Hyundai i20 Premium

Nav 1.0 T-GDi

Hyundai i20, dynamic
Hyundai i20, profile
Hyundai i20, rear
Hyundai i20, front
Hyundai i20, interior
Hyundai i20, boot

THERE'S no shortage of competition in the small hatchback market but, just as in many other classes, Hyundai has been making the big boys sit up and take notice in recent years.

The i10 has won many plaudits and buyers in the city car segment and the i30 is now an established option for compact family car buyers.

In between these two sits the predictably-named i20 - competing for sales against the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Skoda Fabia.

The South Korean brand gave up living in the shadow of the more established manufacturers a long time ago though and, like its siblings, the i20 has plenty to offer buyers in a competitive market - especially after a 2018 refresh.

Now available as a practical five-door only, the facelift saw the i20 adopt Hyundai's trademark ‘cascading' grille alongside redesigned front and rear bumpers, new front fog lamps and a new tailgate with updated tail lamps.

A blacked out C-pillar creates the fashionable ‘floating roof' look and all but entry-level models get eye-catching new 15 or 16-inch alloy wheels.

It's a sharper, more modern look but one that still conforms to, rather than stands out from, the generic compact hatchback crowd - and whether that's good or bad largely depends on personal taste.

S Connect, SE, Premium Nav and Premium SE Nav trim grades make up the range, with all cars now getting air conditioning and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system incorporating digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a rearview camera.

Stepping up from the base model adds autonomous emergency braking, cruise control, lane keep assist and rear parking sensors while the Premium Nav car I drove also boasts, as the name suggests, navigation as well as heated electric folding wing mirrors, climate control and privacy glass.

Beneath the bonnet Hyundai has eschewed diesel power in favour of an all-petrol engine line-up featuring 75 and 84ps 1.2-litre units mated to a five-speed manual gearbox; a three-cylinder, 1.0-litre turbo kicking out 100ps with the five-speed or a seven speed automatic transmission, or a 120ps version with a six-speed manual.

The latter is only available in range-topping cars, however, as the lower powered three pot is likely to be the popular choice thanks to its perky character and the best fuel economy in the range, with a claimed 56.5 miles per gallon on average when paired with the five-speed manual gearbox.

It does run out of puff at motorway speeds, taking a good while to get from 60 to 70mph, but proves punchy and responsive in the mid-range and is ideal for the urban roads where i20s will be doing most of their motoring.

Light steering and some nimble handling also make zipping around in town traffic enjoyable rather than a chore - although whether the rattle of the three-cylinder engine when you put your foot down is characterful or intrusive is open to debate.

What's not in doubt, though, and a big factor in its favour, is that the i20 is one of the roomiest superminis on the road.

There's plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment for the driver to get comfortable, good head and leg room for four adults and some decent storage cubbies for a small car, including generous door bins and, in higher spec models, a front centre armrest with a compartment beneath.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai i20 Premium Nav 1.0 T-GDi

Price: £16,415

Mechanical: 100ps, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 117mph

0-62mph:10.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.5

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions:115g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty:5yrs/100,000 miles

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