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Old 15th October 2012, 13:31   #1
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Thumbs up Hyundai i20 - A 7000 km Journey & Experience

Hello friends,

After the last of the three free services available to me, I celebrated the first birthday of my i20 this Sunday. The odo reads 7400 kms which I think is a fair reading considering the car is driven only for 12kms a day on weekdays.

Model: Asta Petrol (1.2) - Oct 2011
Color: White
Dealer: Trident Hosur Road
City: Bangalore

As this is not the initial ownership report, I will not spend much time on my dealership experience but will only say that my experience with the sales team was fairly pleasant and I got my car delivered on time as per my satisfaction (in terms of discounts, freebies etc.)

I remember there is joke in almost every family about a guy whose car got bashed up the moment he drove it out of the showroom. I remember myself laughing at it so many a times, but little did I know that something very close to this would happen to me. I have shared my experience over the 'ordeal' at: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ngalore-5.html (Trident Hyundai, Bangalore) (Post #61)

Just to add to incident mentioned in the link provided above - It happened at 10 AM in the morning at Koramangala 80ft road right at the Wipro Office red light crossing. It was my wife who was driving the car and as mentioned in the post she was waiting at the red light for the signal to go green when this happened. Thankfully she was wearing the seat belt due to which she did not suffer any major injuries. This is the third car between me and my wife and we never had any accident history in the past, so you can imagine what we felt that moment after seeing our brand new (6 days old to be precise) sparkling white i20 squashed badly from the rear. We had stopped the garbage truck guy and asked him to call the truck owner to the Koramangala police station. Anyhow the owner came, was kind enough to pay 30k as compensation after which we wrote a settlement letter in front of the police officer and bid goodbye to each other. (A lot of people tell us that we were blind lucky to have dealt with such a guy and police officer and that too in our benefit) I try not to reply to such comments because 'lucky' - we definitely were not!

To tell you all a little about my affinity towards my car (any that I have owned so far) is that I like to keep is Spic n Span and I get hassled even with the smallest of squeaks/noise coming from any part of the car when its not intended to. Owing to this nature of mine, it took me a little while in getting my car back to the showroom condition after the accident. Nevertheless, all well that ends well.

I guess the the mood of my draft has taken a little plunge because of what I have outlined so far. Let me try to bring it up, and lets do that by talking about the car. Oh yes its a beauty! A beauty and how!

Well firstly, if you are contemplating on buying this car or any other car you should be sure of what you need from it. I remember when I was doing my research on which car to buy last year, the only factor that I was a little apprehensive about in this car was the 'under-power' factor. And I don't say this because I read about it in a forum here, I say this because that's what I felt when I test drove i20 (this was the first car in this segment that I drove). After driving a Santro for close to 5 years, and I was taken aback at the slow responsiveness of the car. There was a big lag at low RPM. But then I started testing the same factor with other cars in this segment like Punto, Figo, Jazz, Polo, Fabia etc and I found all these more or less had the same behavior (Some even worse and some a tad better). Keeping this in mind, I eliminated this 'under-power' factor from my bother list. With this out there was nothing else which could bring any other car close to i20. Of course, I had planned my budget so the cost was not a consideration for me at that time. I only looked at two factors which narrowed down my option and those were - Safety and Features. i20 excels in both, with former being tested 6 days out of the showroom.

I will try and elaborate my experience with some of the deciding factors below:

1. Engine:

As already hinted above, there is a lag at low RPM. Becomes even more evident with the AC on and 4 people on board. But this is not a deal breaker because same is there in pretty much most of the cars in this segment. Besides, I have sort of adjusted to it and now I don't feel the lag anymore. Gear Ratios are short, so yes, I have to downshift to first gear more often in city traffic, but again adjusted to it. Also, individual driving habits differ so experience differs as well.
AC works pretty fine, having tested it in Pondicherry hot climate also. Could have been a tad better because I am sure the cooling for the rear passengers is not as instant as for the front ones.

The diesel engine is a lot more powerful but that too suffers from a lag at low RPM. But once it catches up, you see smoke at the horizon. We initially were contemplating on the diesel variation, but then settled for petrol considering that our daily running was less that 15 kms, occasional highway drives v/s the cost factor. Petrol was more value for money to us.

2. Features:

When we talk in this language, then i20 can put a lot of sedans to shame. The inside is plush with excellent amalgamation of ergonomics and quality. I love the electric ORVM's in particular.
I heard that there were some steering rattling issues reported by other users in older model of i20, but I would like to mention that I have not experienced any noise from the steering column so far. Also other people within my circle enjoying the same ride haven't reported anything similar as well. So maybe that issue has been rectified in all the models coming out 2011 onwards.
There are so many features within this car at this price, that sometimes I feel maybe the quality has been compromised somewhere. Still to find where though. However, there is one issue I have and that is the seat belt beeper continues to beep even when the car comes to a halt. Need to show it the next time I visit the service station.
With almost all the functionality available to you at the click of a button you feel as if you are in total control on the road. I guess this car will spoil me when I choose my next one. Mind you, this car has a very decent boot! Almost anything can fit in there. So for all those of you who are looking for a sedan just for the additional space, re-assess. You might be missing out on a lot of other aspects that you will find in this car.

3. Safety:

ABS - Works like a charm. I have had the 'opportunity' to test it out a couple of times on the highway and must I tell you it has always brought my car to a stable and instant halt, without loosing my steering capability.
Front airbags are standard. The build quality of the car is pretty solid and it became evident with my accident. Seeing the size of the truck and the speed at which it was approaching (~60 kmph) my car took a good beating but did not give in much. I dread just by the thought of my wife being in her Wagon R that time when it happened. Please, always wear your seat belts. This car comes with seat belt indicators for driver and passenger (front). Initially it was annoying but now we have realized the need for it.

4. Driving and Mileage:

i20 is a pleasure to drive. Period. Of course you need to condition yourself to the 'supposed' shortcoming with respect to low power@ low RPM but thereon, you will find the driving within city a pleasure. The way steering wheel rests on your thigh, easily accessible door-window-ORVM controls on your right, steering mounted controls (audio and Bluetooth), in-dash audio system, ACC, you feel as if you are sitting in a space shuttle cockpit. These might be luxury features but I must tell you they make your life a lot easier especially in wee hours of traffic, with sun on top of your head, fender to fender traffic and blaring horns all around. It makes a big difference.Trust me.
On highways I have mostly maintained an average of 100-110kmph (owing to the quality of highways en route to Vellore and Kolar from Bangalore) and I find the car pretty stable. Yes body roll is there but guys come on, we are talking about a hatchback here. The steering however could have been a little more resistive at higher speeds. Going by the books any speed above 120 for these cars is not safe any given day. Still many a times I have done till 140 kmph on this car on straight stretches and the car is stable. I must tell you that the car has almost zero cabin noise and its only when cruising at 3000 RPM or more you can hear the engine rev. Roll up the window in Bangalore traffic and you will almost certainly feel that you are deaf. I must warn you though, all these 'features' will spoil you. Now I simply cannot drive with the windows down (good or bad I don't know). Another thing is that the car tends to bottom out on every oddly designed bump if the car is loaded in the back side. Make sure you follow the 'S' pattern when crossing over such bumps.
About Mileage, this being the second Hyundai car with me I always sort of knew this factor was never a forte with the Korean brand. My i20 gives about 11 kmpl within city (with 50% AC) and easily 14 kmpl on highway and I am pretty happy with it.

5. Style Statement:

Not sure if this factor qualifies for this segment of cars, but if it were to be, this is surely the head-turner in the line up. Uber-Cool. No questions asked! Now we don't have sun films in Bangalore but I remember when there was no such restriction I used to see passing by i20's from the elevation of my office bus seats and simply loved the reflection of blue controls lights behind the black sun films. But with the films gone, anyone who is an onlooker is as good as the passenger. I hate it! I somehow like my model's design as compared to the new fluidic i20 released this year. Latter is more of a softer version maybe that's why fluidic. My model is more edgy and crisper. Its the same phenomenon as in photography.

Overall, I just wish they had given a more powerful engine to this car and it would have eliminated the competition hands down. I love Verna (diesel, the version before the fluidic and the verna transform). That was a road rocket! Heard the new fluidic version also experiences a lag at low RPM. To an extent I am at fault comparing the pickup of every car with Verna. Apples to Oranges, not good. Apart from this single thing, i20 is a fabulous car, and I would recommend it any day over the existing line up of car in the same segment.

Its always a good idea to thoroughly evaluate the performance factors of a car and match them against your expectations before taking a call. You would not want be driving around a 'something' that you do not like. I knew what I wanted and there you go! This way you also end up respecting your car a lot more and give it all the care it needs.

I wish car engine capacity could also be upgraded "over-the-air" just like and an android or iOS upgrade. So when in future if they release a 1.4 petrol for i20, with just a click of a button and 10% completed....20% completed...30% completed....


Last edited by raveesh_k : 15th October 2012 at 19:52.
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Old 16th October 2012, 22:08   #2
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Default Re: Hyundai i20 - A 7000 km Journey & Experience

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17th October 2012, 01:20   #3
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Default Re: Hyundai i20 - A 7000 km Journey & Experience

Congrats on completing 1 year with the beauty that is I20.
Thank you for a very well balanced review.
Your post re-iterates the importance of going for all safety features.

Have you done any mods to the car yet?
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Old 17th October 2012, 11:13   #4
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Default Re: Hyundai i20 - A 7000 km Journey & Experience

Happy first anniversary Raveesh, may you celebrate many more. Having an accident in the very first week is a highly emotional torture, but most importantly the passengers were safe and the car was repaired back to original condition. Truck banging at 60 kmph is a fairly horrible accident, the i20 seems well built contrary to the popular opinion that only European cars are sturdy. Please post some pics, will you!
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