Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review-elite-i20.png

The build quality is truly premium, with an excellent paint job, fit & finish. Shut lines are uniform all through. While it's no 'European tank', the Elite i20 feels more solid than some tinny Japanese cars we know of... the bonnet in particular feels heavy. The doors don't close with that sturdy thud, yet they do have a soft, premium thunk. There is no area of the car that feels overtly light or flimsy.

What's disappointing, and extremely surprising, is the Elite i20 losing some features of its predecessor. There is no fully-loaded 'Asta Option Pack' variant either. You can no longer buy an i20 with 6 airbags, rear disc brakes, DRLs, sunroof and rain-sensing automatic wipers. The original i20 brought never-seen-before features to the hatchback segment in 2008. We obviously expected the Elite i20 to continue that tradition! Sadly, it doesn't. In terms of safety, it's nice that 3 out of 5 variants have a driver's airbag & ABS. On the other hand, if you desire dual airbags, the top-end Asta variant is your only choice. The Elite i20 remains a well-equipped hatchback; it's just that the feature list isn't as spectacular as it was with the first i20 six years back.

Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review-elite-i20-features.png

Even for budget customers, the starting variant should be the Sportz with ABS. Anti-locking brakes are a must-have safety feature. If you have the moolah for the Sportz Option pack though, it's better to pay 21,000 more and pick the Asta. That 21K gets you a passenger-side airbag, auto headlamps, additional 12V power outlet, adjustable rear neck restraints, rear wash & wipe, 60:40 splitting rear seat, steering position reminder, parking sensor display and more. The Asta seems like a steal in comparison to the Sportz Option pack which simply doesn't make any sense to buy.

The 'Fluidic Sculpture 2.0' design language is more mature; nowhere as flashy as the Verna or Elantra:

The face of the Elite i20 looks distinct, yet unmistakably Hyundai:

The side profile looks sporty due to the long bonnet, sloping roof-line and tight rear:

I found the rear 3/4th angle the best to view the Elite i20 from:

Clean rear with minimal cuts and creases:

The Elite i20 is designed in Germany, thus looks a lot more European than the 2012 i20:

The silver accents on the headlamps add subtle bling, which complements the minimal chrome usage on the car:

Turn indicators are housed toward the inside, near the slim grille:

Notice the domed headlamp lens bulging out:

The unique grille pattern of the air-dam can emulate a 'diamond grille' in certain light conditions:

The bonnet line has moved up. Also, notice the subtle creases on the hood:

Neatly designed ORVMs with integrated LED turn indicators:

Only the driver's door handle has a request sensor (for smart key locking/unlocking). Interestingly, the Grand i10 has one on the passenger's side too:

Waistline molding isn't as thick as that of the Grand i10:

16" diamond cut alloy wheels wrapped in 195/55 section Bridgestone B250 tyres. Front wheels get disc brakes, rear gets drums:

This 'black C-pillar' is actually a plastic cladding, rather than a painted / wrapped body panel:

The blackened C-pillar doesn't meet the top of the window line. This negates the 'floating roof' effect that it provides in some other cars:

The 3-cluster wraparound tail-lamps appear to be LEDs, but actually aren't:

Tail-lamps bulge outward, similar to the headlamps:

Reverse camera protruding out on an otherwise clean rear; sticks out like a sore thumb. Older i20 had a far superior integration:

The wiper is smaller & well-clad:

Notice how the rear windscreen washer is cleverly hidden away in the high-mounted stop lamp cluster:

Only a single reversing light (on the right). Parking sensors visible too. Black cladding breaks the bulk of the rear bumper:

The sheet-metal of the hatch is more susceptible to dents due to its protruding design, as well as the rear bumper's short overhang:

One of the longest radio antennas around! It is a total misfit on such a modern looking car:

Hyundai's new family face. Swept back headlamps, a slim front grill and a large hexagonal air-dam:

The Elite looks more mature than its predecessor:

The old i20 was one of the better looking hatchbacks of its time. However, it can't hold a candle to its successor:

Last edited by GTO : 15th September 2014 at 12:34.
S2!!! is offline   (50) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 09:59   #3
Senior - BHPian
S2!!!'s Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,782
Thanked: 8,737 Times
Default Interiors - Front

Interiors - Front

The i20 isn't a tall boy and the seats are also placed on the lower side. Hence, you have to 'sit down' on them. @ Elderly, please make a note of this. On the flip side, the front doors open wide and have a neat 3-stage action.

Step inside the Elite i20 and the first thing you'll notice is the new dashboard with a plethora of buttons on it. The black & beige interior theme is far more appealing than the 1st gen i20's brown colour palette. The designers have cleverly coupled the colours to make the cabin airy at the front. More importantly, the beige areas aren't in direct contact zones, hence they won't get dirty easily. The black carpeting is practical for India too. There is some dashboard reflection (of the beige portion) on the windscreen, although it's not too disturbing. The interior design appears to take some inspiration from BMWs, that's no bad thing for a B-segment hatchback!

Cabin fit and finish have always been the i20's strengths and with the new model, Hyundai have outdone themselves. Even if there aren't any soft touch materials, the plastic quality is top notch. Some of the soft-action buttons on the center console exude sheer quality. There is hardly an area with rough edges, even in places where one generally doesn't take notice (e.g. in the footwell).

The interiors of the outgoing i20 felt spacious and it's the same case with the Elite. The cabin feels a little wider. As a result, there is ample elbowroom at the front. The front seats provide excellent lateral support, under-thigh support is adequate and the seat compound is just right. While the seat compound is on the firmer side, we found the backrest area's upholstery to be a tad too soft for long journeys. Thanks to a multitude of adjustments available in the Asta variant, it is very easy to find your ideal driving position. The front seats have a long travel range and can easily accommodate those over 6 feet in height. The driver gets 20 levels of seat height adjustment. Short drivers will find this particularly useful as the dashboard placement is on the higher side. If you are buying a lower variant, first confirm that frontal visibility isn't an area of concern for you. The steering has rake & reach adjust; both have a healthy adjustment range. Hyundai has replaced the center armrest (attached to the driver's seat) with a standalone center armrest console on the Elite i20. The non-adjustable armrest is not very long and is positioned too far back to be comfortable for shorter drivers whose seats will be slid forwards. The footwell has properly spaced out pedals, along with a large and convenient dead pedal for the expressway trips.

Unlike the previous gen i20, the steering wheel now gets contours for your thumbs. While the steering is premium-feeling, a meatier wheel would befit a car of this price. You can control the audio, phone & MID via a total of 9 buttons (including a useful one for 'mute'). The dual-tone horn is better than the typical OEM 'peep' sounding ones, although not as sweet as the European wind-tone units. Frontal visibility is good. The 'A' pillars are thick, but are placed far ahead and the ORVMs are placed low, thus they don't hamper visibility like in the Ford EcoSport or Maruti Ritz. The ORVMs are sufficiently wide. However, they should have had more height for improved rearward vision. The small IRVMs, narrow rear windscreen and thick C-pillars result in poor rear visibility. Be extremely wary of the blind spots created.

Overall ergonomics are spot on with all crucial controls within easy reach. Even the center console fascia is angled towards the driver to give the i20 a driver-focussed appeal. The instrument console stays illuminated during the day and is easy to read. The MID offers a wide range of data, including dual trip meters, exterior temperature, digital speedometer, service interval and a drive summary (distance covered, average speed, driving time) when you switch the car off. When you switch the car on, the MID will warn you if you have parked with your front wheels turned. The MID's comprehensive nature aside, we're annoyed with Hyundai's stubbornness of not providing a fuel-efficiency readout or distance-to-empty counter.

Like some European cars, the central lock / unlock button is placed between the center air-con vents (and not on the driver's doorpad). If you lock / unlock the driver's door, only that door will lock / unlock. The central locking button has a blue light which stays illuminated when the car is locked. If 1 door is unlocked, this light starts blinking. On a related note, we're disappointed that Hyundai has skipped on the immensely useful 'auto-locking' doors feature. This is a glaring omission in an otherwise well-equipped car.

The i20's interiors have several small & useful functions. For instance, the MID's parking sensor display shows up only when you are reversing close to an object. The rear wiper has an intermittent function, and also automatically starts wiping if you engage reverse gear with the front wipers on. Then, the MID shows you not only which door is open, but also flashes the boot if it needs to be closed. For the forgetful ones, if you switch off the car with the headlamps & fog lamps on, the 'battery saver' feature automatically turns them off. The power windows have a delay feature, allowing them to be operated for a few seconds after switching the car off. Approach the i20 with the smart key in your pocket and the ORVMs will automatically fold out. These small touches go a long way in building that 'feel good' factor of ownership.

Owners of the 1st-gen i20 unanimously complained about the weak air-conditioner. Reason being, the Indian i20 originally carried a Euro-spec 90cc compressor that just couldn't cope with our climatic conditions. In the Elite i20 however, a 122cc compressor has been made standard across the range. The climate control of our test i20 kept the cabin cool even with the outside temperature nudging 37 degrees centigrade. The rear air-conditioner is very effective and we actually had to crank the blower down as things got too cold. The gimmicky 'clean air ionizer' is supposed to generate ions to purify and deodorize air inside the cabin. However, we concluded that outside odours do still enter the cabin when on 'fresh air mode', which we experienced on multiple occasions during our drive.

The OEM audio system is impressive. It has 8 speakers in total (a speaker + tweeter on each door). Sound quality is really good and if you like treble, this one is for you. If you prefer a more rounded sound, some tweaking of the mid and bass sliders will most certainly be required. Few owners will feel the need to upgrade the audio hardware. That said, like the old i20, the sound has a front bias. The front speakers are noticeably more powerful than the ones at the rear. The head-unit accepts the usual lot of inputs (CD, Aux, USB, Bluetooth) and even features 1GB of internal storage. Pairing our Android smartphone & streaming from it was a simple exercise (the system can pair up to 5 devices). Switching between audio sources (e.g. from USB to internal storage) is extremely quick too. The audio screen is easy to read under bright sunlight, but we found the screen to be on the smaller side. A size bigger would have been preferred.

In terms of storage, the glovebox is big enough, although it isn't as massive as that of the old i20. The door pockets are terribly narrow and have limited utility. Yes, they can hold 1L water bottles. Ahead of the gear lever is a storage cubicle good enough for 2 smartphones (it has 2 power outlets too). Under the driver's armrest is a medium-sized bin for your wallet & knick knacks. 2 cupholders of different (L / M) sizes are placed beside the handbrake. It's strange that these don't get a carpeted base when the ones of the Grand i10 do! Above the IRVM is a holder for the driver's sunglasses. Rear passengers get thin door pockets with bottle holders that can hold 1L bottles, and a single seatback pocket (behind the front passenger's seat) for storage.

The steering wheel feels premium and is nice to use, though we would have liked it to be a bit thicker. Unlike the older i20, this one has contours for your thumbs. Center horn pad area is bigger now:

Steering-mounted controls for audio, phone and MID feel premium. Also notice the useful mute button:

Steering is adjustable for rake and reach; both have a healthy adjustment range:

Easy to read instrument cluster stays illuminated during the day. The temperature & fuel readouts are digital:

Upon switching the car on - with the front wheels in a turned position - the system warns you to center the steering wheel. It also shows the direction in which the wheels are turned, and how you need to steer to straighten them:

The MID only switches over to the reverse parking sensor display once you are close to an object. Great attention to detail:

MID gives you 2 trip meters, average speed, time, exterior temperature, digital speedometer and service interval. We are annoyed with Hyundai's stubbornness of not providing any sort of fuel-efficiency readout, or that useful distance-to-empty counter:

Press the clutch and hit the engine start / stop button to fire up the motor. You can access 'audio on' (yellow light) and 'ignition' modes (blue light) by pressing the start / stop button without the clutch pedal:

You don't need to remove the smart key from your pocket to open the driver's door or start the vehicle. When you press the buttons on the key, they give you a clicky feedback:

The indicator stalks are almost identical to the ones found in the Santa Fe and reek of quality. Front wiper has 5-speed intermittent adjustment. Even the rear wiper has an intermittent 'Lo' speed. Push the left stalk to wash & wipe the rear windscreen. Notice the 'auto headlamp' function on the right stalk. The front fog lamps are activated through this stalk too:

The diesel's 6-speed gearbox is smooth to use, the throw is short and the gates are well defined. Even the knob feels lovely to hold. Notice the trapezoidal silver outline at the base:

8-speaker audio system sounds good. We found the display too small. Central locking button positioned above the hazard lights button. When the doors are locked, the button stays illuminated... when any door is unlocked, it flashes:

Just like the Grand i10, the audio system has 1 GB of onboard memory for your MP3s. 863 MB usable:

A closer look at the various options & settings available with the audio system. The screen is easy to read, even during the day:

The climate control is extremely effective. It kept us chilled on a 37 degree day. 122cc compressor is now standard across the range:

Useful storage area can accommodate 2 smartphones with ease. Dual 12V power sockets and illuminated Aux / USB audio inputs:

Front seats offer adequate support. Lateral support is excellent:

The driver gets a healthy range of seat height adjustment (20 cranks of the lever); very useful for short drivers:

Hyundai has replaced the old center armrest (fixed to the driver's seat) with an armrest console. It is positioned too far back to be useful for shorter drivers:

The armrest console has a useful storage area (4.7" smartphone for scale). The handbrake cover protrudes inside:

Two sizes of cup holders to the left of the handbrake. The Grand i10's cup holder has a carpeted base, not present in the Elite i20!!

Doors open in a 3-stage action. Surprisingly, no fabric inserts on the doorpads of such a premium hatchback:

Door pads are too narrow to be useful. Can accommodate a 1 liter bottle:

The button at the top folds / unfolds the ORVMs. Only the driver's door pad buttons are illuminated, and only the driver's window gets auto up / down:

A closer look at the silver door handle and the tweeter. A tweeter is provided on each of the 4 doors:

None of the air-con vents have individual air volume control. You can move them all the way to the outside to close them, although some air still comes through anyway:

The pedals are well spaced out. The dead pedal is on the larger side and very comfortable to use:

The fuse box and OBD port. There is no 'Master On / Off' switch like the Grand i10:

Shocking to see height adjustable seat belts missing in a car as well equipped as this. The seat belt cut-out has a slight rotation enabled, and adjusts itself with the movement of the passenger:

Glovebox is medium sized. No, it isn't as massive as the older i20. Cooling vent is visible on the top right:

A ticket / card holder located below the climate control. Another car we saw this in was the Ford EcoSport:

Reversing camera display is neatly integrated on the left of the IRVM. The display was bright enough during the day. The Elite i20 has adaptive guidelines which turn in the direction the car will steer, to provide additional support to the driver. The yellow & red lines indicate your proximity to an object behind:

We found the IRVM to be a size too small. That, along with the tiny rear windscreen & thick C pillars, seriously hamper rearward visibility:

The Elite i20 gets an electrochromic (auto dimming) IRVM. If you're being followed by a car with its high beam on, the mirror will dim automatically. Trivia - Hyundai's flagship 35 lakh SUV - the Santa Fe - doesn't offer this feature:

The driver's poor rearward view, due to the small windscreen & thick C-pillars. Be cautious:

ORVMs are wide. Wish they were taller though. Seems to be an example of form over function:

The A-pillars are thick, but placed far ahead and the ORVMs are low too. Thus they don't block visibility as much as in the Ford EcoSport, Maruti Ritz and Honda Civic:

Elite i20 gets a vanity mirror for the passenger only. The driver's side sunvisor has a flap to hold tickets and the like. The older i20 got a vanity mirror on both sunvisors. The sunvisors of the 2012 i20 felt richer; they even had a sliding lid for the mirror:

Twin cabin lights and a sunglasses holder at the front (with soft padding on the inside). The lights fade on and off in a neat, theater-like manner when the doors are opened / shut. Also, this is the only area where you will find exposed screws in the car:

Last edited by Aditya : 17th September 2014 at 17:48.
S2!!! is offline   (42) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 10:00   #4
Senior - BHPian
S2!!!'s Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,782
Thanked: 8,737 Times
Default Interiors - Rear

Interiors - Rear

The rear doors open wide in a two-stage action, but ingress / egress aren't as easy as expected. For one, the seats are placed low. Moreover, the gap between the B-pillar <-> seat is limited and the door sill is too high. Passengers with a large shoe size will have to twist their feet to get in or out.

Once seated, there are a lot of things going in favour of the i20. The rear seat is sufficiently spacious, and the additional wheelbase length (45 mm) & width (24 mm) are immediately evident. The well-contoured rear bench is as wide as one would expect from a premium hatchback. Still, it must be added that the Honda Jazz remains the roomier car. In the older i20, rear passengers sat almost upright. With the Elite i20, the backrest has a relaxed recline angle which is very comfortable. The front seatback is scooped to improve space efficiency. My 5'10" frame had acceptable knee room behind a 5'10" driver. What you will complain about is headroom. Due to the sloping roof, it's in short supply at the back. I had about an inch of clearance from the roof, but a 6-footer will most definitely brush his head against the ceiling. No issues with foot room width, although vertical space is just about adequate, due to the low front seats. Of course, those with very large shoes will be happier if the driver cranks his seat height up.

The 5th passenger sits higher than the others. He'll be more comfortable than in a Swift or Polo for sure. The floor hump is smaller than the Polo's, albeit the middle passenger will still prefer to rest his feet on either side of the hump.

With the front seats placed low and the small front neck restraints, rear passengers have a good view of the road ahead. Other than the limited headroom, another irritant is the window sill. While the length of the window is fine, it is positioned way too high. Short rear passengers will feel that the view outside is restricted. The tall window sill, thick C-pillars and small rear windscreen don't allow a lot of light inside. The lack of light & black interior colour does make the rear appear smaller than it actually is.

Rear passengers get an air-con console which is perfectly positioned. The vents are placed higher up, thus directing air flow right where it's required. The rear air-con is effective enough to chill the cabin rapidly. It comes with 2 adjustable vents (individually for direction, common setting for height) and air volume control. What's lacking is a 12v power socket for the smartphones of those at the back. Remember the air-con vents under the front seats of the older i20? They didn't make it to the Elite i20.

The boot has a cargo capacity of 285 liters (10 liters down on the outgoing car). The Asta variant gets 60:40 splitting rear seats for added flexibility. The loading bay is slightly high and will require extra effort when putting heavy items inside.

The rear door opens with a 2 stage action. The arm rest slopes upwards, hence, isn't the best place to rest your forearm; the flat ones are better:

Rear passengers get even smaller door pockets than those at the front. They can hold a 1 liter bottle though:

Rear legroom is good. At 5'10", I could sit behind a 5'10" driver with some knee room to spare. 45 mm longer wheelbase is evident:

The gap between the seat and B-pillar is limited and the door sill is too high. Ingress and egress aren't as easy as you would expect:

Adjustable neck restraints only on the Asta variant. They are on the firmer side:

Effective rear air-con. 2 individually adjustable vents for direction and a common setting for airflow & height. The vents are located high up, thus directing airflow to the right spots. The front has two 12v sockets but there isn't one for the rear passengers. Even the Grand i10 gets one at the back:

Floor hump is marginal in size. Not as intrusive as that on the Polo, though the rear AC housing eats into the space:

Old i20 had air con vents below the front seats. They have been removed from the Elite i20:

A single seatback pocket behind the front passenger seat:

Twin cabin lamps at the front and the one at the rear. The rear cabin lamp is located right above the rear seat (which is very useful) and not in the centre:

Notice the high window sill at the rear. The black colour, high window sill and small windscreen greatly restricts light from coming into the cabin. The outside view of short passengers will be restricted. Also notice the fixed rear grab handles with a coat hook. It would have been nice had Hyundai added spring loaded grab handles to add a premium feel:

Yes, the rear window rolls down all the way:

Neat slot to park the seat belt clip in when it is not in use. Also visible is the high quality door seal:

One of the few rough spots in the Elite i20. If the rear passengers turn around, they are going to see unconcealed spot welds around the rear windscreen. A rubber beading could have been provided here:

A closer look at the interesting seat fabric:

A generous 285 liter boot:

However, the loading bay's lip is slightly high and will require extra effort when lifting heavy items over it:

The rear seats can fold down completely for those rare occasions. The Asta variant has a 60:40 split:

A useful parcel tray at the back had sunken-in compartments to hold smaller items:

Notice the boot lamp. Also there are two bag hooks on either side of the boot to hang shopping bags:

It doesn't matter if you are a righty or a lefty. The Elite i20 has 2 handles to pull down the hatch. Usually cars have one:

The soft-touch electric boot release button (under the tailgate):

Also on the underside of the hatchback is a mechanical boot open button. In emergency situations (eg: 26/07 Mumbai floods) if you are locked inside the car, fold down the rear seats, slide the key in and mechanically open the boot from the inside to escape. This life saving feature is found in most of the European cars:

Non alloy spare wheel, tyre size is the same. A 5th alloy would have been nice. Unlike the Grand i10, the spare wheel is fastened with its face downward, which means extra effort to check the air pressure:

Last edited by Aditya : 17th September 2014 at 18:19.
S2!!! is offline   (31) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 10:02   #5
Senior - BHPian
S2!!!'s Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,782
Thanked: 8,737 Times
Default Engines & Driving Experience

Driving the 1.4L Diesel

Hyundai has carried forward the same 2nd generation U2 1.4L CRDI motor from the outgoing i20. Power & torque figures remain identical at 89 BHP (@ 4000 rpm) and 220 Nm of torque (@ 1500 - 2750 rpm). Hyundai has tweaked the ECU to improve driveability and shortened the 3rd & 6th gear ratios too:

To start the i20 diesel, simply press the clutch pedal and tap that engine start button. The improvement in driveability is immediately evident! Turbo-lag has greatly reduced, resulting in far lesser gear shifts around town. Power delivery feels more linear than in the older i20. The downside of this is, the turbo shove is gone too. The 1.4L diesel is now very city-friendly and is a breeze to drive in traffic conditions. There is adequate torque delivery even before the turbo spools up, and the motor certainly doesn't feel dead between 1100 - 1500 rpm (unlike some of its rivals). In some low rpm situations where the older i20 diesel would take its own sweet time to react, the Elite i20 feels distinctly livelier. It manages to pull from as low as 5 kph in 2nd gear; no waiting for eons (pun unintended) to get going. You'll definitely be downshifting lesser with the new car. The turbo is spooling fast at ~1800 rpm and the i20 feels very sprightly at medium city speeds. Hyundai engineers have done a great job of tuning the diesel for Indian traffic conditions. As good as the driveability is though, the Micra's 1.5L remains the benchmark.

The diesel feels at home in the city as well as on the highway. Keep the motor on the boil and it will reward you with excellent open-road performance. The throttle feels eager to respond as well. There is no push-into-the-seat feeling though, as power is delivered in a very mature fashion. Out on the expressway at speeds where the other 1.3L MJD hatchbacks would be running out of breath, the i20 is still accelerating. The car is a fantastic long distance cruiser with loads of highway pep. The 220 Nm of torque ensures that overtaking manoeuvres are effortlessly executed. At times, I didn't even shift down from 5th / 6th gear when passing others from the fast lane. A gentle nudge on the accelerator does the trick. Because of the power on tap, the i20 diesel feels like it can maintain 3 digit speeds all day, and easily keep up with more expensive machinery. The additional ratio on the 6-speed box allows a superior spread of power and the gear ratios are perfectly chosen. Additionally, the 6th gear brings relaxed cruising ability. The Elite i20 sees 100 kph at ~2,100 rpm and 120 kph at 2,500 rpm. The engine revvs clean to 4,500 rpm...even 5,000 rpm, but as is the case with most diesels, there is no point in going so high on the gauge. I might add that power delivery is better than most other hatchbacks, yet the Polo 1.6 GT TDI is in a class of its own. The VW literally flies!

The clutch is not a super light unit, and neither is it too heavy. The pedal does have a long travel range though, longer than you'd expect in such a premium hatchback. This long clutch can get cumbersome in bumper to bumper traffic. A softer, shorter clutch would be more in line with the character of the i20. Hyundai should address this problem at the earliest. The 6-speed gearbox is smooth to operate. Shift action is light, the throws are on the shorter side and the gates are well-defined.

I'll tell you something that will summarise the sheer level of refinement. The first time I sat inside the car, I realised it's the diesel only after I caught the revv counter & 6-speed gearbox!! Yes, it's that good. This 1.4L engine is easily the most refined amongst oil-burner hatchbacks. It never sounds too gruff or too loud. At higher rpms, sound levels stay well within acceptable limits and there is absolutely none of that ugly drone that we've witnessed in the Punto diesel. In fact, when cruising on the highway, it doesn't sound like a diesel at all. Take her to the redline and the engine - while audible - actually has a likeable note to it. Vis a vis the old i20, Hyundai has made improvements in other areas. The suspension does its work silently (older i20's rear suspension was clunky and used to thud continuously) and tyre noise is under control too (not the case with the older i20). At the front of the cabin, a certain amount of wind noise (from the ORVMs) can be heard at very high speeds, but it's not too intrusive. The single fly in the NVH ointment is the engine vibration being felt on the clutch pedal. It's directly proportionate to the engine rpm.

The hydraulic engine mounts do a good job in maintaining high refinement levels:

Turbocharger is located behind the engine (between engine and firewall):

Coolant reservoir is awkwardly placed below - behind the radiator - and is also positioned low:

Attention to detail - See how nicely the windscreen washer pipe has been clamped on & fitted:

ECU is located behind the battery:

A lot of parts are still sourced from Korea:

Partial engine guard; you can clearly see the ground below:

No cladding under the hood for the diesel. Refinement levels are still top notch:

Look closely and you will see the brick-type intercooler (on the right):

Diesel stamped 3 times to avoid mistakes by fuel pump attendants:

As a safety feature, you have to press the clutch to start the engine:

Driving the 1.2L Petrol

The 1.2L Dual VTVT Kappa petrol motor produces 82 BHP @ 6000 rpm and 115 Nm of torque @ 4000 rpm:

This engine is also carried forward from the 2012 i20, albeit with minor changes. In the Elite i20, power has dropped by 1 BHP compared to the older car; however, torque has increased by 1 Nm. This is the same engine that powers the Grand i10 (935 kgs) and Xcent (958 kgs), which feel peppier in comparison to the heavier Elite i20 (1018 kgs).

The engine is unbelievably smooth at idle; the rpm needle is your only indication that the engine is running. Start driving and the Elite i20 feels nearly identical to the outgoing car. The 1.2L does the job, for the most part, atleast within the city. Power delivery won’t pose a problem to sedate drivers, and urban performance can best be termed as adequate. Those looking at a point A -> point B commuter won’t be disappointed. The initial gear ratios are short, and this does help driveability. Still, because of the car’s mediocre torque to weight ratio, expect to downshift within the city, especially from 2nd to 1st gear. Even though the low end torque feels like it has marginally improved, it is still rather easy to stall while starting off. Power delivery is satisfactory up until 100 kph, preferably with a light load of passengers onboard. I must add that the motor sounds really good between 3,000 - 5,000 rpm. On the flip side, the petrol's engine note penetrates into the cabin quite noticeably, starting from a rather early 2,500 rpm onwards. Like its diesel sibling, the clutch travel range is longer than you'd expect (more so than the Swift & Polo petrols). The 5-speed gearbox is smooth and delightful, with manageable throws and precisely defined gates.

So, is the i20 1.2L an all-rounder hatchback like its diesel sibling? No chance! Take the petrol Elite i20 on the highway and it immediately displays its weak spot - put the i20 petrol under any stressful situation (e.g. quick overtaking) and the result is disappointing. Expect to really work the engine when climbing up inclines with a load of passengers. You will have to keep the motor spinning between 2500 - 4000 rpm to get the best out of it. 100 kph comes up at 2750 rpm in 5th gear; at 120 kph (3300 rpm), the engine is already feeling overworked. Cars like the Swift, Brio & Jazz feel distinctly sprightlier on the highway.

It is best to adopt an easy driving style with the petrol i20 on the open road. There is no point hurrying up because, if you work the revvs, the 1.2L will neither be fast nor fuel-efficient. It’s just better to accept the limited performance on tap and drive with a light foot. The petrol is nowhere as impressive as the diesel. In fact, we still insist that it’s underpowered for a premium hatchback. In a nutshell, it is not a motor which enthusiasts will enjoy, but for regular urban commuting, it does the job.

The petrol gets a 5-speed manual (diesel has a 6-speed) which is a delight to use. It has relatively short throws and precise gates:

Gearshift indicator suggesting an upshift to 2nd gear:

The pipe on the right hand side was unrestrained and vibrated a lot:

Ironically, there is no mention of "Petrol" anywhere near the fuel cap (the diesel had it mentioned in 3 places):

Ride, Handling, Steering & Brakes

Compared to the old i20's puzzled suspension, or the 2011 Verna's wallowy behaviour, the Elite i20's underpinnings have grown up. The i20 now feels a lot more mature in terms of road manners. Ride quality is very compliant. Comfort levels are good at speed too, and the i20 nicely absorbs small to medium sized bumps. At medium speeds, you won't find the need to slow down for road undulations. There is hardly any bounciness on the highway and the ride is comfortable at the front and back, both. The rear end of the car doesn't bounce around like the confused ol' i20, thanks to superior damping characteristics. Not only does this make things better for passengers, but even the driver feels more confident. This suspension tune is one of the biggest improvements of the Elite i20 and is in line with what we've seen on other recently launched Hyundais (e.g. Grand i10). Don't get me wrong, it's no magic carpet ride. While the suspension rounds off most small to medium potholes, the large ones do send a jolt into the cabin. These come in real sharp too; we feel it's more to do with the 16" wheels (and thus, shorter tyre sidewalls) than the suspension itself. The lower variants with their 14" wheels should be plush riding all through. What's more, you don't hear the suspension working. It does its job quietly, unlike the old i20's prominent 'clunks & thuds'. Note: The petrol Elite i20 felt like its suspension set up was a bit softer than the diesel.

The steering is light enough at city speeds. This is something that the mass market loves. As the speedometer climbs, the electric steering weighs up better (not as much as we'd like though). The reduced nervousness & twitchiness at highway speeds is very welcome for a Hyundai steering. A little bit of play around the centre position helps matters too. That said, the i20's EPS is not as sharp & precise as that of the Swift (as an example). It's simply not as much fun to use. The steering feels fairly artificial in feedback and it has a stubborn centre-back action which takes some getting used to. If you turn the steering at 20 kph and take your hands off the wheel, it'll come back to the center position quicker than you'd expect. I found this return action to be too aggressive. This was especially noticeable on long winding highways, where the EPS weighed up and the centre-action fought back, leading to fatigued arms for the driver. To summarise, the EPS has improved overall, but it's far from the segment best. The 5.2 meter turning radius is the same as before. It doesn't offer the same convenience or chuckability of rivals like the Swift (4.8 m).

The i20 remains easy to drive within the city because of the light controls & sorted ergonomics. High speed manners have matured thanks to the suspension set-up and superior steering. The Elite i20's chassis displays more poise than the 1st-gen car. That feeling of 'floatiness' at speed has been eliminated. Straight line stability is par for the course and it doesn't have you at the edge of the seat (like the 2011 Verna, for instance). Grip levels are good around corners, while overall behaviour can be best termed as safe & predictable. In addition to the improved suspension, the fatter 195 mm tyres & larger 16" wheels play a part in improving the overall dynamics. No nasty surprises that catch you out here. The i20 is no European tank though. This isn't a corner carving tool by any stretch of imagination and neither is it as much fun to drive as the Swift, Polo & Punto. Some amount of body roll is felt under fast cornering. If pushing the car at silly speeds on the expressway, you will find crosswinds affecting the car a little. In addition to that, mid-corner bumps will upset the i20's composure. Drive the i20 as a regular family hatchback and you'll be satisfied. No longer do the dynamics leave room for complaint. In the same breath, I might add, the Elite i20 won't appeal to enthusiastic tastes.

The Elite i20 gains 5 mm of ground clearance. The 170 mm of clearance, coupled with a suspension that isn't as soft, should take care of the old i20's underbelly scraping woes. We leave final verdict on this area to our ownership reports, especially the Bangalore BHPians who encounter the largest speed bumps in the country.

Hyundai has removed rear disc brakes from the Elite i20, replacing them with cheaper drums (like every other hatchback). Still, no one will be complaining of stopping power. The brakes perform as expected and the hardware is capable of shedding speed quickly. We slammed on the brakes at ~100kph and the i20 stopped in a straight line, with no fuss or drama at all. Two complaints with the brake pedal though. For one, the pedal feels quite spongy to operate. Secondly, it doesn't bite as sharply as that of the Grand i10, hence you have to apply more pressure & press it firmly to get the brakes to work. This takes some getting used to.

Last edited by GTO : 10th September 2014 at 11:04.
S2!!! is offline   (49) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 10:05   #6
Senior - BHPian
S2!!!'s Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,782
Thanked: 8,737 Times
Default Other Points

Other Points:

• We were the first to spot the new i20 being tested in India. Thread link (SCOOP Pics! 2014 Hyundai i20 spotted testing in India *UPDATE* Now launched @ 4.89L).

• Hyundai's Hyderabad R&D center has played a significant role in the development of the new i20.

• The Elite i20 is definitely a step ahead of the 1st-gen car, but the difference between the two isn't as much as the Grand i10 & older i10.

• The Elite moniker sounds awfully cheesy! Who thought of that??!! Thankfully, there isn't a single 'Elite' badge on the car.

• Speaking of badges, there is no HYUNDAI badge on the new generation of Hyundai cars either. This is brand confidence! One might recall that VW actually added the VOLKSWAGEN nameplate to the Indian Vento and Polo, after they were launched.

• The Elite i20 has an ARAI rating of 18.60 kpl for the Era and Magna variants & 18.24 kpl for the Sportz, Sportz (O) and Asta variants (2012 i20 had a rating of 18.50 kpl).

• The 1.4L CRDi motor is rated at 22.54 kpl for the Era and Magna variants & 21.76 kpl for the Sportz, Sportz (O) and Asta variants (2012 i20 ARAI rating @ 21.9 kpl). Added equipment on the higher variants results in the minor difference, due to their additional weight.

• The Elite i20 has a 45 liter fuel tank. The efficient diesel variant will deliver a phenomenal highway tank range.

• Whenever you walk up to the car with the smart key in your pocket, the ORVMs automatically unfold. They also fold / unfold as you lock / unlock the car.

• Insulation levels are impressive. Once you shut the doors, the outside world stays......outside.

• The Elite i20 does not automatically lock the doors once you begin driving. This is a huge disadvantage in terms of passenger safety and keeping valuables in the car safe.

• Only the driver's window has the auto up / down feature. Only the driver's doorpad gets illuminated buttons.

• Even the steering-mounted controls are illuminated (like the Grand i10).

• The dashboard has a cool blue backlighting effect. The illuminated USB socket looks especially 'electric' at night.

• Once you've begun driving, vehicle settings on the MID can only be tinkered with if you engage the handbrake.

• The i20's stereo has 'speed sensitive volume'. That is, audio volume increases with speed (and vice versa). This feature can be turned off via the audio settings screen.

• The diesel i20 somehow felt more planted than its petrol sibling. The EPS of the petrol i20 felt lighter too.

• Unintended acceleration woes? Don’t sweat. If you press the brake and accelerator pedals together, the ECU ignores accelerator input and applies the brakes only. Hyundai calls this 'Smart Pedal'.

• In case of an accident or heavy impact, all doors automatically unlock to allow occupants to get out quickly.

• If you leave the car turned on and walk away with the smart key (eg: while handing over the car to a hotel valet), there is no beeping reminder like the Grand i10. Only a warning message appears on the MID.

• Since India is the first country where the Elite i20 has been introduced, there is no Euro NCAP crash rating available yet. The older generation car had a 5 star safety rating; we don't expect the newer i20 to be any different.

• Service intervals are 10,000 kms or 12 months through 1,045 Hyundai service points across India.

• The Elite i20 is available in 7 colour options: Pristine Blue, Stardust, Red Passion, Midas Gold, Sleek Silver, Mystic Blue and Polar White. You got to hand it to the marketing team for naming regular colours so creatively .

• The automatic 1.4L petrol will arrive a few months later. It was a similar case with the Grand i10. The 1.4L AT will carry forward the same engine & transmission as the earlier i20. To know how it drove, click here.

• Missed opportunity = A diesel i20 with an automatic or AMT gearbox. The Zest remains the only diesel AT in the Indian market priced below Rs. 10 lakh.

• A huge thanks to Moderator Stratos for post-processing the review pictures.

Disclaimer : Hyundai invited Team-BHP for the i20 test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 7th September 2014 at 10:08.
S2!!! is offline   (39) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 10:07   #7
Senior - BHPian
S2!!!'s Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,782
Thanked: 8,737 Times
Default The Smaller yet Significant Things

The Smaller yet Significant Things:

Front windscreen washers are neatly tucked away below the hood:

Oops. A design mis-match between the exterior and interior:

Two types of insulation inside the wheel wells. Plastic cladding as well as the spray-on coating type:

An underbody shot. 170 mm of ground clearance:

The MID gives you a trip summary every time you turn the car off. Information such as kms traveled, average speed and the travel duration is mentioned:

Attention to detail - leather cladding between the steering and instrument console to cover up the gap:

The 'clean air ionizer' is said to generate ions to purify and deodorize air inside the cabin. In our experience, outside odours did still enter the cabin when on 'fresh air mode':

The display button switches off the screen on the centre console. This can be useful while driving at night. In the older i20 it was marked as 'Dark':

A look at the thick rear C-pillar and the resultant big blind spots. Be cautious when reversing:

Even the headlamp height adjustment roller and instrument cluster lighting level controls are illuminated:

You can adjust the instrument cluster and dashboard button illumination to 21 levels:

The dash lit up at night:

VIN number is stamped below the driver's seat:

Also located below the driver seat is a metallic box. The wire you see below is for the seat belt warning. The front passenger seat had this same metal casing but no wire:

The door open warning tells you exactly which door is open. If you have left the boot open, it blinks on the MID to get your attention:

You can toggle through the MID to customise a lot of settings. Amongst the functions are; headlamp turn-off delay, lane change indicator and auto unlock (when switching off the car):

This sensor located on top of the dash is used by the climate control as well as the auto headlamps:

No boot open lever here, it's linked to the central locking system. Only a fuel opening lever is present. Also, visible is a single mat hook to hold the driver's floor mat in place. What is unique is that even the front passenger mat gets a single hook to hold it in place:

A look at the minimum and maximum rear legroom. This pic also illustrates the long travel range of the front seats:

Smart key is made in Korea:

Some RTOs scan the RFID tag for verification along with the documents, when the vehicle goes for registration:

In case you had your doubts about the origin of this car :

When was the last time you saw a car with an option to simultaneously enable airflow to all three places?

Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd September 2014 at 10:24.
S2!!! is offline   (37) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 10:09   #8
Senior - BHPian
S2!!!'s Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,782
Thanked: 8,737 Times
Default Chief Competitors of the Hyundai Elite i20

Chief Competitors of the Hyundai Elite i20

Maruti Swift

What you’ll like:

• Snazzy styling packs appeal. Interiors are well-designed too
• Competent engine range. Very refined motors
• Balanced ride and handling. Superbly tuned suspension
• Terrific fuel efficiency, especially from the diesel
• Effortless to drive in the city; lots of fun on the highway
• Maruti’s excellent after-sales-service & wide dealer network

What you won’t:

• Small, impractical boot. Luggage capacity is severely restricted
• Mediocre brakes (LXi / LDi & VXi / VDi). Inadequate for emergency braking conditions
• Looks nearly identical to the outgoing generation car
• Rear seat space, though improved, still isn't "spacious"
• Pricey ZXi / ZDi variants. Also, ABS no longer an option on the middle “V” variants

Volkswagen Polo

What you'll like:

• A well-built solid European hatchback
• 1.5L diesel & 1.2L TSI petrol engines are very competent
• Clean and contemporary styling. Absolutely no quirkiness
• Mature suspension offers a balanced ride & handling package
• Dual airbags even in the base variants!
• Accommodating 280 liter boot

What you won't:

• Base 3-cylinder 1.2L petrol engine is unimpressive
• Mediocre rear bench legroom and a large floor hump
• Missing essentials (driver armrest of the Vento, 60:40 splitting rear seat, dead pedal, seatback pockets)
• VW's sub-par dealership & service experiences

Toyota Etios Liva

What you'll like:

• A neutral family hatchback with the "T" badge
• Spacious interiors can easily carry 5 adults
• Super light controls, especially steering & short-throw clutch. Effortless to drive within the city
• Well-tuned suspension. Safe handling and flat ride
• Safety package (Airbags, ABS & EBD) optional on middle variant too
• Toyota’s fuss-free ownership experience & excellent after-sales

What you won't:

• 1.2L engine lacks bottom end; isn't a class-topper like the Etios 1.5 (from which it is derived)
• Cost-cutting glaringly obvious in many areas
• Economy-grade interior quality & unconventional dashboard
• Missing equipment (climate control, height adjustable driver's seat etc.)
• Poor insulation. Engine, suspension & road noise are prominent

Fiat Punto Evo

What you'll like:

• Stunning design. Easily the most stylish hatchback on our roads today
• Solid build quality
• Fuel efficient diesel
• Mature & superb ride quality
• Outstanding high speed dynamics. A benchmark amongst hatches
• Perfectly calibrated & weighted power steering. Deserves a mention here
• 5 star safety, ABS & airbags (even on the diesel variant)

What you won't:

• Rear bench space. Cosy interiors by big hatch standards. Not an Indica Vista
• Interior fit, finish and quality are strictly average
• Low FE of the petrol
• Lack of outright performance (diesel). No high powered engine (a la Palio 1.6 100 BHP)
• Engine noise at speed (petrol and diesel both)
• Service network not a match of say, Maruti or Hyundai

Chevrolet Sail U-VA

What you’ll like:

• A well-rounded family hatchback
• Superbly tuned 1.3L diesel powerplant. Short-throw gearbox is a pleasure to use
• Spacious interiors. Rear legroom betters some sedans
• Excellent ride quality mated to neutral road manners
• Ideal for city driving : High seating position with a light steering, clutch and gearshift

What you won’t:

• Dated & unappealing styling
• Missing features (No climate control, MID, steering-mounted audio controls, seat height adjustment)
• Sensitive steering at high speed. Needs a steady hand on the expressway
• Some quirky interior bits : Push / pull type door locks, centrally-placed window switches etc.

Tata Vista

What you’ll like:

• Efficient diesel engine options (Tdi and Quadrajet)
• Offers great value for money
• New interiors look and feel much better in terms of overall quality
• Improved gearbox, light clutch and light steering make for effortless city driving
• Spacious interiors. Roomiest in the segment; beats some sedans from 2 segments up
• Absorbent, comfortable ride quality

What you won’t:

• Fit and finish need improvement. Exterior panel gaps are inconsistent too
• Soft suspension setup. Best driven sedately
• Is getting long in the tooth
• Niggling issues & irritants persist (as reported by existing Vista owners)
• Tata’s after-sales-service remains a gamble

Last edited by GTO : 24th September 2014 at 12:25.
S2!!! is offline   (40) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 10:55   #9
Team-BHP Support
Rehaan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 21,267
Thanked: 18,054 Times
Default Re: Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Official Reviews!

Thanks for the extremely detailed review S2!!
Rehaan is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 11:04   #10
Distinguished - BHPian
CrAzY dRiVeR's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bangalore / TVM
Posts: 7,343
Thanked: 9,019 Times
Default Re: Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review

Brilliant review! Let me be the first to congratulate and thank the effort.

I recently purchased an Xcent SX(o) automatic for parents and here are my impressions of the Elite i20 compared to the Xcent.

1. Parents were not convinced of the i20. For them, a sedan (even though a miniature one) like the Xcent holds better value proposition than a premium hatch like the i20.

2. Personally, I somehow am not able to digest the looks of the Indian version. It looks better in real than the pictures suggest though. Another point I hate is the weird pattern of the front grill. Couldnt they stick to more conventional designs like a honeycomb? The whole sub-4m front end (Trimmed specially for the Indian version) reminds me of a duck's beak - the way it comes so low and flat, and appears to widen towards the front!

3. Width inside the cabin is a plus over the Xcent. Front seats are narrow though and the seating position felt significantly lower compared to the Xcent!

4. Rear is claustrophobic. Had this discussion with Vidyut the other day where he mentioned the same, however I concur with his observation that the space is just as good as the Xcent/ may be even more. Back seat also offers much better seating position / under thigh support compared to the Xcent.

5. Turning radius at 5.2m is too much! My Punto itself is a pain at 5m. The new Elite i20 would be a struggle reversing into our garage, which the Xcent manages easily at 4.7m radius, and the Punto somehow manages at 5m.

6. The Elite i20 feels particularly Indianised, and I have pointed out the same here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ia-europe.html (Hyundai stops exporting cars from India to Europe).

7. No DRLs, no sunroof, no option of 6 airbags, no rear disk brakes - significant level of kit missing from the outgoing version.

Overall, though impressive - I dont think its a huge step up for Hyundai like the first generation i20 was!

Do i regret purchasing the Xcent SX(o) automatic for parents?

No, for five reasons - 1. Elite i20 automatic is yet to hit the market 2. Long turning radius of the i20 would have made U-turn into our garage impossible and 3. Claustrophobic rear seat 4. They are happier with their 'sedan' ownership. 5. The driving position of the Xcent/ Grand i10 is much more suited to elderly people compared.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 3rd September 2014 at 11:33.
CrAzY dRiVeR is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 11:21   #11
aneezan's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 399
Thanked: 174 Times
Default Re: Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review

Excellent review S2. Seems the i20 has grown up after all, especially in-terms of the drive and handling. A lot more buyers then.
I fail to understand why the features in the previous version are removed in this.
aneezan is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 11:34   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
//M's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 3,818
Thanked: 6,248 Times
Default Re: Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review

Wow that's a brilliant review S2 !!

I have not yet gone through the review in depth, but saw the pictures and the descriptions, the Elite i20 looks and feels amazing inside out. I had a chance to see it at a dealership in Pune, and the interiors felt great. It also looks like a mini-SUV from the rear even though it has a sloping roofline. A good stance, I must say.

However, there are a few features that are seriously missing like the fuel efficiency indicator, rear wash wipe, etc. Certainly not a deal breaker, but somehow we Indians have become used to these "basic" features.

Overall, its a good effort by Hyundai and I am glad to see the brand getting bold and beautiful with its new range of products.

Rated this awesome review a very well-deserved 5-stars !
//M is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 11:35   #13
ironager's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 74
Thanked: 47 Times
Default Re: Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review

I have been waiting for tbhp to review the new i20 for a while. The best thing about this review is that it is unbiased, honest and very detailed to give complete information to a car enthusiast or potential buyer unlike the reviews we find in auto magazines such as Autocar, Overdrive etc.

As far as the i20 goes, Huyndai have done a commendable job on the exteriors and the car looks spot on and somewhat looks more European in design than the Euro cars such as VW Polo. The fit and finish and equipment levels are also at par with most other manufacturers. The only grouse i have is that Hyundai should have put in a 1.6 or a 1.2 turbocharged engine or a more powerful diesel in the car as VW have done with the Poli GT TSI and TDI.
ironager is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 11:42   #14
ambivalent_98's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune-Bangalore
Posts: 742
Thanked: 149 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (4)
Default Re: Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review

Very detailed review. Thanks for that. Here is what mystifies me , considering the price point why doesn't Hyundai give a touch-screen infotainment with GPS , projector headlights ? They could throw in these goodies rather than encourage people to go and upgrade from the market.
Also the matured Fluidic language has mellowed down but then if I look at it carefully I can see a little bit of the competition in the shape. I clearly could see a little bit of Polo , a little bit of Swift. The overall effect is good but just loading it with electronics and hiking the price , would that be OK ? Could they have given a bigger engine like the Polo used to come with a 1.6 TDI ? Not sure but just questions that come to mind after reading the amazing review.
ambivalent_98 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2014, 12:14   #15
Arch-Angel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Chn(Atrocity)
Posts: 552
Thanked: 275 Times
Default Re: Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review

Thats a great review! Good job . This seems to be "the" hatchback with all necessary features! Lets see the competitors up the ante now...

All in all, it seems like its going to be better from here on, where indian customers receive more for their cash.
Arch-Angel is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hyundai Sibling Rivalry : Grand i10 vs Elite i20 vs Xcent iamendangered Hatchbacks 74 19th September 2015 18:20
Elite Forum, Elite Feeling xydon Introduce yourself 4 8th June 2012 19:31

All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 09:12.

Copyright 2000 - 2016, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks