With its fresh and head-turning styling, versatile interior, class-leading safety and engaging driver dynamics, the sparkling new Hyundai i20 took centre stage on the Hyundai stand at the 2008 Paris Mondial de l'Automobile. Building on the reputation for peerless reliability and exceptional cost-effectiveness established by its Hyundai Getz predecessor, Hyundai i20 offers drivers more of everything - enhanced functionality from the intelligently configured cabin layout, higher levels of luxury, convenience and safety equipment, engaging handling from its all-new chassis and tuned suspension, and an extensive seven-strong line-up of punchy petrol and frugal turbo-diesels engines, with the choice of manual or automatic transmissions. Designed and developed in Europe to meet the high expectations of European drivers, and benefiting from Hyundai's unlimited mileage three-year warranty, the Hyundai i20 arrives fully armed to succeed in Europe's ultra-competitive supermini sector. Initially available as a five-door model, a sportier three-door Hyundai i20 version debuts in January 2009.
Style and Design
Designed at Hyundai's European headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany, the chic new Hyundai i20 follows in the stylish European footsteps of the acclaimed i10 and i30 models. Lower, longer and wider than the Getz it replaces, the five-door Hyundai i20 rides on an extended 2525mm wheelbase, enhancing both its athletic stance and spacious interior architecture. Featuring Hyundai's distinctive design motifs - a bold chrome-topped grille flanked by piercing teardrop headlamps at the front and striking stacked rear light clusters - the i20's modern lines are further strengthened by neat detailing, including colour-co-ordinated bumpers, sills and wing mirrors, integrated antenna, mechanical boot release, flush-mounted door handles and chunky standard-fit 16-inch 12-spoke alloy wheels. And new Hyundai i20 arrives with a palette of 10 new solid and metallic exterior hues - including fashionable Crystal White.
Luxury and versatility blend seamlessly in the new Hyundai i20's spacious and generously appointed cabin. With all four trim levels - Classic, Comfort, Style and Premium - featuring climate control, a powerful four-speaker radio, CD and MP3 audio system with integrated data display screen, a multi-function steering wheel, tyre pressure monitoring system, height-adjustable driver seat, keyless entry and electrically operated windows and side mirrors, i20's list of standard features puts it head and shoulders above the majority of its rivals.
Suspension, Ride Quality and NVH
In keeping with its dynamic styling, Hyundai i20 rides on an all-new platform that delivers an athletic and agile driving experience. With much of the car's ride and handling development work undertaken on European roads - hot weather testing was carried out in Spain, cold weather testing in Sweden and high-speed testing in Germany - Hyundai's ride and handling engineers have ensured i20's front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension delivers the taut and alert ride quality favoured by the European market. The new rack and pinion steering setup has also been tuned to deliver quick and accurate responses resulting in excellent urban agility. Extensive use of advanced noise reduction materials throughout the development process - particularly in the diesel-powered models - has resulted in exceptionally high levels of refinement, imbuing Hyundai i20 with a sophisticated and cosseting cabin ambience.
Hyundai's new i20 debuts with a range of seven petrol and diesel engines that have been extensively revised to deliver greater performance, enhanced economy and lower emissions than before. The Euro IV-compliant petrol line-up comprises the 78PS 1.2, 100PS 1.4 and 126PS 1.6 all available with five-speed manual transmissions, with the option of four-speed automatic gearboxes on the 1.4 and 1.6 models.
Posting a low CO₂rating of just 124g/km and returning just 5.2 l/100km on the combined cycle, the all-new 1.2 all-alloy engine delivers an excellent combination of performance and economy.
Geared up to meet the high European demand for diesel power, Hyundai i20 arrives with four Euro IV -compliant turbo diesel engines, fitted with CPF diesel particulate traps as standard for 1.6 (115ps & 128ps) diesel engine. The 1.4 comes in two specifications - 75PS and 90PS - while the flagship 1.6 is available in 115PS and 128PS trim. Economical and clean, the 115PS variant returns a class-leading CO₂figure of 115g/km and 4.3l/100km on the combined cycle. Both 1.4 models come with five-speed manual transmissions, while the flagship 1.6 is mated to a six-gear manual drivetrain.
Hyundai is synonymous with class-leading safety, and the new Hyundai i20 debuts with exceptionally high levels of active and passive safety equipment. Its outright agility and responsiveness play a key role in keeping the Hyundai i20 driver out of harm's way, but should the worst occur those on board are protected by the extensive use of high-tensile steel in the Hyundai's robust chassis, six airbags - front, side and curtain - fitted as standard, active headrests, front seatbelt pretensioners and latest generation ABS anti-lock brakes, ESP electronic stability control, EBD Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. This safety package is further enhanced by an advanced tyre pressure monitoring system, Isofix mounting points in the rear and seatbelt reminders for all five occupants, which means Hyundai i20 arrives on the market as one of the safest cars in its class. Hyundai is confident of a full five-star Euro NCAP adult occupant protection and child protection crash test result for the Hyundai i20.
The Hyundai i20's five-seater interior may pamper, but it also majors on everyday practicalities with a 40:60 split flat-folding rear bench with a low lip for easy loading into the a roomy and regularly-shaped 295-litre rear loadbay, numerous intelligently positioned interior storage spaces including a large cooled passenger glovebox and two cupholders, and excellent all round visibility. These elements are complemented by the reach-and-rake adjustable steering wheel, complete with integrated audio controls and keyless central locking actuated by Hyundai i20's ergonomically designed folding keyfob.