Hyundai i20 Ultimate

1.0 T GDI

Hyundai i20, front
Hyundai i20, dynamic
Hyundai i20, rear
Hyundai i20, 2022, interior, auto
Hyundai i20, interior, rear
Hyundai i20, boot

IF budget constraints mean you need to go small on size it sometimes pays to consider going big on spec.

And never was that truer than with the Hyundai i20, the second smallest car in the Korean car maker's line up.

While you could opt for the cheaper base model the top-of-the-range Ultimate version offers so much that you could easily be riding around in a car several categories higher.

Not only does that bring with it a feel-good factor but it can also give you the edge when the time comes to trade in your prized possession.

The i20 has always been a popular hatchback but the latest version is now much more stylish, much sharper and a much more appealing buy.

It's lower, longer and wider and with its wider grille and more aggressive looking headlights it now has the kerb appeal the model lacked for so long.

There's only one engine available so whichever spec you opt for you will get the same 1.0-litre, turbocharged 48-volt mild hybrid, three-cylinder unit but with a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.

Go for the Ultimate version, as driven here, and you get the seven-speed automatic box as standard, along with three driving modes - eco, comfort and sport - which gives you plenty of flexibility on the road.

Then there's keyless entry and exit, keyless ignition, cruise control, air conditioning heated front seats and even a heated steering wheel and armrest.

Add to that a Bose premium sound system with eight speakers and it's easy to see why the Ultimate has so much appeal when it comes to everyday driving.

Along with the higher spec comes more visual appeal as the Ultimate has contrasting roof and body colours to make it stand out in the crowd.

Similarly the interior has a contrast in colours with the higher section in black and the lower parts in grey.

The layout is both smart and functional with super sharp, easy to read dials, an 8-inch central touch screen - with a useful split view showing for example, a map one side and radio details on the other - and a rear view camera that makes reversing simple.

There's even a speed readout on the passenger side of the map so your other half will always be aware when you are over the speed limit. A feature which may not appeal to everyone.

Switches and dials are extremely intuitive. There's a normal knob for the radio volume not to mention a conventional handbrake, both of which are getting rarer on new cars.

On the road I found the Eco mode - which the car always defaults to when you switch off the ignition - a little too sluggish but Comfort mode is fine for everyday motoring, and you can always liven things up a bit with Sport mode.

In Sport the i20 genuinely feels like a car with a much bigger engine rather than a sub-1.0- litre one and will satisfy the needs of most family hatchback buyers.

And whichever mode you drive in the i20 handles motorway speeds with aplomb, feeling stable and reasonably well planted, unlike a lot of small cars.

Thanks in part to the mild hybrid system the i20 boasts an impressive 53.5 mpg average fuel consumption.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai i20 Ultimate 1.0 T GDI

Price: £23,785

Mechanical: 100 bhp, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via seven speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 118 mph

0-62mph: 10.3 secs

Combined MPG: 53.5

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 122 g/km

Bik rating: 29%

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