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Old 17th January 2009, 22:41   #1
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Exclamation Hyundai i20 Test Drive and Video Review

Mod Note : GTO's comprehensive Hyundai i20 review has been uploaded at this link. Please continue the discussion over on the new thread. Thanks


Had a detailed test drive of i20 today at Advaith motors in Outer ring road.

First, the looks. It has been discussed threadbare here and I dont want to comment much on that. Looks quite good to me. Interiors, fit and finish are also a class apart from rest of the cars, including sedans south of 10 lacs.

I am just 5'7" and for me finding a perfect seating position was easy. The model which we drove was the top end Asta model with all the bells and whistles. Drivers seat was pretty good. My wife and daughter were not quite happy with the seats in the back as they felt its too low and offers poor visibility.

Engine felt quite refined and it seem to have sufficient power to lug this "seemingly heavy" car around. Gears were quite comfortable as it is any other Hyundai. Driving dynamics was pretty good and the car felt very solid while trying to weave through the heavy traffic in parts of outer ring road. Brakes are excellent. The wide Appollo Accelere (185/65) with a long wheelbase (25mm longer than Verna) seems to help in the stability at high speeds (tried upto 135 kmph) and on rough roads. Steering is light at slow speeds and tend to get heavier as we go faster. My wife says she felt more comfortable in the back seats compared to Verna.

Music system is fairly ok, felt a tad leaning towards the lower frequencies. May be tweeters are cheapo.

Dont have much to say negative except probably the price; would have liked it at about 6.25 on road here. However Asta (without side curtain airbags) costs Rs 6,62,881 on road. The i20 entry level model (Magna) costs one lac less and comparable to i10 Asta Manual which is at 5.55 lacs. The top end i10 AT with sunroof sells at 6.26 lacs on road in Bangalore!

Some more options I would have loved is avg/cur mileage display and an Automatic transmission option.

Its pretty sad that there are no auto options between i10 and City.

Did a short TD of Linea also immediately after this. Its mentioned in the Linea thread.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd May 2012 at 23:05. Reason: Adding link to official review
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Old 18th January 2009, 13:20   #2
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I examined the Asta version and was not able to find a single button or knob, either on the doors or on the dash, that felt cheap. Pressing/turning them felt good and it reminded me of the latest Civic or Accord. I was disappointed with the airbag on-off ignition switch. The key only inserts half way and then you can turn it which felt cheap. I would have preferred if the key inserted completely and there was more weight or resistance to the mechanism.

I loved the seat belt and airbag on/off display. The front passenger seat has a weight sensor. A few seconds after you sit down in the seat, the light reminds you to wear your seatbelt. And the driver can look at the display and know which rear passenger has not worn their seatbelt. No weight sensors for the rear passengers.

Last edited by Dose : 18th January 2009 at 13:21.
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Old 18th January 2009, 14:34   #3
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I was disappointed with the airbag on-off ignition switch. I loved the seat belt and airbag on/off display. The front passenger seat has a weight sensor. A few seconds after you sit down in the seat, the light reminds you to wear your seatbelt. And the driver can look at the display and know which rear passenger has not worn their seatbelt. No weight sensors for the rear passengers.
Do you mean the quality of the switch , or the purpose of the switch? The airbag on/off switch for front passenger is necessary to avoid danger incase your kids are traveling on front seat.

Can some experts throw light over what that weight sensor is all about ?
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Old 18th January 2009, 19:08   #4
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Do you mean the quality of the switch , or the purpose of the switch? The airbag on/off switch for front passenger is necessary to avoid danger incase your kids are traveling on front seat.

Can some experts throw light over what that weight sensor is all about ?
I mean the way the switch was designed which affects the perceived quality. If only half the length of the key is needed and allowed to turn the switch, I wonder if someone can insert a different i20's key or even a Skoda key and get the switch to turn.

Until an expert throws light, I will explain that the weight sensor detects if a person or object of weight either above or below a certain threshold is placed on the seat. I once drove an American Corolla which had a front passenger weight sensor. This sensor was linked to the front passenger airbag. If nobody was seated, the "passenger airbag off" sign would illuminate. If someone of sufficient weight was seated, the "passenger airbag on" sign would illuminate. The weight sensor takes care of airbag management automatically on U.S. market auto's.

Therefore, in a frontal impact, if nobody is seated on that seat, the airbag would not fire and money would be saved. If an adult was seated, the airbag would fire and a life would potentially be saved. Also, if a child (with or without carseat) below the weight threshold was placed on that seat, the airbag would not fire, potentially saving a life. In America, one needs government permission to obtain a manual airbag switch for the front passenger seat and this permission is given only for auto's that do not have a proper backseat for children. India has no such laws yet so Hyundai has decided to install that switch as a feature. The problem is since the Indian market i20's weight sensor is only linked to the seatbelt reminder and cannot overrule the airbag switch, when an adult sits on that seat and the driver has forgotten to switch on the airbag and nobody has noticed the passenger airbag-off warning light, the front passenger can be injured during a frontal impact. This injury could lead to a lawsuit which is why the average American usually is not allowed to have a manual airbag override switch. The weight sensor is linked to the airbag and the decision to arm or disarm the airbag is automatic.

The Indian market i20's weight sensor does not seem to take care of airbag management automatically due to the presence of the manual switch, unless I'm mistaken. The weight sensor only reminds the passenger to wear a seatbelt. If someone has read either the i20's owner manual or the service technical manual, we can confirm or reject my presumption.


In the following link, choose the interior view and click on the sixth picture from the left to see the passenger airbag sign for the Corolla:

Toyota Corolla - 2009 Pictures & Photo Gallery

My question is since the i20 has a backseat for children, why did Hyundai India install this airbag override switch and also install a weight sensor that does not communicate with the airbag? Why not give us the automatic system like they did for the Americans? As it is, the average customer, whether Indian or American, is almost clueless about auto safety and should not be trusted with important decisions such as this. Hyundai India should make the i20's system automatic and save people the trouble and danger of forgetting to turn on/off the airbag for the appropriate passenger. After all, it does not cost anything, does it? In fact, Hyundai India would save money by not installing that switch and front seat passengers would be safer if the decision to arm or disarm the airbag was automatic.

I cannot think of a situation where you would want your adult or child front passenger to sit on the front seat, yet not have the airbag turned on or off respectively unless you purposely wanted to put them in harm's way.

I hope I am completely wrong in my presumption. If not, someone in charge of safety has screwed up at Hyundai India.
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Old 19th January 2009, 10:49   #5
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@Dose , Thanks for the info. Any one knows that i20s airbags are inflated only if people are wearing seatbelts ?

I read it somewhere ( not sure whether it is TBHP ) that Swift's aribags gets deployed even if a person is not wearing seatbelts.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 09:45   #6
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I have finally booked my i20 after lot of deliberations. I was planning to get an automatic but I was very disappointed by ANHC. Linea was another option, but again it was a diesel and too expensive for its engine (same range as Verna CRDI). I was not sure even the petrol will be a VFM considering the engine and size of the car.

So it was i20 finally after more test drives and a long drive (50kms). Delivery is scheduled on 13th Feb. This will replace my 8 year old Santro.

Btw, I have not seen any TD reports or booking news in TBHP about i20. Did anybody book it or all are after Linea?
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Old 22nd January 2009, 09:58   #7
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Congrats appuchan on booking your new car.Keeps us posted with your ownership experience once you get the delivery of your new car.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 10:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appuchan View Post
I have finally booked my i20 after lot of deliberations. I was planning to get an automatic but I was very disappointed by ANHC. Linea was another option, but again it was a diesel and too expensive for its engine (same range as Verna CRDI). I was not sure even the petrol will be a VFM considering the engine and size of the car.

So it was i20 finally after more test drives and a long drive (50kms). Delivery is scheduled on 13th Feb. This will replace my 8 year old Santro.

Btw, I have not seen any TD reports or booking news in TBHP about i20. Did anybody book it or all are after Linea?
Congrats Appuchan. I think i20 is a gr8 choice though i was wondering why you did not like the ANHC? especially since you wanted an autobox

Also i think petrol Linea will be a winner. If you could wait i suggest you TD the Linea Petrol before making your decision.

Thanks

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Old 22nd January 2009, 11:17   #9
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Congrats Appuchan. I think i20 is a gr8 choice though i was wondering why you did not like the ANHC? especially since you wanted an autobox

Also i think petrol Linea will be a winner. If you could wait i suggest you TD the Linea Petrol before making your decision.

Thanks

Elito
I can elaborate a bit although some may start flaming me for the same.

ANHC did not have luxury feeling for the million+ we have to pay. I felt its just a great engine housed in a metal box and some cheap fabric inside. I also have my neighbor who had took delivery of ANHC in Nov 08 and already complaining about rattles and squeaks. He was an avid fan of Honda and owned an OHC for long time. It seemed a bit unusual, coming from Honda. They have done some really serious cost cutting on that car to keep it below the million mark.

Did the i20 TD in between.

We were not quite impressed with Linea and the overall build quality from inside and outside was not that great. I felt that the sales and service of that car is clearly below par, when I visited the showroom. There was a big crowd around the car and no staff was seen around. Did not know whom to ask for TD. Finally we managed one after about one hour. Meanwhile, we closely inspected the display car and the panel gaps etc was not consistent. Some of the door plastics had already come off, maybe due to rough handling by visitors.

The car which we drove did not have any features like Alloys, steering controls etc and still it was 8.5 lacs+. Moreover my short TD experience on the Diesel version was quite bad and tiresome in heavy traffic. I did not find any of the Linea trims VFM considering the engine and aftersales. And I do not anticipate change in these factors even for the petrol version.

As explained earlier, I found i20 to be pretty quick for the engine, and I could easily touch 130kmph wthout any struggle. In Linea, by the time I managed to reached 80 kmph on the same stretch, the TD was over!

Me and my wife felt that the build quality and interiors of Linea was poor compared of i20. The things she liked about Linea was ride quality, interior space, visibility and design. For i20, it was luxurious interiors, silent cabin, perky engine, decent space, top end features, good handling and brakes, compact design...and most importantly just 6.6 lacs on road!

Last edited by appuchan : 22nd January 2009 at 11:18.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 11:25   #10
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Quote:
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Me and my wife felt that the build quality and interiors of Linea was poor compared of i20. The things she liked about Linea was ride quality, interior space, visibility and design. For i20, it was luxurious interiors, silent cabin, perky engine, decent space, top end features, good handling and brakes, compact design...and most importantly just 6.6 lacs on road!
Well that says enough! Many thanks for posting your experiences!

Congrats on your i20..will wait for your initial review and pictures!

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Old 22nd January 2009, 11:28   #11
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I 20 looks like a great car just a little over priced. Regarding the weight sensor for no seat belt warning, its there on Toyota Innova V as well. If someone wants try, when you are driving alone try pressing the Co-Passengers seat at the center and the no seat belt light for the co-passenger will turn on. Release the pressure and it will go off. I discovered it coincidently when the toll booth was on the wrong side. I am not sure if its linked with the Airbags in Innova.

I think its a nice feature. Small things like these makes you feel pampered and brings a smile on your face.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 12:14   #12
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Default Linea to an i20 - any day!

If I were a new buyer looking for a car in the 5.5-6.5 lac budget, I would prefer a Linea petrol to a Hyundai i20 - any day! I don't know what makes Hyundai price the cars ridiculously. Fiat is definitely a better car when compared to a Hyundai, but for their A.S.S. Hope Fiat improves their service and support, to keep a check on sub-par automakers in the market like the Hyundai.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 12:39   #13
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If I were a new buyer looking for a car in the 5.5-6.5 lac budget, I would prefer a Linea petrol to a Hyundai i20 - any day! I don't know what makes Hyundai price the cars ridiculously. Fiat is definitely a better car when compared to a Hyundai, but for their A.S.S. Hope Fiat improves their service and support, to keep a check on sub-par automakers in the market like the Hyundai.
I don't think there is any model of Linea petrol less than 7L OTR.

But yes someone WITH a budget of around 8L and OKAY with fiat service should seriously consider the Linea Petrol.

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Old 22nd January 2009, 12:48   #14
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I saw a couple of i20s near Cochin last weekend. One of them was with a ribbon around it - already delivered to customer and the other looked like a test drive car. I loved the frontal looks of the car. Nice.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 12:49   #15
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i magine a situation like this for example:-

bought a car but you are spooked to give it back to service centre for service or for damage or for any issue what so ever - this would be the situation for a LINEA buyer( FIAT customers in genral)

the next situation is like this.
for even any small issue you just keep running to service centre - you are a Hyundai customer

i have seen it.

the sales manager who was the one most involved in getting me the verna himself has a palio 1.9D he told me of this scenario

should i say more??

budget alone is not enough! you should have the bank balance to maintain it. and then the patience. the former comes into play when you buy a skoda !! or a benz used car! for FIAT the latter comes into play!!
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