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Old 13th May 2013, 20:39   #1
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Thumbs up From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

My erstwhile truck!

Name:  Safari Front 2.JPG
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My New Ride:

From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-front.jpg


Three pertinent questions to be answered.

Why the change?
As they say, change is a constant. And the same has applied to me and my cars over the past many years. After 3-4 years (sometimes even less), I have felt the need to change my set of wheels. There is no insanity in me that has prompted me to change after every while. It is just...just the feeling of a new car and to test a whole different mechanics before one feels 'locked in'. This is exactly what prompted me to replace my existing SUV after having spent four years with it.


Why a hatch?
There are two answers to this question -
1. There was no better SUV than Safari available within my budget. The Duster was too new; the Scorpio, too old; the Ertiga, hardly an SUV; the XUV500, was really on the fence with this one, finally decided to give it some more time; no other SUV/MUV was considered.

2. I have never really been able to convince myself to get a sedan. If it has to be big, it better be an SUV. Else, a hatch will do just fine, thank you. No ego issues for me.


Why i20?
There were really only two hatches shortlisted - the Liva and the i20. That's all! Diesel variants only.

Liva was nice, sweet, a bit too simple, and gave an excellent feeling of a made-to-budget Toyota. And with the available variant, I wasn't really inclined on DC-ing it; so, patted it a 'so long' and turned towards the Hyundai.

To tell you the truth, the i20 really blew me away! I took a thorough test drive - low speed, high speed, hard braking, soft braking, inclines, straight stretches, pot-holes, quick gear-shifts, hard cornering, reversing - everything you can think of in a test drive. It came out on top in each department. So, decided to go for it.


I talked to Hyundai about trading in the Safari. The price quoted was less than what I expected, but did not want to go around in the 'market'. So, I made the deal and booked the i20 Crdi Sportz variant at the same time. I was allowed to keep my truck until the day of actual delivery of the new car. Loan formalities were sorted out within a day and RTGS transfer happened the next. On the third day, I gave them the Safari and picked up the i20. The delivery process happened smoothly and everything had been taken care of in advance by the dealer (the executive, actually - very nice guy).

It was late evening by the time I arrived home with the new set of wheels, so the customary puja was performed the next day. Took it out for a short spin with the family...and waited!

Two days later saw the i20 gliding down the NH1 on its way to the hills.


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-dsc_0919.jpg



My experience with the car has been wonderful so far. My drive is about 1500 kms a month, which increases every quarter of a year when 1500 kms get added within a week. I frequently drive to the hills, and for a highway run I wanted a vehicle that would give me the power I needed and the space to carry all required stuff.

It holds its own on the highways. It is comfortable, smooth and drives well-planted. I am glad I chose this over any other hatch, as it has the power, the build and the dynamics to give a stress-free ride on the highways.



Looks/Exterior:
It looks beautiful from wherever you look at it. The headlights jutting out in the front make a case for themselves. The fog lamps complement the headlights with their unique shape. The metallic finish of the color is smooth and looks like it will last longer than I think. Each part is packed in neatly with no unnecessary opening or gaps. The placement of the rear-view camera on the boot handle and the hidden boot opener itself lend a touch of grace to the vehicle. The flowing crease lines on the sides give the i20 a distinct character. And the DRLs - can't have enough of it.

Space/Interior:
It is big. I know that coming from a Safari, it sounds like an overstatement. But the 3995 mm length has to show somewhere and it shows up in inside space. Three adults can sit comfortably in the rear seat. The seats are comfortable and there is ample legroom front and back. The glass area around does not block the view at any angle. The spacious boot can take in all my suitcases/bags I throw at it. The finish of the dashboard and the doors are top-notch and each switch feels like built to last.

Steering/Handling:
Adjust the steering according to your liking and you are ready to go. Point the vehicle in the direction you want to move and it will do so without fuss. The steering has the necessary tilt and reach adjustment and I have adjusted it according to my liking. I find it easy to drive, turn, reverse and park.The drive is a breeze, with confidence-inspiring turns and cornering. The vehicle is stable at all speeds. Let me also touch upon the much-talked about ground clearance of the i20. And I have this to say: It is adequate. I regularly go over speed-breakers in third gear and it goes over seamlessly; no touching the underbody or anything.

Braking/Parking:
I have had two occasions when I have had to apply sudden brakes. One was at 40 kph and the other at 80. Both times, the car came to a standstill without grinding or shaking. The ABS works! I find the sensors really helpful and they beep progressively; the rear-view camera only adds to the extra precaution. I have this thing about parking face-out and in straight line. And, the camera output (with the little coloured lines) do their bit to assist in my maneuvers.


Pictures:

From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-side-front.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-side.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-back.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-audio-acc.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-pass-seat.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-glove-box.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-ds-blower.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-pw-om-switches.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-drl-front.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-wheel-drl.jpg


From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz-i20-full-back.jpg



My best feelings:


. It's a great package in a small car. The compactness, the zippiness and the power blend so well that you feel totally in control. The imported Korean equipment under the bonnet supports you no end when you drive in the city and boosts up all nozzles out on the highway. It's amazing how it can give you that 'wind in the hair' feeling even with all windows closed.

. It looks stunning from all angles. Although I liked the old-gen look because it made the car look big, I have grown to like the new-gen flat-and-wide front look, coupled with that nice rounded back.

. Even though it meant stepping down from the throne (Safari), the i20 makes you feel one with the road. I simply love the 'down-to-earth' feeling...no pun intended.

. The fit and finish are top notch. Even for a small car, it's packed to the brim with features. Check out the DRLs. Or the interiors. You always feel you are sitting in a super-class product.

. The first three gears are simply superb in heavy traffic, the third gear being especially heaven-sent. It runs almost like an automatic in the third gear. No clutch required, only light braking, and the car moves forward unhesitatingly.

. The sixth gear is a great cruising gear on the highways, or even on the expressway for that matter. It gives you the speed but keeps fuel consumption in check. It lets you touch 110 and yet remain under the 2K rpm mark. No load on the engine at all. Another thing: the presence and utility of the sixth gear makes the fifth an overtaking gear! How cool is that!

. The steering is awesome. Makes it easy for you to make last-minute lane changes without fuss. Let me put it on record by saying that the steering weighs up reasonably well as speed increases. I have never felt out of control owing to the 'light' steering.

. The ABS, coupled with disc brakes on all wheels, does its job extremely well. Hard braking is not recommended for anyone, but should an unforeseen situtation arise on the roads, they will keep you safe.

. The DRLs make it stand out amongst the sea of cars, and are especially helpful on the highway where you can make your presence felt kilometres away. Makes other vehicles/bikers/pedestrians instantly recognize you and give you room. What the Safari did with its sheer size, the i20 does with its DRLs.


Other 'nice' stuff:

. The NVH levels are very well-controlled. Sometimes, waiting at the traffic lights, I have to really strain myself to listen to engine sound. For a diesel, it is surprisingly silent.

. Phone pairing happened easily and bluetooth works well.

. Audio system is fairly good, and the sound quality is great whether through radio, CD, iPod or USB. FM loses a bit in the tunnels, though.

. One-touch lane change indicator is a well-thought tool. I use it all the time. A light touch is all that is needed to activate the direction you want.

. The clutch is light and does not tax your foot as, say, a Safari or an XUV would.

. The gear-shift is slick and flawless.

. The footrest near the clutch is a good thought by Hyundai.

. The folding mechanism of ORVMs is useful in congested traffic.

. The Auto-wipers change speed automatically as rain-drops increase/decrease.

. Auto-Climate AC works well and cools the cabin pretty quickly. The rear seat passengers don't complain either, whether regarding the cooling or blower reach.

. Cooled glove-box actually works! Humongous space, well-compartmentalized. On an outstation trip, it gets packed with soft drinks and water which remain cool throughout.

. The split-seats at the rear make it easy to access stuff from within.


Things that need getting used to:

. Inability to see the bonnet-end. This comes after having driven a Safari so I'm sure you would understand. But, as I said, I will get used to it sooner or later.

. Having to turn off ECM on the IRVM every morning. I hope Hyundai can associate its switch with the system clock and make it possible to set it to turn on only when required.

. The Auto-Climate always turns on with the blowers in the 'face' position. I wish it would remember the last settings and re-start from there the next time it is switched on.

. Some tyre noise does filter in, unless I drown it with music.

. Alloys don't really look like alloys and can easily be mistaken for regular wheels.

. Door auto-lock feature is missing. The switch has to be flipped manually.

. I have been without a gear-lock in the car for some time now. There is simply no position where the gear-lock can be fixed where you could use it without pushing back your seat. For now, I am relying on the immobilizer, the warning system and the 'clutch-press' deterrent for anti-theft purposes. I might just go a bit retro and buy that steering lock for all you know.


The first service happened after I came back from my first trip. I was happy to note that without my saying anything, as soon as the car rolled into the workshop bay, the service incharge came with his mini-computer and tried to make the auto-lock feature work. But the computer did not recognize the variant; it did not work. Guess it only works on Asta. I also asked if a glove-box lamp can be fixed in the given space. They checked and said the wiring system does not support it. No oil change was done even though I insisted. They said the first oil change happens at second service, i.e., at 10,000 kms. The manual said the same thing. Anyway, did not debate much. Service bill would have been zero, but I got the underbody anti-rust and the engine coating done, so some payment was made in any case.


Mileage? In the over 9000 kms that I have driven already in the last five months, I am getting 20+ kpl frequently, with occasional drops to 18+. I've figured out the drops may be due to the pumps I have used on those refills; so need to keep going back to the ones that give me 20+.

Last edited by kkdelhi : 19th June 2013 at 20:11.
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Old 13th May 2013, 20:57   #2
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Default re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Congrats on the new drive, this is quite a change from stepping up to sitting down in a car. Good luck with the new set of wheels and do share your experience as you drive.
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Old 13th May 2013, 21:13   #3
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Default re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Congrats kkdelhi.
i20 is definitely one of the best hatch that you can buy today.
Although coming from Safari, I do feel the i20 is a step up in terms of refinement. The classy interiors along with the long list of equipments would sure keep you happy as you crunch miles.
Enjoy and Drive safe.
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Old 13th May 2013, 22:15   #4
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Default re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Quote:
. The steering is awesome. Makes it easy for you to make last-minute lane changes without fuss. Let me put it on record by saying that the steering weighs up reasonably well as speed increases. I have never felt out of control owing to the 'light' steering.
Seems like Hyundai changed the power steering module on the 2012 Hyundai later editions. The reviews regarding it are getting consistently better.
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Old 13th May 2013, 22:31   #5
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Default re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Such transitions rarely happen. But yes, what you use to get in a Safari, can't be expected here. But.... The comfort, driving ease, a wonderful engine, stunning European type looks and last but not the least the features, can make you go gaga.

All in all, a good buy. Happy motoring.
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Old 20th June 2013, 16:49   #6
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Default Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th June 2013, 17:29   #7
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Default Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Congrats KKDelhi. If you don't like the looks of the stock alloys wheels, IMHO you could get them painted in Gun-Metal finish. That would enhance the looks of your i20
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Old 20th June 2013, 17:31   #8
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Default Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Congrats kkdelhi for the wonderful car there. i20 was on the top of my list when I went searching for a car in Jan. It only missed because i was not able to manage enough Vitamin M for the i20

Good that you are very happy with the steering response. Me after having driven a Palio and now a Figo, the i20's steering feedback was a marginal let down(Fiat plays the spoilsport here).

Wishing you a lot of happy miles.
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Old 20th June 2013, 17:36   #9
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Default Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Congrats KKdelhi. The i20 is surely among the best looking hatchbacks in the Indian market. However, priced at a little higher side, I am sure it has the features & safety to back it.
Wish you many happy miles ahead.

Regards,
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Old 20th June 2013, 18:06   #10
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Default Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

@kkdelhi.
Hi!. Congratulations on the i20.
By the way, I too am an i20 owner and was just surprised to read that you liked its high speeed stability, cornering and specially the "steering feel", which many people including me always complain about!!. Otherwise the car is just fantastic in terms of comfort, refinement, features. The feature list is even bigger than its bigger sibling- the Verna!

Anyways, glad that you liked it. Wishing you happy miles with it!
Cheers.
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Old 20th June 2013, 22:26   #11
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Default Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Thank you all, guys. Yes, the i20 is surely fulfilling all my needs and wants at this time. The ride is smooth, with near-zero turbo lag, and brings a smug smile while driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigy07 View Post
If you don't like the looks of the stock alloys wheels, IMHO you could get them painted in Gun-Metal finish. That would enhance the looks of your i20
It's not the color but the design of the wheels that make it look ordinary. Perhaps, Hyundai should have kept a six-spoke instead of an eight-spoke alloy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyAsta View Post
@kkdelhi.
...I too am an i20 owner and was just surprised to read that you liked its high speeed stability, cornering and specially the "steering feel",...
Oh, absolutely! No doubt about it. The light steering is so helpful at slow/parking speeds. And, the steering feedback at highway speeds is accurate to the T. No 'light' feeling on the highways. You feel grounded and well in control. It hugs the road beautifully and zips through without a hitch. The cornering confidence experience comes from having driven several hundred kilometres on the hills already.


Quote:
...which many people including me always complain about!!...
There's no reason to complain, really. The i20 lives up to its category of a premium hatchback, both in terms of finesse and driveability. And I am not saying this because I own and drive one, but because I am speaking from first-hand experience.

Last edited by kkdelhi : 20th June 2013 at 22:29.
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Old 20th June 2013, 22:54   #12
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Default Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

@kkdelhi.
As far as steering is concerned, I completely agree that its is very useful at parking speed. What I am talking about is its behaviour at high speeds say 80 kmph and above, it just becomes too sensitive. One has to constantly keep a firm hand to maintain the direction. Maybe the diesel engine's weight adds to the stability IMO. Mine is a petrol i20 and the problem is amplified due to the light weight engine.

Anyways, glad that you are enjoying every bit of it!.
Cheers.
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Old 21st June 2013, 18:02   #13
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Default Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyAsta View Post
@kkdelhi.
Hi!. Congratulations on the i20.
By the way, I too am an i20 owner and was just surprised to read that you liked its high speeed stability, cornering and specially the "steering feel", which many people including me always complain about!!. Otherwise the car is just fantastic in terms of comfort, refinement, features. The feature list is even bigger than its bigger sibling- the Verna!

Anyways, glad that you liked it. Wishing you happy miles with it!
Cheers.
I think kkdelhi's different take on the high speed stability, cornering etc is because of the previous experience of driving an SUV .
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Old 21st June 2013, 18:23   #14
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Post Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivriti View Post
I think kkdelhi's different take on the high speed stability, cornering etc is because of the previous experience of driving an SUV .
+1 on that vivriti. I agree. Then too one can easily figure out the points that I have mentioned

If you look at the Punto, its handling, stability, the "direct" feeling from the steering and of course the suspension is just mind blowing. That car is truely a driver's delight!.

I think it wil be more clear to kkdelhi about what I am trying to say when he test drives the Punto.
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Old 13th October 2013, 22:53   #15
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Default Re: From SUV to Hatchback - What a feeling! Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz

The odo has reached 15,000 already and the car has given no complaints so far. The second service was promptly done at 10,000 km at dealer workshop. Nice freezing A/c in the customer lounge. The vehicle was visible from the large glass window. Satisfied with service and attention provided (to both the car and the customer).

The drive to the hills has continued. The i20 has constantly proved to be a great cruiser on the highways. The 'surge' while overtaking is awesome. And, you should've seen the amount of stuff I packed in on my last trip. Sorry, did not take pics, but suffice to say that it can hold three full-sized bags comfortably, along with several smaller ones, in the boot.

Hope to take it for the third service before the year ends.
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