Initial ownership review: My Hyundai i20 N Line DCT

I wanted the N Line from the start since no other brand was offering a sporty version of their hatchback.

BHPian iNLine recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

So here goes nothing - My i20 N Line DCT ownership review that will hopefully help confused car buyers like me. TLDR at bottom.

A few disclaimers before I start - I am a fairly new driver and have mostly driven the Swift diesel before. My car has been driven over 2500 km in the span of two months of which 1500 is mine (I don’t drive at night and was co passenger all the time, so this review might contain their insights as well).

Shortlisting process:

I wanted the N Line from the start since no other brand was offering a sporty version of their hatchback. The car first leaked back in Oct 2020 if I am right, and Hyundai confirmed they would be bringing this brand to India in Dec 2020 via Autocar.

However, tried to get 2L discount on Figo AT but the deal did not materialize. It would have saved me nearly 6L overall.

I did a test drive of the Polo GT in which I barely fitted in (I’m 6’0) and my mom was left with no space in the backside.

I had next to zero interest in buying an SUV because of how you’re perceived for owning them but mainly thanks to TGT episode in which Clarkson proves there is nothing sporty or utility in an SUV. I rejected the Magnite because of the steering issue and flimsy build quality and friends and family talking about Renault reliability. No interest in any other CSUV or crossover.

Buying process:

Did a test drive along with a friend and a family member at two different dealers and called a few to check colour/variant availability and discounts. A dealer was ready to give 70L discount compared to Carwale dot com price and I went ahead.

Went to the Joshi Hyundai, Chandigarh early morning and did the PDI. Thanks to your checklist and some I found on the internet, made my own custom checklist and kept checking the boxes. Had already told them to keep the car clean and neat and behold there it was. My BIL took a test drive again and gave it all okay report.

Called the branch manager to send in the loan payment and I did my own payment via UPI and RTGS/NEFT. Before this, I had only paid them booking fee of 10k.

Then my sister saw the backside of Polar white i20 with black accents and tried to convince me to get the grey colour but I did not bulge. Blue would have been nice but it wasn’t in stock.

After a few more hours of bank delay and paperwork delay, car was ready. Mind you, the showroom was jam packed that day as they had 11 scheduled deliveries and 20+ more on coming auspicious day of Dhanteras. Overall a very pleasant experience- truly 10/10 to dealer and Hyundai as well.

First drive:

The car is absolutely superb. If you are confused between this or some other car, get this one without a doubt. I’ll try to convince you with my words, but you gotta try it out to truly feel what I feel. A wide grin on my face every time I am behind the steering wheel.

The car is a looker for sure. I’ve seen people turning heads and checking out the shiny chrome double exhaust pipes. “The car starts like Audi” and “Lamborghini wali feeling” is the praises that sweet note from the exhaust has received. Turning on the car and making people hear small pops and bangs is my sweet little party trick.

The engine is super smooth and refined. You can feel the harshness sometimes if sunroof or window is open. But that turbo whoosh should be a music to every car driver. Talking about the turbo, yes the car lags a bit. I remember the very first time I tried to overtake - it was a scary experience as I went to other lane and pressed pedal gently but there was nothing and so I returned to my lane after disappointment and boom there goes the car. But after driving on the straight one way highway for a few kms I learnt exactly what I need to do. Expect a lag of ~1 second and you should be fine. Or downshift via paddle shifters or gear stick and vroom.

But I rarely manually change gear. Press the pedal hard or even go pedal to the metal and you’ll see car downshift a gear or two. You’ll always have enough power and need not worry about anything. Switch to sport mode and the story changes wildly - you’ll always be in the right gear and have fairly large amount of power than you’ll ever need for this small little hatch.

Did a trip from Chandigarh to Lansdowne last week and drove on empty three lane highways to hilly roads and D mode was always sufficient. Car would shift from D3 to D2 automatically too without pressing pedal hardly when at a hill slope. Hill launch assist works so brilliantly that I never realized it’s even there or not - just silently doing it’s job.

Quickly changing lanes, going over bad patches of road at high speed which I would never consider in a Creta are a lot easier here. However, the car did feel like an aeroplane at unmentionable speeds though and not enough planted. Is this due to stock Nexen tires or light body chassis - I’m not qualified enough to comment. Everyone who drives do mention the hard brakes and the hard steering wheel and I’ve to explain to them it’s a feature, not a bug.

My cousin did a hard brake test recently (panicked and depressed brake pedal fully thinking of a clutch) and needless to say disc brakes did their job. A bike swerved into the ORVM (no one got harmed) and to my surprise, it bent backwards and did not break! I thought the feature was only available on select models. I was so shocked by the events that I did not check if ABS or ESS worked or not.

Coming to features list:

It’s plenty. Voice control works well and so do plentiful other buttons on the steering wheel ranging from music control to cruise and MID control. Mute and pause button are integrated into one which is a nice trick. Stock Bose speakers are more than okay but you need to up treble and bass a little from default settings.

10 inch display is crisp and clean, is fast and is high up instead of fitted below and hence you do not have to look down. Wireless charger is a nice feature but I have to remove my phone cover because otherwise it will bounce at a pothole and gets displaced. Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are great additions and the latter has a much much better interface. Android Auto only takes two third of the screen too.

MID gives a lot of information including currently playing music track and directions (arrows and km) if you’re using in built maps (which might be a little wrong and confusing sometimes). It shows overall average of 14-15 usually with 80% drive on highways and rest bumper to bumper traffic. Never have been able to get above 17.6-17.8 except for 18.2 once.

Rear seat space is plentiful. Rear AC vent, wiper, USB charger along with holder and armrest do up the game. Boot space is decent and more than what people expect from a hatchback. Big door pockets are everywhere, but the rear ones don’t get red ambient lighting.

One big downside that I feel is maybe I should have owned and driven bad cars before to truly appreciate this beauty. Should have driven a small puny engine car or an AMT or CVT. Hard steering and suspension do give confidence, but I have no benchmark to compare with it too.

Overall an impressive machine, a great first car. DCT reliability remains to be seen. I was so nervous and confused before buying, thinking about a big failure but now didn’t think about it. As GTO said “I'd rather have a breakdown every 5 years than drive a boring engine / gearbox for 10 years.” Though he also added “That said, I would pick a competent torque-converter AT over a DCT 10 out of 10 times.” but I am ignoring that part for now.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Driven by india