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Old 19th April 2024, 19:23   #1
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The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering springs

Chapter 1: The Hunt and The Decision

The search for a new addition to the garage began when the youngest member of the house, yours truly, was inching closer and closer to being a government certified driver. At the time, the garage had a relatively new two year old Suzuki XL6 and a Renault Kwid. It was time to buy a first car for me and my parents and I set foot in the market with a budget of thirty lakh rupees, and then, finally settled on a car worth half that. So, why?

Well, initially, at the time the three options we were considering were an i20 Asta (O) 1.0 DCT, a Kia Seltos 1.4 GT Line DCT and a Skoda Octavia Style. Having test driven the Seltos and the Octavia, both from different segments (we were very indecisive, don’t judge) we decided to go ahead and book the Seltos thanks to our obsession with buying a top variant as the top variant of the Octavia was 5 lakhs out of budget on road Delhi.

At that time, the beginning of 2021, a chip shortage plagued not just the Indian, but the global electronics market. As a result of that, the booking of the Seltos would have us waiting six months as per the dealer, and the horror stories of dealers exploiting customers surfacing online only made matters worse. On booking the Seltos, I had a certain attraction towards the smaller i20. I would watch YouTube videos of the Asta (O) (The N Line was not out yet) and would question if a crossover is the car I wanted to drive as a college student as this car was going to become mine as promised by my parents (I know I sound super spoilt right now). That (and also the impatience, we just could not wait 6 months) made us take a test drive of the i20 turbo automatic. My father called for the test drive and we booked it for 6 PM, their last slot as per the dealer.



Our experience with Hyundai began with disappointment, but as they say, all is well that ends well. The customer service executive (let’s call him H, customer service executive is quite a mouthful) was supposed to arrive around 6. Come 5:45, he stops picking up his phone which was quite irritating as I had just been on a call with him at 5:30. The clock strikes 6:00, 6:30, 6:40, no response. Suddenly at around 7:15, having given up on the test drive and this product, the phone rings. H calls and tells us about how the police had pulled him over and harassed him for a solid half hour followed by tons of trouble for the showroom and H himself (I still do not know if H was lying, but I like to think he wasn’t since he seemed pretty genuine). He pleads us over the phone to give him a chance, promises that he will not let us down and informs us that he is waiting outside our house. My father and I decide to give him a chance and go for the drive. On driving it, coming from a history of Suzukis, the car immediately impresses us. A small car with a punchy engine and TONS of features, along with decent-ish driving dynamics was something unimaginable at the time.

On returning home, my father reminisces about how it reminded him of his 1.6 OG Baleno which he used to drive in his 30’s. We decide to still go for the Seltos due to us having the budget for it as well as the appeal of a big car. We decide to then let the Hyundai be, and go for the bigger Hyundai.


A few weeks later we get a call from H. By this time, we have grown tired of waiting for the Kia and my interest in the i20 is growing. H informs us of this new variant of the i20, the N Line, the shipment of which he will be getting in a month which comes at a very attractive price increment over the Asta (O). On careful consideration we decide to go for it. Since we had already driven the Asta and were quite impressed by it, we decided to go ahead and book the N Line and cancel the Seltos.

The process up to the delivery was not very smooth. The dealership forced us into buying the insurance from them, or risk being denied delivery. They also could not deliver when promised and took a week extra. No issues there, we were still very eager to take delivery. The day comes, the 13th of October 2021, my mother and I head to the showroom to pick the car up and are given delivery of the car. Nothing notable, the delivery was quite well executed and the experience was nothing notable, but nothing to complain about either.


The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering springs-f21eb747e8574cdc91e8c99e95ab355b.jpg
The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering springs-dee00c16f6f548959d909b0c0db48c1a.jpg

Chapter 2: The Review

For a while things remain new, and then the fascination dies and we as individuals become used to them. That is not to say that fascination takes with it the admiration, which I doubt will ever die. For me, the fascination died after the car crashed for the first time. At around 8,000 kms, the N Line met with its first crash which was a front end collision at the speed of 30-40 which ended up damaging the condenser, bumper and bonnet, but luckily, the headlights were unscathed and the airbags, unopened. After coming home post repairs, the car to me became something I loved, but not something new, and after that, I began to truly use the machine.

From here, starts the real review of the vehicle. The i20 N Line to me is the ultimate drivers’ car on a budget. In today’s market, there is nothing available at the price of the N Line (14 lakhs on road). The car has the one of the best driving dynamics I have ever experienced, and it has honestly spoilt me. Cars that are much more expensive now feel bland and lacklustre to me, having daily driven the N Line. In fact, I have driven it about 40,000kms on the 13th of October, 2023, just two years since its delivery.

The Kit
Hyundai loves loading its cars with features, in fact, that is what sold us on the i20 and the recently bought Seltos in collaboration of course, with the punchy drivetrains. The i20 comes loaded with features that no car had at the time below 15 lakh rupees, and no car seems to come close to even now in 2024 in the price range. It comes with BlueLink (I find that very useful living in Delhi where the summers hurt and the winters bite, and in general aswell. Tracking the vehicle proves to be useful more often than you’d expect), a sunroof (mother’s requirement for a car), rear AC vents, a rear armrest (removed in the facelift unfortunately), LED DRL’s and projector headlamps and much much more. This is a major plus point for the N Line with most of the features still feeling utilitarian, even after extensive usage. The only thing I found gimmicky in the feature list was the voice activation of the sunroof and the drivers side window which is cool to have but it is simply faster and simpler to use the buttons.

The Aesthetics
Inside and outside, the car has been designed very differently than what you would expect from a Hyundai.

The interior is complemented greatly by the N Line steering (the quality of which is better than the models that get steering wheels unique to the Indian market) which is straight out of the European market (However, one thing to note is the common issue with all Hyundai products where the leather wrap on the steering wheel does not last for too long. After a mere two years of ownership, you can see the steering wheel wrap is starting to show its age to put it mildly). Another perk that the N Line gets over the Asta (O) is the all black interior, including a black roof liner, which minimises maintenance and leads in the interior looking good as new, no matter how careless you are with it. To me, the interior seems perfect with the tastefully done red highlights and the premium fit and finish Hyundai is well known and praised for. The interior is missing soft touch points (again, improved in the facelift), but, all the driver touchpoint feel premium, and even after there being an absence of sot ouch points, it does not feel budget, especially at first glance.

The wear and tear on the steering isn't looking too good!
The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering springs-img_4557.jpgThe Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering springs-img_4558.jpg

The exterior was quite polarising when the product came out. I see many people on social media who prefer the Elite i20 to the current generation, but, I am more of a modern design guy (generational gap at work) so it looks just fine to me. The rear of the car feels quite polarising in the initial days of ownership, but it definitely grows on you within a few weeks, and there are plenty of elements that make up for it. The dual exit exhausts along with a high mounted spoiler, exclusive to the N Line, only add to the sporty look and make the car feel closer to being an N Line. The front bumper also has gotten the N Line treatment with a faux splitter mounted on the bumper and red accents. On the sides, the car has red accents and N Line specific alloys which are a downsized (17s to 16s) version of the same alloys that the European N Line gets owing to our road conditions. All these touches make the car look much nicer than the regular Asta, and make it a handsome product overall.

The Drive
The drive is planted. The car grips like anything, thanks to its stiffened suspension in comparison to the Asta, and feels stable and planted at highway speeds. It is very easy to drive, yet is engaging and the steering and dynamics are better than even a VW Polo, which used to be the benchmark of a sporty hatch at the time of purchase. The car’s in line acceleration is not the quickest and the DCT gearbox is to be blamed for that as it simply does not let you launch or brake boost. The 1.0L TGDi is a punchy motor making 118 bhp which in no way feels inadequate, in the city or out on the highway. The motor does not feel like a 3 cylinder unless you’re idling. At that point, there are vibrations, but that also is something you will only notice if you are used to a 4 cylinder and not if it is your first car, or if you daily it. In comparison to the other 3 cylinders on the market, namely those offered by Tata and Renault, the 1.0L TGDi is a polished and refined motor. The stock rubbers (CEAT Securadrive) do not belong on this car. They limit it and are a lapse by Hyundai, but it is nothing close to a deal breaking flaw as getting new tyres really isn’t a hassle.



Chapter 3: The Upgrades


My N Line has seen a few upgrades through its life. For the first 30,000 kms, nothing was upgraded except the horn which was upgraded to a Hella Chrome Trumpet horn which is basically an essential upgrade in Delhi traffic. At the 30,000 mark came the time to get rid of the sub-par Ceats, at which point I also upgraded the tyre size from 195/55/R16 to 215/45/R17 and said goodbye to the stock alloy wheels, for a set of heavier, but much better looking Infinity alloy wheels. My rubber of choice was the Michelin Pilot Sport 4, but since that is quite difficult to obtain, I went for the Primacy 4’s and boy do they impress. The grip increased tenfold, and with that, so did the confidence.

The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering springs-img_8337.jpg

At around 35,000 kilometres, I decided to get Cobra lowering springs for the N Line and take it to the next level. The drop was 30/30 and the increment in looks and fitment is immeasurable.

So, it looked like this before the drop
The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering springs-img_2131.jpg

And it looked like this after
The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering springs-img_2626.jpg
The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering springs-img_2751.jpg


Chapter 4: The Verdict

In my opinion, the N Line is the perfect car for someone who is looking for a secondary car that will only be used to transport two people at max. While the rear seat comfort is not bad at all, it isn’t the best if we are talking about a family car. The Asta (O) with its softer suspension is definitely more family friendly. The N Line is a great highway car with its punchy engine and power on tap thanks to the quick shifts by the DCT which is further complemented by the paddles. To sum up, go for it. Even after 2 years and 40,000 kilometres with it, I still fall in love every single time I get in the drivers’ seat and the omissions are things you stop noticing very quickly.

Last edited by Turbanator : 21st April 2024 at 22:25. Reason: high speed reference edited.
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Old 20th April 2024, 11:31   #2
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

Thread moved to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage tomorrow
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Old 21st April 2024, 11:22   #3
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

I should say the lowered spings and the alloys have further elevated the overall stance & sexy looks of the car. Have a lakhs of happy & safe driving with this pocket rocket
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Old 21st April 2024, 11:51   #4
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

Pardon my ignorance, how does the lowered springs affect the ground clearance? Will it significantly increase the chances of under body scraping on bad roads?
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Old 21st April 2024, 12:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gururajrv View Post
I should say the lowered spings and the alloys have further elevated the overall stance & sexy looks of the car. Have a lakhs of happy & safe driving with this pocket rocket
Thanks Gururaj! Glad you loved the way it looks. Iíve put all my love into it

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Originally Posted by vivekh View Post
Pardon my ignorance, how does the lowered springs affect the ground clearance? Will it significantly increase the chances of under body scraping on bad roads?
Hi Vivekh!
Yes the GC is affected, but not by that much that it keeps scraping. Its just that you have to be a bit more careful. I still daily the car and it does not in any way hamper the driveability.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 21st April 2024 at 13:52. Reason: Merged back to back posts. Please use multi quote button to quote more than one post. Thanks
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Old 21st April 2024, 14:44   #6
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

Congratulations! It's a beautiful machine. Have you planned for any further modifications? An aftermarket air filter would help the car breathe better.
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Old 21st April 2024, 17:18   #7
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

Wonderful review and the car in that shade looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing your candid experiences with us, particularly the traits of DCTs being not the quickest which many Hyundai/Kia owners dont seem to call out. A decorated forum, such as Teambhp, needs and deserves more impartial reviews like this.

Looking forward to reading more of your honest reviews.
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Old 21st April 2024, 17:58   #8
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

Those alloys look sick with the car. Can you share the make or any other links to them. TIA
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Old 21st April 2024, 18:24   #9
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

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Originally Posted by SVS_23 View Post
Congratulations! It's a beautiful machine. Have you planned for any further modifications? An aftermarket air filter would help the car breathe better.
Yes I have actually and an air filter is on the list. Also includes a tune potentially, but from friends whoíve gotten it done, iíve heard it messes up the DCT since there is no TCU tune available for the Hyundai Kia DCTs.
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Old 21st April 2024, 20:09   #10
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

Good to see this car here finally, wish you more years of happy miles Siddhant.
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Old 21st April 2024, 20:52   #11
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Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
Good to see this car here finally, wish you more years of happy miles Siddhant.
Thank you bhaiya! Love to be a part of this community.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
Those alloys look sick with the car. Can you share the make or any other links to them. TIA
All the information I have about them is that they are of the brand Infinity. Iím sorry!

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Originally Posted by Col Mehta View Post
Wonderful review and the car in that shade looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing your candid experiences with us, particularly the traits of DCTs being not the quickest which many Hyundai/Kia owners dont seem to call out. A decorated forum, such as Teambhp, needs and deserves more impartial reviews like this.

Looking forward to reading more of your honest reviews.
It is what it is. And we have just bought another car with the same DCT (Seltos FL). Being very honest, they HAVE actually improved it. Will be posting a short comparison of the two soon

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 21st April 2024 at 21:08. Reason: Back to back posts merged. Please use the multi-quote button (QUOTE+) while quoting and replying to multiple posts. Thanks.
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Old 21st April 2024, 22:40   #12
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

That’s what I have also observed. There is a noticeable difference in how the new 1.5 turbo DCT behaves in comparison to the 2020 1.4 turbo DCT, particularly the performance in lower gears is one level up now and doesn’t feel as laggy and lethargic. Please share your take on the mid and top range in your Seltos’s review. I feel the 1.4 fares better on open roads perhaps due to the new BS6 engines are being conservatively tuned..? I documented my recent experience here -

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offic...ml#post5756626 (2024 Hyundai Creta Facelift Review)

(Pardon me if you haven’t driven the 1.4 though).

Eagerly looking forward to reading your observations and feedback.

Last edited by Col Mehta : 21st April 2024 at 22:49.
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Old 22nd April 2024, 15:13   #13
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

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Originally Posted by Col Mehta View Post
Thatís what I have also observed. There is a noticeable difference in how the new 1.5 turbo DCT behaves in comparison to the 2020 1.4 turbo DCT
I have briefly driven the 1.4 Turbo Seltos and what i felt was that the DCT in my i20 is similarly tuned to the pre-FL Seltos. The FL Seltos is much more mature and torque converterish in the way it handles stop-go traffic.

I will write all of this in detail in the comparison. I'm glad you're looking forward to reading it . I am working on it and will publish it ASAP.
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Old 22nd April 2024, 17:02   #14
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

Great choice with the alloys and the lowering springs, looks way better than the stock.

I like the fact that Hyundai has given it some bit of exhaust sound which sounds somewhat enough on the outside, but do share how is it in the inside.
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Old 22nd April 2024, 18:28   #15
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Re: The Hyundai i20 N Line Story | 40,000 km with the warm hatch | Modded with Cobra lowering spring

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Originally Posted by yshvj View Post
Great choice with the alloys and the lowering springs, looks way better than the stock.

I like the fact that Hyundai has given it some bit of exhaust sound which sounds somewhat enough on the outside, but do share how is it in the inside.
Thank you! I get a lot of complements regarding the alloys. Turns out I did make the right choice .

As for the sound of the exhaust, it is not visible if you're sitting in the front, but it quite noticeable if you're in the backseat. i don't know how that works.
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