Hyundai i20 T-GDI

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Hyundai i20, front
Hyundai i20, front
Hyundai i20, front
Hyundai i20, front
Hyundai i20, rear
Hyundai i20, boot
Hyundai i20, rear
Hyundai i20, rear
Hyundai i20, interior

SOMETIMES it takes a personal event to bring home the importance of robust safety measures.

In a late evening phone call from Dubai, my 20-something daughter told me she'd been involved in a motorway crash. She had run into the back of an unlit stationery truck in the fourth lane of a dual carriageway. Her rental car had then been rammed by a large SUV.

Her vehicle, a tiny Hyundai i10, had been squashed to less than eight feet long. Yet amazingly she had climbed out of the wreckage with nothing worse than a badly bruised foot and some seatbelt marks from sudden halt.

The little car had acted as safety capsule against the truck and the mighty SUV, protecting its occupant despite the car's diminutive size.

So it was with more than usual interest that I studied the safety equipment in the latest Hyundai i20 I was reviewing.

For a small family hatch bearing a price tag of less than £16,000, it's impressive. Autonomous emergency braking, electronic stability programme and driver attention alert are all included in the spec, not to mention rear parking sensors.

The i20 T-GDI Play I drove has a tiny but very eager 1.0-litre petrol three-cylinder engine which is very much the fashion currently. Developing 99bhp it is well able to cope with brisk motorway running as well as the town pottering and the usual school and commuter runs without being much of a drain on the wallet.

With a combined average of 56.5mpg it is on a par with most rivals such as the Polo, Fiesta and Micra.

The five-door cabin, though compact, is light and airy with sufficient space between passenger and driver to avoid shoulder rubbing. The fascia is neat with well position dials and instruments and a classy layout.

You are seated in a fairly upright position which helps make the most of legroom. Boot space at 326 litres is more generous than some competitors. The rear seat splits and folds 60-40 to further boost cargo room.

The zesty 1.0-litre revs smoothly and freely with a pleasingly sporty beat. It pays to make full use of the revs to squeeze out the best performance which with a 0-62mph time of under 11 seconds is nippy enough for most.

Ride is comfy enough over most surfaces and only becomes slightly agitated on undulating roads or over pock-marked Tarmac on bends. There's some body roll but this only manifests itself when hurrying through tight curves.

By small car standards, noise levels are surprisingly low with little mechanical intrusion and road noise being kept to a minimum. The relatively modest 16-inch wheels certainly play a part in preventing noise being transferred in the cabin from the road.

Young families on a budget will, no doubt, be reassured by Hyundai's five year warranty on all its products.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai i20 T-GDI Play

Price: £15,570

Mechanical: 99bhp, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 117mph

0-62mph: 10.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 57.0

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 115g/km

Bik rating: 26%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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