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Old 19th September 2014, 14:07   #1
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Default Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herewith are solely mine, hence please excuse if it does gel with yours. Also this being my first thread/ ownership experience, kindly overlook errors & omissions. Apart from a really lengthy post, I might have added a bit of spice here & there for reasons that makes no sense to sane mortals. Please bear with me.

If you are looking for the best on the new i20 Elite from Hyundai, please visit http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...al-review.html (Hyundai Elite i20 : Official Review)

Chapter 1The review mirror

Long long ago, in a land of no public transport where autorickshaws ruled the road lived a *simpleton*, me and my bike. (Missus is having a good laugh in the background as I write this. No more privacy.... <smirk>. Text modified).

It was a hot lazy Sunday afternoon. Got down from the bus, exhausted from the weekend trip, walked the few meters towards the office parking lot and lo! The spot that had my precious bike was EMPTY!

Of course your demarcated parking lot is huge and has multiple intertwined layers, might be somewhere in that”, said the helpful security. Two hours later after sifting through the "maze" that our parking lot was, it was clear that I had lost my precious first brand new bike (100% own funding after toiling for a couple of years, mind you). Four hours later the kind policeman (tangent story) officially confirmed the same. The ensuing phone conversation:

Me: Hello, it’s me……

Mom: Yes? What happened? (how is it that the women in your life knows you & your moods better than you?)

Me: My bike has been stolen <a little sob, ….maybe, after all am like a coconut. Hard on the outside, soft on the…and yes am from Kerala, kinda>.

Mom: Good.

Me: Huh!!!? My B.I.K.E has been stolen (Stare war on with the Miss in the next booth....)

Mom: <calm> Yup, heard that. Good for you, we are happy.

Me: <blabbering> (Blinked! lost! The lady has a smug look!)

Mom: Just heard earlier today that a colleague’s son had died after a bike accident early in the today morning, no helmet. Of course he was also in another city, just like you. We were so worried, relieved to hear that your bike is gone.

Me: !!!!! <some moron goes riding to glory without a helmet and I get the blame?! There is …...>

Mom: Now that the bike is gone, go & get yourself a car.

Me: <..... justice after all>< tears>?

(I might have come across as being insensitive to someone's death, may his soul RIP. But my emotions were at a low at that moment. That bike was my only asset back then apart from the clothes & accessories that I wore and by far the most costliest of my worldly possessions until I lost it. Add to that the fact that I was in a city in which you needed your own mode of transport to meet requirements like mine.)

Bought a black WagonR VXI the next week.

Thus began the sweet journey for ~100K km spread across 10 years, that saw me getting married, followed by family expansion etc etc. It was sold bringing to an end a wonderful association that left loads of fond memories. Shed our share of tears, we did.

The goodbye picture, on the last day with us:
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by vinjosep : 24th September 2014 at 08:22.
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Old 19th September 2014, 14:27   #2
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Default Mumblings of a Nomad: The “Elite”ment diaries

Chapter 2 – The change is still a compromise?

What a day! Wow. Who would have thought that we would be here? I, for one, can’t believe myself. (wife did me a favour <?> and gave me a pinch to confirm that I’m not dreaming. Ouch! Why do I feel she still recalls our “talk” yesterday about…? Nah, am hallucinating). I digress.

It all started after I returned for good, after a prolonged overseas assignment; end of forced bachelorhood. It was decided that I will ensure my physical presence (100km range) around the family for 95% of a calendar year, among other terms & conditions.

Thus having set the personal utilization targets with my beloved, it was time to take a closer look at our mobility options. The one horse that was in our stable was aging gracefully. But then the RTO gods in Bangalore decided that our ride was a good target for value-add: revenue (to their coffers) and worries (to our lives). I was ready to pay the road tax the first year I was in Bangalore. Since I did not have a copy of the original invoice, was told that there is no way to legally pay up and do the needful. Oh, dare I mention that there was a recent attempt to make the payment again that met with the same response? Only this time the powers-that-be suggested attempting martyrdom by presenting ourselves (with the car) to the RTO team who were out on the roads patronizing out-station “techie” vehicles. For this honorable deed we would be presented with a certificate (chalan with a fine that defies logic) that we can pay up and all iizzz well. “No original invoice required, see? So convenient. We try to make your life easy”. Of course you do kind sirs! Our decision was easy. Sell the car and replace it. Period.

So we sold the car and got a new car home, right? Life can’t be that easy?!

Had to find the ideal replacement before proceeding further. Just had to choose between a few 40+ odd cars - variants & models considered. Oh and to make it simpler, had to keep the budget under 7 lakhs (that’s in INR. overseas effect).

Just to be doubly sure, jotted down the primary needs:
  • Budget set at ~7lakhs, on-road.
  • Comfortable 5-adult-seater (comfortable = motion-sick family should be able to do the ~400kms between Bangalore & Kerala over non-existent roads without warranting an emergency visit to 3M for interior detailing. Not to mention the plastic bags we would add to pollute the environment, tsk tsk. So environment conscious I am, no?)
  • Diesel with ample torque; overtaking on the highways should not need a project plan.
  • Easy on the pocket w.r.t maintenance
  • Safety: ABS, EBD, airbags for front row; after all you die only once.
  • Good & reliable A.S.S with ample presence in towns (primarily Southern & Western regions of India; our primary driving zone).
  • Comfortable seating position for all the passengers (benchmark = 2nd Gen WagonR. Evaluators: family)
  • No sedans (parking woes)
  • Boot space should be equal to or better than 2nd Gen WagonR
  • Should leave a smile after every drive (Bangalore roads and traffic excluded from this metrics) & after every visit to the fuel station
So where do we start? “Known devil ….” adage came to mind. Therefore first stop was a Maruti showroom.

Swift was a reject even before it came up on the list. A 400 km drive in a close relative’s Swift had left the missus & kids literally with a bad taste. It is such a hoot to drive one, though.

WagonR did not have a diesel engine. However it was still a strong contender. Two major reasons: 1) Our experience with an older gen 2) Had a sample of the current model in our immediate family and thereby knew what we would get. Easy on the pocket as well. Bonus was that my better half was at home with this model. Boot space is compromised in lieu of passenger space & form which was a dampener. Family felt it wasn't an upgrade. Relegated to the list of options-if-all-fails.

Dzire: Though a sedan (!), did fit most of the requirements. Wife found the interiors to be good. ZDI beyond budget.

Ritz: Not a 5-seater. A refined hatchback, no doubt. Last row back’s cushion height was not satisfactory. The 3rd person, even if small wouldn’t have enough back support (IMO) in the middle for long highway jaunts.

Ertiga: Financially out of bounds.

Next was the Hyundai stall.

i10-Grand (rumoured) was the only contender. Even then it was an unknown with no clear info. However a few days before we finally made our decision we got a chance to check it out. Was good, but still not a real 5-seater for our needs.

i20 was out of our budget. Also the ride quality at the rear was a question mark.

Nissan, Renault, Tata, VW and Chevy were off the list due to their A.S.S. Honda did not have an oil burner. M&M’s Quanto & Verito did not excite us. Hence our (as in wife’s) precious time was not wasted. Ford had only Figo was too old a model (the same model was discontinued in Germany sometime in 2006).

Toyota: In-laws have had an excellent experience with Innova. The only possibility was the Etios Liva. First impression was not favourable. Integrated head rests were a no no. Reviews were not flattering either.

So our first try in finding a replacement met with little success. The question was what do we compromise on and there were no clear winners.

Now my office hours meant that we were entitled for a cab. However my route was not highly sought after by the official cabbies coz it bordered on the brink of the rate slab. So it turned out that we (me & a colleague) were left at the mercy of whosoever “obliged”. This also had an added bonus of having hair-raising roller-coaster trips back home at midnight on the Bangalore roads/ highways with no sleep guaranteed for a few hours thereafter, from the experience of course. We “connected” with Indicas that had not seen a service centre in its life and still was breathing smoke with all the (wrong) lights on the dash lit up. Had a couple of accidents as well, just to keep things interesting. And then finally after lot of cab dismissals, refusals (by us and the cabs alike), work from home etc., we landed a new cabbie. He was a neighbor and hence it suited both of us.

Salvation lies within (the cab):

Thus began our daily 60km round trip to the office in the pre-facelifted Liva. Through Bangalore traffic it was, before any of you get an impression that this was a picnic.

And an eye-opener it turned out to be. The first thing that struck me was the space in the second row. 3 grown-ups were a comfortable fit. Long story short we booked and brought one home.

And that’s where we were at the beginning of this narration when I got pinched, ahmm.. a friendly one I might add.

The Etios Liva GD SP in grey came home. Was this THE car we were on the look-out? Yes & No.

All said and done, it had its share of weaknesses and strengths. Since I had the opportunity to observe & confirm my doubts with a live sample before the purchase, the decision was made after enough thought on the pros & cons.

  • Good space; a definite 5-seater hatchback
  • Fuel efficient with ample torque (minimal turbo-lag). The turbo pull is clearly evident at.. wait, there is no rpm counter.. but it's perceivable for sure. Not in the leagues of the Swift DDiS but enough to bring a smile.
  • Cheap to maintain (so far, till 20K km). But I will take my cabbie’s feedback for the bills that are to come. He paid 2.2K for his 60K service! And that’s in INR.
  • Is fun to drive. The turbo pull is very evident. Overtaking on the highways is not a frightening prospect. So is the braking.
  • Brakes are splendid. Comes with ABS & EBD. No drama, just stops where you want it to.
  • Toyota A.S.S is in a class of its own, not to mention ample coverage & support. 60 minutes for any service and a cheap. bill! (of course, if you have major part replacements/ painting its a costly affair)
  • Meaty steering wheel is such a pleasure to hold. Slightly soft, textured plastic with nice contours for the thumbs.
  • AC comes with an air filter. Very helpful for us dust-allergics who have a sensitive sinus.
  • Cost cutting is so evident and at times makes no sense. The area around the horn pad is a tacky silver. The headlight leveling lever is from the stone ages, no rear wiper or defogger etc etc. The bonnet open lever is similar to the ones for killing the engine in Jeep 2 decades back.
  • Am fine with having the instrument cluster in the centre. What I can’t digest is the lack of a tachometer (WagonR had it 10 years back, can't be such an expensive accessory now). And when we bought the car, there was no VD option either. The owner’s manual states to restrict your rpm during the running-in period. Now how am I supposed to do that?!! OTOH the passengers have a good view of the speedo and help maintain their version of saner speeds (much to my chagrin).
  • Instrument cluster has a minimalistic design and I’m being generous here. The SR mentioned during the demo that this is the same one used in the Prius! (no wonder it doesn't sell). (My father though likes the blue themed speedo – and this is a plus).
  • NVH, though better over the previous version, still leaves room for improvement. At high speeds, tyre noise is very much evident. Suspension thuds are audible as well. Planning for a 3M underbody coating in the near future.
  • No rear speakers, nor provision for them. OEM HU seems ok, but the speakers could have been better. Am a stickler for keeping things OEM to the max extent possible, hence yet to make any modifications on this front.
  • Pathetic horns. Can’t make even a mouse move out of the way, let alone the other 4-legged and 2-legged menaces on the Bangalore roads ( & elsewhere). Upgraded to Innova dual horns (Roots) before driving out from the showroom. 737INR only.
  • Interior map lights are not sufficient. And their throw is more towards the front row. Only owls travel in the second row after dusk, was what probably the design team at Toyota thought.
  • No boot light nor light from the cabin.
  • Rear seat back's form/ cushion is very thin. Could have been better.
  • Rear seat head restraints looks like the wide cricket bats we as kids made out of coconut leaf stems (ola-madal bat in Malayalam). The previous version had superb comfy integrated soooffft cushions for head restraints.
  • The clutch has a strong recoil. Hence your calf muscles work overtime in the stop-go traffic. Wife is not so happy with this "feature". Even I found this an irritant in the bane that our Bangalore traffic is.
  • Hand brake lever is loose after a few thousand kms. Its not too loose, but still is for me to notice. The TD car had one hell of a play, so am not too put off by this. Not expected from Toyota is all that I have to say.
End of the day, we were happy with the new member in our garage. Was a no-nonsense "fill it, shut it, forget it" type of workhorse. No complaints.
Attached Thumbnails
Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi-img_9239.jpg  

Last edited by vinjosep : 24th September 2014 at 08:58.
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Old 19th September 2014, 14:57   #3
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Default Mumblings of a Nomad: The i20 “Elite”ment diaries

Chapter 3: The “Elite”ment

So we find a new car, sell the WagonR and be happy. That was the plan. In that order.

But then man proposes, god disposes.

I landed a new job within 100km and the cab option provided was not convenient <wink><wink>. Had to drive all the way to the office (27+ km) early in the morning and back early. So a difficult decision (muaahaahaa) was reached to replace the old car for a daily drive of 60 kms <broad 75mm cinemascope sad grin>.

(I absolve myself of being associated with the above para or accuracies thereof. Insurance, you see, from the unforeseen situations that may arise at home or elsewhere. After all T-bhp is accessible in wifey’s office …& among others probably to my masters as well)

The hunt began, yet again with renewed energy. We T-bhpians…, no cure for this disease!

Initially thoughts were around getting a used Ritz ZXI as an economical option. We did scout around and saw some good examples for around 3.5lakhs. However on further deliberation this did not make sense & hence was dropped (sorry can’t elaborate more on this without disclosing a few personal & professional details).

A new car it is to be @ ~9 lakhs and should be with us by first week of September. Target set, finger on the trigger & now all we needed was a car in the cross-hairs.

Had a few more options to sift through since last outing, since our budget was a bit bigger this time around.

Had Liva VD in my mind, but was vetoed. A different car, I was firmly told.

So the revised scope:
  • Budget set at ~9lakhs, on-road.
  • Comfortable 5-adult-seater (comfortable = no change to our definition)
  • Diesel with ample torque.
  • Good & reliable A.S.S with ample presence in towns.
  • Comfortable travel for all the passengers; better luxury.
  • Better NVH than Liva
  • Good ground clearance. At full load Liva managed to scrap some of the jokes that Bangalore Govt calls "speed-breakers"
  • Rear-wiper
  • Airbags for front row; and more if available
  • No sedans (more parking woes)
  • Rear speakers, good OEM audio unit
  • Boot space equal to Liva or better. Brownie points if it comes with a boot light.
  • Other creature comforts are welcome, but not a deal breaker or maker.
Armed with the list, another round of visits was made to each and every car brand in the city. I strongly believe that the post-sales experience can never better that of the pre-sales. Used this axiom of mine to gauge the service experience that we were buying into.

There was nothing radically new from Maruti, Hyundai, M&M, Ford and Toyota after the last time we visited them for a new car.

Well, that statement was not entirely accurate. M&M had something which had me drooling for a long time, a very long time since my childhood days. The Jeep, as it is called in Kerala. So why not indulge in one now since this was our second ride and primary driver being me? Added charm was that I could literally plough through or at least innocently bump into a few ricks & cabs in B'lore, who seemed to pop up in my way out of nowhere <evil grin> and still not feel guilty about it (about ruining our car, of course). So far the alter ego was contained by my occasional "so-called-off-road" jaunts in my in-laws' 550 4wd (5-speed). Wife was also forcefully made party to these "outings" (insurance against FIL's fury ). So we (I) used to merrily bob around my in-laws' land making new roads out of recently made bunds and such while my fuming FIL (a few rubber saplings might have also been sacrificed) was taken to task by his grandchildren (BIL partially at fault here for the big count) while missus used to hang on for dear life - heavenly!

A quick visit to M&M's showroom put to rest the enthusiasm. A further call with FIL & BIL poured cold water on the idea. Too many mods required to live the dream which meant more moolah & more importantly time - neither of which we had in abundant. So decided to continue to wreck havoc at my in-laws' expense.

VW, Skoda, Chevrolet, Nissan and Renault pre-sales experience left me in no doubt. They were struck from the prospective list.
At the Nissan showroom, spent 45 minutes shuffling around the cars on display while the entire Sales team was intently watching. Intently watching a serial on the large LCD TV far away from the distraction of cars, that is.

Thankfully didn’t tag along missus for the above visits.

Enter Zest:

Read about the new car from TML. The details etc seemed to fit our bill even though it was not a hatch, especially the Harman-Kardon audio. Somehow was sure that the prices would be sweet initially. Hence convinced self that the amount saved could be made use for maintenance, i.e. if at all TML A.S.S etc remained unchanged.

Once they started the road shows, went ahead and made a booking online without even eyeballing one. Got an automated response that I will be receiving further updates/ receipt within 48 hours. Received the same after 48 hours from the 4th day. Alarm no. 1

Wife was skeptical of the choice; after all they had an Indica at home for a short while. Short enough to be weary of the brand. What a lady! Such restraint when I shared the news of the booking @ 21K INR. (just for added measure hid my iPhone before I divulged the booking. The woman knows my weak spots rather well)

Anyone who was discreetly informed of my decision made no bones on how they felt I had gone bonkers. Thank ‘em, I did. What do they know, huh! TML has changed, they are going all out to make this a success…. blah blah blah. (am I sure?) Alarm 2

Eagerly applied online for a priority drive. Nada. Not even a single response for even after a month (after the test drives/ road shows had started. Wife got a drive at her office and even won a prize!) Alarm 3

So did a pilgrimage to the nearest TML dealer. The parking lot was jam-packed. With unsold Sumos, Indicas, Indigos, Venture, Nano, Ace and even a dusty sad looking Aria. Such a serene environment, within the city too. Not a single soul in sight except the poor security guard who seemed surprised that someone would visit the showroom. (am exaggerating, of course. Except for the “no soul” part. So please park those brick bats all ye Tata fanboys)

Funnily they didn’t have any zest (pun intended) for displaying or briefing about the details. Not even a brochure. But the lady at the reception did eagerly take down my number in a notebook and promised to give me a call ASAP. Since I haven’t got that call yet, am assuming ASAP means something else (I have come up with at least 5 expansions, containing a reference to human anatomy – with a Malayalam tinge). Alarm 4

6 weeks later even I started doubting my sanity. Alarm 5

With so many bad omens, I decided that we must revisit our (my) decision. No offense to Zest owners, its just that I could not afford to go wrong. Do remember that I still have that iPhone.

The Elitement:

Chanced upon the scoop on the new i20 on team-bhp. I admit, I started reading the thread with a bit of skepticism. And then as details and snaps started pouring in my view point changed. Could it be? Was this the one?

Read on the same thread a few days later that the pre-launch bookings were open. Landed at the closest dealer on a Friday evening before the launch. Am sure I didn’t look like a prospective client.

I timidly expressed my desire to know more about the current i20. The assigned SR informed me that this model is soon to be updated and that they have limited inventory of the soon-to-be-old one. He promised to check if the colour of my choice is available in stock. So I innocently enquired about the “new” one. The SR obliged by giving a peek at the fotos as well as the brochure. Can I book one now? - I asked. Sure, only 5K - came the pat reply.

And that’s how we ended up booking two new cars at the same time, both yet to be launched or seen in person.

The arrangement was that we will make a colour choice once the car was launched and after I/ we see the same on a live specimen. Was given an assurance that this won’t void our booking priority. The brochure had only the red coloured one and it was good, though not up our alley.

Once again I had to break the news gently to missus. “If you are happy so am i”. Thank god, calamity averted! (iphone still remained out of sight & reach. Don’t believe in taking undue chances)

Zest booking was cancelled immediately. Refund promised within 21 days. Only I don’t know when the countdown to 21 days starts. Its been more than 21 working days now for sure, unless TML follows a 3-day week.

A few days later i20 Elite was launched by HMIL. Got a 25km test drive the day the white demo car landed at the dealer. With just 30km on the Odo, drove all the way to wife’s office and she was happy. “Looks and feels nice” – her first comment. The drive back had me grinning ear to ear; much to the amusement of the patient SR.

Saw cars in white & silver on the day after the launch. The display model was red. Finally made a decision to make the booking for a Star Dust crdi Asta. Making the colour choice is a story in itself. Maybe later.

Why Asta?
  • Rear wiper
  • 60:40 split rear seat
  • Front passenger airbag
  • Adjustable head restraints for the second row
  • OEM Alloy wheels with 16” tyres
IC light adjustment & others were the bonus, so called cherry on the icing.

So the long wait began. With a few side stories, where a few of the veterans from team-bhp helped (thank you), we finally got the car last Friday.

The day before went to do a short PDI. Wife’s comment upon sharing the pic: “Ours?! "

And that’s when it sunk in. Elite-ment! We had arrived, our own new car after all those decision doldrums & dilemmas!

The first glimpse, that eye-lash looks like that of a beemer no?

Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by vinjosep : 24th September 2014 at 09:20.
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Old 19th September 2014, 19:37   #4
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Default re: Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

The dealership experience:

Bangalore folks are indeed a pampered lot. We have four dealers to choose from.

I went with the one nearest to our home (notice how it is "I" and not "we, no prize for guessing who gets the blame if things went south). They call themselves Trident - still beats me why someone who sells new cars wish to call themselves three dents? Yup, did confirm during the PDI that we got no "free" dents from Trident.

Jokes apart, I really appreciate the courtesy and patience they displayed in humoring me and putting up with my whims & fancies.

I want white.. no wait red... no no grey... can I have blue?... - yes Sirr!
I want my own insurance - Sure Sirr! (saved 13K)
No stickers on the car - Yes Sirr! (got four, which were removed by the poor security guard before we drove out)
I want delivery TODAY, ... no NOW - yess Sirr! (got after 2 weeks)
I don't want the car to be polished - Not even air cleaned? Sure Sirr! (was delivered with the original dust. I suspect they would have added a bit more from the basement if I had mentioned the once more after the last umpteen times)
I want more "registered" stickers - Sure Sir (i got 2 additional sets, used them both coz the Kerala monsoons washed the others away before we got the plates)
I want to buy my car from the other dealer - sure Sir (nay, just kidding)
I want my own set of dual horns installed - of course Sir
I want, I need, I, I, my, my ...... sure Sir (someone plzzz get this joker his car and be done with)

Did a small escalation for something as trivial as getting the car. Went cautiously to the showroom thereafter (wore those running shoes, in case..). Would you like a tea? coffee? no? Sure? we have the best coffee this part of India, from the same vending machine which half the offices in Bangalore use (tea/ coffee with vim came to mind. part of a mid 80s malayalam movie scene. decided not to risk a chance). And then I chatted away to glory for more an hour while the SR was put to further torture.

The SR was knowledgeable enough, explained the features well. Also was honest enough to admit something when he wasn't clear about it. Gave me a really long test drive even though the car had just came to the dealer (first two weeks after launch there were only 3 diesel examples with all the dealers in Bangalore combined. I visited nearly all of them <sheepish grin>). Note that this was when it was past his working hours and I was already a fish in the frying pan (had booked one didn't we?).

The delivery experience was also along our lines of expectation. No drama. Hand over the key, the owner's manual, documents and a box of chocolate and let us be with our car. Just when we express the desire to move, a quick snap and a print of the same in the dealer's frame - all in 2 minutes. Picture Perfect! We savoured the moment to our heart's content.

All said and done it was an engaging buying experience. Gave 10 marks in our feedback and we meant it. As missus pointed out, its not easy to deal with me & my whims<sulk>. We got 5 litres of diesel for the i20, as per the SR. Drove straight to the bunk and filled to the brim. Took in around 38 litres. Tank capacity is 45 litres. So far the average is 16-17 kmpl from a tankful to tankful calculation.

Specs at a glance:
  • i20 Asta CRDI from Hyundai Motor India Limited
  • 1.4L CRDI Engine; 6-speed manual transmission
  • 90PS Power
  • 220 NM Torque
  • Colour – Star Dust (Why don't they just say grey? Which fool has seen the dust on a star and since when is it grey? - asked my BIL; he has a point)
Cost outlay:

Bangalore Ex-Showroom Price – 780534
0 Dep Insurance – 20998 (saved 13K by taking directly from the insurer)
Road Tax –121297
Handling Charges – 8000 (can't grudge here. Made sure dealer had to handle me. So they earned it.)
On Road Price – 930829 INR

Freebies: mud flaps (unavailable at the time of delivery), car perfume, carpets (fabric mats) and an idol
Accessories: 4D mats - 3500 INR ( I understand 3D. But which dimension gets added to 4D?!)

Have crossed 1K km mark in one week out of which 850km was on the highways. None in the immediate family who have traveled in the car so far, including yours truly, was over 5’ 10”.


Just to confirm that we were getting the best bang for the buck, like I mentioned above, I had visited many of the other dealerships as well. Was fun. For e.g. one of the SR (different dealer) mentioned during a test drive (they offered, how can I say no? would be rude, right?) got carried away and blurted out that the car looks like a Mini Cooper! The road was straight, but my mind was in a tizzy. Should I tell him that at one point of time I was working with....? But then the SR had a point. Park the car at noon with the car between you and the sun; squint your left eye until only a crack is left. Then slowly squint your right eye until it's almost closed, in that fleeting moment.. Voila!... the car does look like a Mini Cooper! The return trip was faster..... after all there is only so much I can take.

Bottom line I returned satisfied that I had approached one of the better among devils... I mean.. dealers.


In comparison, the Liva's delivery was hilarious. We were finishing all the formalities, took the docs/ signatures etc and then the manager of sales (?) came over with a disconnected look and with a flourish handed the key formally to my wife, from a soft-velvet-lined tray (brought to the scene by a lady of the award ceremony variety). Missus almost had the key when..... as if on cue the whole showroom staff stood up and started clapping. We were startled and dumbstruck! The next instant all were back to whatever they were doing as if nothing had happened. Took us a good few minutes to recover from the experience, clapping i.e.

Last edited by GTO : 25th September 2014 at 09:59. Reason: Taking live :)
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Old 20th September 2014, 22:33   #5
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Default Mumblings of a Nomad: The i20 “Elite”ment diaries

Experience so far, in no particular order:

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  • The cockpit feels premium. The driver gets pampered, everything at hands reach. Good for me.
  • The dashboard is a good mix of beige and black. No reflections from them so far. Though seems soft, none of the plastics are including the one on the door hand rests.
  • Steering is good to hold and light, though the leather wrap is too smooth for my liking. Have to exert more pressure to ensure grip which adds to the strain on the palm & wrist, especially if you drive single-handedly (literally). Steering wheel could have been a bit meatier though. Reference is Liva's. We were used to the WagonR's steering and hence no complaints on the lightness. Liva's feels more connected & weighted in comparison.
  • The rake & reach possibility of the steering column plus the seat height adjustment means finding the apt driving position is easy peasy. In fact the driver's seat can be lowered than the passenger's.
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  • After the car is switched off the steering locks itself once any of the doors are opened, even if it’s the rear one. You can faintly hear/ feel the electric motor work towards locking the steering.
  • Excellent phone controls/ Bluetooth. Speech clarity is very good. All occupants can speak without raising their voices too much and the receiving party can hear it loud and clear. The sound insulation of the cabin might also be a factor here. Can connect upto 5 phones, can download contacts as well as call history.
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  • The control stalks feel great; especially the high beam. Push the RH stalk forward and the high beam is on. No clicks, just butter smooth action and the stalk is back to the original position. Same action to revert.
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  • The wipers have lots of combinations/ speeds to choose from. Even for the rear wiper. This was useful during our trip to Kerala where we experienced moderate to heavy monsoons.
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  • Instrument Console & light adjustment: Easy to find the right brightness so that the IC does not become a distraction during night. Works not only when the fog/ parking/ headlamps are on but otherwise as well provided the electricals are on. Neat!
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  • IC is pleasant. Does feel busy with the trip meters. But with just the large digital speedometer its easy on the eyes, no distractions.
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  • Blue back-lit dashboard is pleasant at night. Adds to the premium feel. Its just the right shade of blue, without being gaudy.
  • Digital speedometer. None of our cars ever had this (includes the ones we had abroad). So for the first time in our life, we get to see the car’s progress km by km and not in multiples of 25 or 50. (I try to keep my eyes on the road).
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  • Electro-chromatic IRVM is such a boon in the night traffic where high beamers with powerful aux lights rule. Gives a greenish tinge to the story behind you. The image feels a bit curved (concave?) as well.
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  • OVRMs are ok. Slightly bigger in terms of height would have been good. Width is fine.
  • Has a sunglass holder with soft lining which has a smooth opening action. Microphone port also visible in the same picture.
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  • Start-stop button is fun. The engine firing up sounds nice. Different shade of the small light denote the current state of the switch. The letter are backlit and are visible if the car is unlocked and the smart key is within the required distance.
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  • ACC is very good considering the weather at the moment. We have kept the rear A/C vents shut so far since we didn't feel the additional need. Cabin cooled down fast even after the car was parked in the hot sun (ambient temperature was 30C as per the IC). Normally I keep it at 24C.
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  • Audio unit with 4 speakers + 4 tweeters sounds awesome to us. We are not audiophiles. However we do enjoy our songs and the i20 has made the experience on the road extremely good. A feature which is noteworthy is the "speed sensing" option which increases/ reduces the volume based on the vehicle speed, though the rate of increase/ decrease does not feel gradual or proportional to the speed. Supports USB, iPOD, CD, AUX, Bluetooth streaming and has 855MB usable internal storage. Nice!
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  • Two charging ports in the front is useful. However after plugging in the cable, my iPhone5 doesn't fit in the space provided. Juts out a bit onto the gear lever console cover.
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  • Enough interior lights, even have one in the boot. Also the front map lamps have nearly individual throw. So if the driver switches on his lamp at night, it won’t disturb the front passenger. Cool. Second row gets its own light as well.
  • Soft clutch compared to Liva. Though I feel a peculiar sound/ vibration from the tranny (?) while shifting from the 2nd gear to the 3rd which I could feel on the gear stick. Anyone else?
  • Dead pedal is very helpful on the open roads.
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  • The gear lever fits well in the hand and does not feel awkward. Gear shifts are slick & short. I like better the Liva's gear knob though.
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  • Good torque and easy to drive in the city (minimal turbo lag, again). The diesel murmur is sweet IMO. I liked the Liva's too (when I'm cocooned inside the car, outside it sounds gruff).
  • Comfortable 4-seater. Can be an occasional 5-seater. Excellent manners on highways and straight roads. Liva has an edge here on the ride quality over potholed/ broken roads and corners. Liva also has better space in the second row - can comfortably accommodate 5 adults.
  • Excellent improvement on the NVH compared to the outgoing model. Liva can't hold a candle in this area.
  • The seat fabric design is pleasing (IMO). Though our kids antics on them and the results are not (not HMIL's fault).
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  • Carpets are black. No need to worry every time someone steps into the car without a new footwear.
  • The door sills/ running boards have plastic mouldings . Easy to clean. Our Liva has carpets here and that too beige. Made me do a shabby DIY and gets me a jab every time wifey sets her eyes on it.
  • Doors close with a nice thud. Doesn't feel flimsy. People are shutting it too hard, much to my dismay.
  • Headroom is adequate for our use (< 6').
  • Rear view cam is a delight. Very precise and makes me lazy (wife: as if you aren't already) The "Drive Assist" is very helpful in precise parking once you get the hang of the camera+sensors+IVRM+OVRM. Also this offsets the single reverse lamp being a let down (which has the bulb upright). Night visibility is superb.
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  • Bigger boot space than Liva. Can comfortably fit the conservative luggage for all those abroad for a week long trip.
  • Tail lamps are delicious. Have got lot of complements from dear & near. We love ‘em. Have added a picture.
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  • The front bumpers have foam/ thermocool thingy behind them. Last time I saw something like that on a car in this category was in NA. Which means better shock absorption.
  • Headlamps do a good job, so far. Good throw and decent range for the level adjustment as well. Auto headlamp comes on at 6pm nowadays, which is too early. A helpful feature though.
  • Nice alloys. Did I not mention that I detest modifications? We are happy with the design and the finish. Came with Appollo though it’s too early to comment on how it fares, no complaints so far. Even though it's not disc brakes all around, I found the braking to be good. Liva however is a league ahead with absolutely fantastic brakes.
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  • 24 month unlimited mileage warranty (of course T&C apply). Me likes the confidence the company has shown.
  • RFID tags on the front windsheild. Was told that this will be used going forward to identify he car when it comes for service etc. Interesting.
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  • Fuel efficiency so far has been around 16 kmpl. I have been running in as per Hyundai's recommendation (per owner's manual). No lugging and keeping the rpm between 1500 to 2500, keep the speed varying is what I have followed so far. The car comes with the gear shift indicator for optimum fuel efficiency, according to which the 6th gear comes up north of 85km/h. Suited for the highways for sure.
  • Smart key looks nice and is convenient. There is a chime if you step out of the running car with the key with you. The IC also shows a message to state the same.
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  • Those are the 4D mats and its texture.
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Last edited by vinjosep : 26th September 2014 at 15:44.
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Old 20th September 2014, 23:37   #6
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Default Mumblings of a Nomad: The i20 “Elite”ment diaries

What could have been better:
  • The windows are not tinted enough. Considering how sun films are banned, would have been a good feature to have tinted glasses within the prescribed limits.
  • Sun visors do not have vanity mirror on the driver side. The outgoing version has ‘em on both with a nice cover. Also the sun visors do not extend enough to the sides (e.g. to block the sun from the top right corner of the driver’s window).
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  • Handrest does not slide forward. Could have helped the front passenger. The driver keeps both hands on the steering wheel, right? But it does provide good support to your elbow while shifting gears. The SR mentioned that the one on the verna keeps breaking very often. Verna owners?
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  • Door pockets are a tad narrow. Liva can hold huge bottles with ease, this has us spoiled.
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  • Rear a/c unit is not that intrusive but more importantly does not have a charging point for the rear occupants. Xcent has it.
  • No DTE gauge. The user manual mentions one for a Type C. Obviously we didn’t get that type.
  • No pause button for the HU while playing your own media. You mute the music, the track continues to play in the background. User manual has nothing on this. Kids are annoyed if I receive a call while their track is playing (which anyways was being repeated for the nth time, in the same trip).
  • Weak dual horns (IMO). Upgraded them before taking delivery. Same roots that was fitted on Liva. Wires were spliced. The default comes with a connector soldered on.
  • To access the horns, have to dismantle the front bumper (at least partially).
  • Horn pad feels too soft towards the lower middle where the “horn”/ “airbag” is embossed. The periphery is hard.
  • No speed sensing auto lock. Has an auto unlock which can be enabled/ disabled at will using the IC (of course when the vehicle is stationary).
  • After driving the car for an hour or more the palm/ wrist starts aching. I guess its the same back-to-center action of the steering wheel that is the culprit, which S2!! mentioned in the official review. No way out since you have to shift the gears often in the city, not because of turbo lag but coz of the traffic and thus ending up driving with a single hand on the steering wheel most of the time. Also have to keep the hand at the 7 o' clock position to manage the wheel with a single hand (the leather is too smooth and slippery). So the contoured 10-15 o'clock position is useful only during the highway runs.
  • Electro-chromatic IRVM is useless at dawn and early evening when some morons drive with the high beam on full blast. As per the user manual ambient light conditions define how the mirror behaves. The day-night IRVM in Liva can handle such situations better.
  • Projector lamps for the Euro spec looks sweet. At least as an accessory here….?
  • No new colours. All the current available colours are/ were used in one or another model from the family. E.g.: Midas Gold was used in the accent. Darker metallic colours would look awesome on this car, IMHO.
  • No tilt/ adjustable antennae. Can't use that yet-to-be-made-available car cover.
  • The rear-view camera mount is a catastrophe waiting to happen. It will be the first causality in case of a rear-end. Precision driving by a street racing moron managed to once bang our Liva precisely in the same spot without touching anything around it. Can’t imagine how the “adaptive” camera will work if something similar happens.
  • The OVRM assembly do not bend forward, so every time a bike hits it (common in Bangalore traffic), your heart skips a beat. Within a week has happened thrice to me. I learned a few more cuss words in Kannada (by virtue of replies to mine). I tried experimenting on the display car to see if the assembly does bend backwards to save itself. Nope. Negative. By the way that red display car; a few things on it might have a short life. Am not admitting to anything..
  • The full-sized spare wheel is not an alloy. So I won’t be able to religiously do a tyre rotation unless I swap rims as well. The tyres, am told, cost 8K + each.
  • No boot tray/ mat as an accessory. Toyota Liva has a soft plastic-y boot tray as an accessory. Has helped us multiple times in controlling spillage.
  • Brochure contains poorly photoshopped mirror image of the car showing a mirror of the “i20” badge. Sad.
Fun facts (depending on how you see it):
  • You can lock & unlock the car with the smart key in your pocket. No chirping. Only that you have to walk over to the driver’s side to do this. So you want to open the rear left passenger door while juggling a few shopping bags and a baby? Ask your wife to take out the key fob from that tight jeans (coz you are overwieght) or run over to the other side (she won't run). Or open the boot (opens without having a smart sensor) and dump the kid & bags. Defeats the "keyless" purpose, doesn’t it? Grand i10 & Xcent has the sensor on both the front doors for the top variant, lucky owners. And i20 Elite's tag line is "un-compromise". Well!
  • Though the smart key fob has a skeleton key for emergency purposes, there is no key hole to crank the car! And the “start-stop” button needs the smart key in the vicinity to work. Catch-22. User manual has a way around, though am not sure how that would work. Need to explore this more.
  • The OVRMs open in slow motion when you are in the vicinity of a locked car with the smart key in your pocket. Parked the car in that tight space and came back to see friendly-fellow-humans have parked theirs' even closer (recall the movie munnabhai II?). Hahahaha. You are screwed. As soon as you return to the locked car, the mirrors wing out to self-destruct and you can do nothing to stop that. Manual fold before locking the door is the only way out of such cases, i guess.
  • Comes with reflector triangle for emergency. HMIL doesn't know yet that the national tool for such cases is a fresh green branch of leaves off the nearest bush/ tree. Only bio-degradable stuff for my smoke-belching truck-that-has-now-broken-down-with-an-oil-spill please. Environmental conscious Indians, we are.

Last edited by vinjosep : 26th September 2014 at 15:50.
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Old 20th September 2014, 23:40   #7
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Default Mumblings of a Nomad: The i20 “Elite”ment diaries

The exterior design:

By now you would have guessed it, function over form is our approach. We spend more than 95% of our time with the car on the inside. So the interiors has more weight in our assessment of a car. We got the Liva, we got the Elite i20 - we have grown to like the shapes of both.

Liva looks like a toad ready to leap, which it literally does. Taken individually, panel by panel, we found it to be very good though tinny. Paint quality is very good, though the thickness of the same is in doubt.

i20 Elite looks all muscle but so matured, calm and composed. Its engine dynamics also suits that image. Lots of power in a linear mode. You wont believe you have almost reached triple digits by the time you have shifted to the 6th, until you look at the ODO. Panel gaps, fit etc are excellent. Not so sure about the paint quality. And then it resembles Mini Copper, BMW and what not. After all there is no ban on imagination.

Park the Elite i20 next to the previous gen i20 and that's when you would appreciate the design of either. We stand by the Elite on this front. If you still prefer the old, may I suggest you do a comparison at night? With the fog lamps on and start from the rear?

  • Premium interiors, feels good
  • Diesel with enough power with fuel efficiency
  • Almost all features that are useful are available as an OEM fitment.
  • Good manners and comfortable on highways; NVH included.
  • Hyundai A.S.S
  • Nice design. Especially the tail lamps.
  • Cool 16" alloys.
  • Costly. "Why not a sedan?" It's premium, feels like one too.And we don't need a sedan. "Still at 9.4 lakhs you could have got a..."
  • No cruise control. Not everyone wants to have a sedan for highway runs.
  • Colour palatte is not so exciting
  • Spec differ on the European model
  • Some of the other siblings get more features at times at a lower price point. E.g.: Xcent gets an extra charging port for second row as well as an additional smart key sensor on the front passenger's door. Same with Grand i10.
  • Ride quality on bad, broken roads is not the best. Induces body roll, but thankfully no bobbing up & down. Liva feels better in such conditions.
  • Second row is a 4.5 seater as per our standards. Liva rules here.
  • No alloy for the 5th wheel considering it is full size.
  • Ingress/ egress to the second row requires that you lift your leg a bit and then into the foot well, not so easy for the elderly. Kids climb on to the running board and then into the car.
That’s all for now folks. Thanks for your patience in reading so far.

A special note of thanks to my better half who has stood by me & supported me wholeheartedly without being bitter for all my car crazy antics that she has to put up with. Lucky to have her by my side.

Last but not the least, a big thanks to this community for sharing the knowledge and the passion!
Attached Thumbnails
Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi-img_0026.jpg  

Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi-img_0128.jpg  

Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi-img_2241red.jpg  

Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi-img_2379.jpg  

Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi-img_2399tbhpred.jpg  

Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi-img_2406red.jpg  

Last edited by vinjosep : 24th September 2014 at 10:55.
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Old 25th September 2014, 10:05   #8
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Default Re: Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th September 2014, 10:22   #9
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Default Re: Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

Thanks GTO.

Will be going for the 1500 km first service this weekend. 2 weeks up tomorrow
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Old 25th September 2014, 10:30   #10
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Default Re: Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

Congratulations. Very good report. The car looks smashing in this shade. My old i20 looks ancient in front of this. I initially didn't like the looks when checked in the scoop thread but my impressions changed after I saw a White Elite i20 in flesh. It looked great. You'll absolutely enjoy the creamy CRDi engine. It never complains for power. My car's engine is still butter smooth after clocking 99K kms. Wish you many more happy and safe miles with your new car.

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Old 25th September 2014, 10:51   #11
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Default Re: Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

Thanks for the super detailed review! Congrats on a very well informed decision.

I made an inquiry for the same variant as yours, the current wait period mentioned was 8 weeks & 6-7 weeks for the Sportz & Sportz (O) variants.
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Old 25th September 2014, 10:58   #12
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Default Re: Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

Originally Posted by guyfrmblr View Post
Congratulations. Wish you many more happy and safe miles with your new car.
Originally Posted by rohansachar View Post
Thanks for the super detailed review! Congrats on a very well informed decision.

I made an inquiry for the same variant as yours, the current wait period mentioned was 8 weeks & 6-7 weeks for the Sportz & Sportz (O) variants.
Thanks guys.

I was told by the SR last week that the pan India bookings so far are 17K + (as usual I take it with a pinch of salt).

The latest ones to hit the road seem to be in passion red based on what I see everyday at the dealer (who is on my way to the office and hence can see the delivery area).
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Old 25th September 2014, 12:23   #13
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Default Re: Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

Congrats on the beauty. Doesn't look like a beemer though, On first look I thought it was a minimized Merc A class LOL!!!

I'm amazed how Hyundai have been churning out great looking cars one after the other and top that with all the features they give. Just WOW!!!
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Old 25th September 2014, 12:39   #14
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Default Re: Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

Congratulations Sir, and a well written review along with pictures sharing good detail to them. By the way, could you kindly elaborate on the Engine Performance, handling and ride quality with regards to the Suzuki Swift, since you've already driven both of them..? Hope you have plenty more of safe miles ahead.
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Old 25th September 2014, 12:45   #15
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Default Re: Mumblings of a Nomad, The “Elite”ment diaries - My Hyundai i20 1.4L CRDi

Congratulations! Did you figure out how 4D mats better than the regular 3D mats?

Originally Posted by guyfrmblr View Post
I initially didn't like the looks when checked in the scoop thread but my impressions changed after I saw a White Elite i20 in flesh. It looked great.

The car during the scoop looked hidious to me and I even posted about it. However, when I was tailing the new i20 I realized that it had one of the hottest behind!

The car looks smashing!
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