Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

When designing a new model of a car, there are two paths to take.
Either the path taken up to that point is continued, or everything is revolutionized, changing aesthetics, characteristics and market targets.
The second path was the one taken by Hyundai with a new one Hyundai i20 2020, which for its third generation it totally changes itself.

After two rational and practical generations but perhaps without a strong personality, Hyundai i20 change everything.
New unique and recognizable style, technologies debuting in its category and a really interesting 1.0 Mild Hybrid engine, with an “intelligent” manual gearbox that promises to reduce consumption.
Let's find out together the new Hyundai i20 and see how it fares against the fierce rivals of the Segment B.

READ ALSO: Hyundai i20 N: the small Hot Hatch is a hymn to analog driving

Segment B: a market with significant volumes

Hyundai i20 has always been a responsible and somewhat counter-current choice in the Segment B car landscape.
But precisely ... what are Segment B cars?
In fact, we are talking about the cars that we once called "small cars”, That is to say cars that are small but capable of carrying more things and people than Segment A, the city cars so to speak.
But what is the Segment B market worth today?

A lot, a lot, in Europe as in Italy.
According to UNRAE data, in fact, segment B is worth 22% of the Italian market in 2020, ahead of even the most fashionable cars of the moment, the B-SUVs, which total a remarkable 21%.
We are talking about 300 cars sold in a year, numbers that should reach 330 units in 2021.
The market share is therefore really considerable, and to date i20 has been placed in 12th place, with a model at the end of its career.

According to the Managing Director of Hyundai Italia, Andrea Crespi, “The new Hyundai i20 has what it takes to nimbly surpass that number.
We are convinced that we can achieve the 10 thousand units sold in 2021, thanks to the contents that the new i20 is able to offer ”.
Hyundai i20 fa leva su three strong points which according to the House distinguish it from direct rivals: a unique style, modern and efficient engines and very advanced technological equipment and unprecedented in the current panorama.

Hyundai i20 2020 aesthetics: breaking with the past to say the least

After the first two series of i20s which are decidedly conservative from an aesthetic point of view, this third generation changes everything.
New Hyundai i20 2020 is inspired by the lines of the sedan Sonata destined for the American market, the first of the brand to bring a new, more dynamic and distinctive design.
The dimensions remain similar to the old i20: 4,04m long, 1,75m wide (+2cm compared to the previous one), 1,45m high. The impression from the outside, however, is of amuch more mature, serious and aggressive car.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

The front is very sporty and biting, dominated by the large trapezoidal grille and large triangular air intakes that include the fog lights.
Belli then i go full LED, which give further dynamism to the front together with the ribs that run through the bonnet and wheel arches.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

Laterally we notice a very aggressive profile and marked by two very pronounced ribs that move the side.
All the lines of the car aim to give it a protracted profile towards the front and towards the ground, giving it a sporty and dynamic appearance, as well as very different from the previous ones.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

We come to the most discussed part in recent months, the back.
In photos it may seem a bit heavy and “baroque”, but in reality it looks much better live.
The contrast between the body color and the glossy black of the (fake) rear diffuser and molding under the rear window eliminate volume and together with the now indispensable reflector strip that joins the two rear lights make it immediately recognizable.
Live this rear performs very well, and is embellished with triangular LED headlights that blend well with the lines of the rear.

The interior: conflicting emotions

If the Hyundai i20 is surprising for its line and character, inside, the feelings you feel are a bit mixed.
Let's start with the beautiful things right away.
Space is a lot in every direction, so much so that you never feel in a car around 4 meters long.
In fact, both in front and behind the space is generous, and four adults travel very comfortably, thanks also to the wheelbase of 2 meters and 58, increased by one centimeter compared to the past.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

The lines of the dashboard are also very interesting.
All surfaces are animated by lines and ribs. On the dashboard, for example, the pattern of the air vents runs through the dashboard, giving a sense of continuity and increasing the sense of width of the car.
Then the two digital screens stand out.
The first 10,25 ”screen is that of the digital instrument panel, best in class in terms of size.
The quality of the panel is really excellent, the visibility is always optimal and the screen resolution is commendable, especially considering the price range.
Another note of merit: it is standard on the entire i20 range, right from the base model.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

The second screen is that of theinfotainment. On our Connectline it measures 8 inches, while on the Bose it reaches the 10,25 "of the instrument cluster.
Command response and fluidity are good, although the resolution seems slightly lower than the instrument cluster display.
Finally, the steering wheel is very comfortable to hold and has simple and intuitive controls to use.
Although I like the 4-spoke solution chosen by Hyundai, the plastic used for the lower spokes, at least for the Connectline version, seems a bit cheap.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

And here is the main flaw of this interior, that is the look and feel of the plastics used.
On the doors, dashboard and moldings around the cockpit the plastics are all hard and a little too shiny.
As a pure quality of the interior materials there are some rivals that do better, but also others that do worse.
However, they are mounted very well and do not give rise to doubts about assemblies, creaks and durability.
The leap from ConnectLine to Bose then changes its appearance for the better inside, which with the presence of two-tone plastics, automatic climate and larger infotainment screen greatly increases the feeling of quality.

Hyundai i20 2020 technology: Android Auto and Car Play Wireless, ADAS level 2

However, technology remains one of the strengths of the Hyundai i20, which offers Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity across the range, and the presence of level 2 ADAS.
On our ConnectLine, which is strictly defined as "basic set-up", there are automatic emergency braking, active lane assistant, "simple" cruise control and a very useful system, Rear Seat Alert, as standard. which reminds the driver before getting out to check the rear seats, so as not to forget things or, worse, people in the car.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

On the ConnectLine, the 10,25-inch system that includes the latest version of Hyundai's operating system, the BlueLink, is missing, but the 8-inch has an ace up its sleeve.
Unlike the more advanced system that has a navigator and internet connection, moreover, the 8-inch system includes Apple Car Play and wireless Android Auto.
Hyundai i20 2020 is the first B-segment car to offer this solution, and Hyundai has cleverly decided to dedicate this function to the system (and therefore to the set-up) most chosen by young people.
For the rest, the system communicates very well with the smartphone, the mirroring systems are reproduced to perfection and the ADAS are really well calibrated and easy to use.
Technological sector really neat, good Hyundai.

The mechanics of Hyundai i20 2020: Mild Hybrid engine and intelligent manual gearbox

The third arrow in the Hyundai i20 arc is, according to the House, a very efficient engine range.
While waiting for the 204 HP N version and the popular LPG variant, there are two engines available at launch.
On the one hand we have the immortal 1.2 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine with 84 HP, coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox. This engine has been brought to Euro 6 Final homologation and promises even lower consumption with more lively performance.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

The star of the range, however, is the renewed one 1.0 T-GDI 3-cylinder turbo petrol with 100 hp and 172 Nm of torque.
An engine that we have already appreciated on the previous i20 series and more, but which here has a new travel companion. As is understandable by the 48V logo, the 1.0 turbo has become mild hybrid.
In fact, a 12,2 kW electric motor, therefore quite powerful, with 48V electrical system and lithium-ion battery located in the trunk.
This not so small moped together with the battery help the car in shooting and in Sport mode gives a nice power boost for a few seconds.
Above all, however, it works closely with the other innovation, the iMT.

This 1.0 mild hybrid can in fact be coupled to the 7-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission or to the new iMT gearbox, intelligent Manual Transmission.
Simply put, this gearbox is a classic 6-speed manual with lever, clutch and all the things we are used to. However, it has an electronically controlled clutch pedal.
When the clutch is pressed, a sensor that detects the pressure level sends the signal to a control unit that activates all the classic hydraulic systems of a traditional manual gearbox.

Driving: comfortable and quiet, and what a beautiful chassis. Ready for version N

What does this “electrified” engine-gearbox combination mean when driving the 20 Hyundai i2020?
In a very enjoyable and fun driving experience.
We drove just under 100km on our first contact with the i20.
In these few kilometers, however, you can understand the essence of a car, and that of the i20 speaks to us of a very complete car capable of facing all situations without problems.

Let's start from city: thanks to the compact dimensions, the very light steering and the rather soft suspension, i20 is always comfortable in traffic.
The 1.0 turbo pushes right from the low revs in the lower gears, and has always been lively in every situation.
The visibility is good in all directions, with the rather large rear window (news these days) and the precious help of parking sensors and rear camera.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

From the first km we manage to appreciate the iMT gearbox.
When releasing the gas at low speeds, the i20 turns off the engine. Between one traffic light and the next, you can sail without consuming anything.
On the main road, downhill and on the motorway, then the sailing allows you to travel several hundred meters with the engine off, surrounded by excellent acoustic comfort. And all without losing power steering, power brakes or lights, as the electric motor and battery will power everything instead of the heat engine. Very ingenious!
This is the biggest advantage of this iMT gearbox: speeding by turning off the engine.
This electronic clutch will not make you a better driver. If you don't know how to use the manual gearbox well, you will continue to struggle.

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

The car also has three driving modes.
Eco, the mode in which sailing is activated and the car focuses on low consumption, Normal and Sport.
In the first two modes there is a bit of turbo lag, which, however disappears when you enter Sport mode.
In this mode, in fact, the electric motor helps the combustion engine to restart from low revs and eliminates the turbo response delay. The change carries out the automatic shotgun, for perfect gear changes.
So this change improves driving a little ...

Our first impressions of Hyundai i20: top-notch technology and content

Between the curves, the i20 surprises.
It's not as communicative or fun as some rivals like Ford Fiesta or Suzuki Swift, but it defends itself very well.
The frame is very rigid and well calibrated, and the suspensions are never yielding, always giving good sensations between the curves.
The engine and brakes handle a few happy turns well, while the steering is precise but not the most direct.
Not the best of the small ones yet, but the base, however, is really good: for those waiting for Hyundai i20 N, this is good news ...

Finally, in the very few km of highway traveled, we saw the engine that at 130 km / h is well below 3000 rpm, consuming little and making little noise.
In so few km to give an opinion on consumption it is premature, but in our test we got an average of about 15 km/l without sparing us: good signs.

Prices and conclusions: we can't wait to take a longer test!

We just have to analyze the price.
A 1.0 T-GDI Connectline like the one in our test stands at a price list of just over 21 thousand euros.
The range instead starts at 16.950 euros for the Connectline equipped with the 1.2 hp 84.
The launch financial offer designed by Hyundai, however, it lowers the price of the attack version to 15.900 already equipped with the Exterior Pack (i.e. LED headlights and more refined aesthetic equipment), and a little more than 17 thousand euros for an i20 1.0 like ours.

In this short road test we got to know Hyundai i20 2020 better, and we stayed pleasantly impressedi.
Hyundai i20 is neither the sportiest nor the best finished in its class, but it is perhaps the most technological and advanced.
Its a lot of on-board technology, the very interesting mild hybrid engine and the really pleasant driving have really put a lot of curiosity into trying it again.
The thing that impresses is the ease of use of all technological systems, in keeping with the motto of this new i20, Ready for you.
So see you again in a few months when we can try it longer.
He has all the skills to do really well: we can't wait to put it to the test in our very difficult tests.

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