Review: Hyundai i20 (2015)

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Rating:

Functional and spacious interior, good value for money (especially high spec models), long warranty.

Not as fashionable as the latest SEAT Ibiza or Ford Fiesta. Naturally-aspirated petrol engines are slow. Entry-level models are fairly basic.

Hyundai i20 (2015): At A Glance

Neatly designed, comfortable, well-equipped and easy to drive, the Hyundai i20 is precisely what most car buyers want. It faces stiff competition from stalwarts like the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa but, while it might not do any one thing exceptionally well, it is still a perfectly good alternative to the best sellers.

Designed and built in Europe, the i20 is nicely suited to life on UK roads, with suspension and steering that make it easy to drive on rough British tarmac. It is quiet too, with good sound insulation even when there is a diesel engine under the bonnet. Road noise is well suppressed thanks in part to fairly small wheels – the largest alloys on offer are 16-inch.

Buyers can choose from a 1.2-litre petrol with 75PS or 84PS, plus there is a 1.4-litre petrol with 100PS and from mid-2015 a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol with 100PS or 120PS. Unfortunately the 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre options are getting a little long in the tooth now, needing to be worked hard to deliver useful performance. The turbo engine is a much better choice.

The cabin of the i20 is as well presented as the exterior, with a neat, classy layout and a quality finish. Entry-level models are fairly basic with wind-up windows in the rear, but upper trim grades represent very good value for money with luxuries like cruise control, heated seats, a heated steering wheel and Bluetooth.

Those who want a classy small car can’t go far wrong with the i20. Until the arrival of the 1.0T GDI it may not have offered the best engine range in this class, but there is little else to pick fault with. Build quality is excellent, driving dynamics are relaxed and practicality is good – plus there is a five-year unlimited mileage warranty to give buyers some extra peace-of-mind. 

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What does a Hyundai i20 (2015) cost?

List Price from £14,175
Buy new from £12,372
Contract hire from £163.50 per month

Hyundai i20 (2015): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4035–4065 mm
Width 1730–1880 mm
Height 1449–1529 mm
Wheelbase 2570 mm

Full specifications

While the i20's interior isn't as fashionable as more up-to-date rivals, premium materials mean it feels more upmarket than the likes of the Skoda Fabia.

It's functional, too, with controls easy to find and a seven-inch media system standard across the range - including, impressively, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to access your phone's features on the move.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive, plus there is room for rear-seat passengers to sit in comfort along with two Isofix mounting points for child seats.

Boot space is generous at 326 litres, ahead of the 292 litres in the Ford Fiesta and 280 in the Volkswagen Polo. The boot is well-shaped and has a wide opening, but there is a fairly high load lip, which makes loading and unloading large and heavy items more difficult. It’s a small flaw though – the i20 is otherwise one of the most practical cars in its class.

While the i20 is relatively cheap in entry-level S Connect form, most buyers will want to upgrade to a higher-spec model where equipment levels are more generous.

Standard Equipment:

S Connect features 15-inch steel wheels, body-coloured door mirrors with integrated indicators, cloth seats, 60:40 split folding rear seats, manual air conditioning, automatic headlights, tinted glass, heated door mirrors, electric front windows, seven-inch touchscreen audio display with rear view camera and smart device integration, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, DAB radio, steering wheel audio and phone controls, ISOFIX rear child seat anchorage points.

SE adds 15-inch alloy wheels, leather wrapped gear knob and steering wheel, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights, high beam assist, cruise control with speed limiter, electric front and rear windows, rear parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking, driver attention alert, lane keep assist.

Play features 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, black gloss door mirrors and touchscreen navigation.

Premium Nav comes with black side body mouldings, automatic dimming rear view mirror, automatic windscreen wipers, climate control, LED rear lights, front arm rest, power folding door mirrors, luggage net, front and rear parking sensors, variable height boot floor, height adjustable front seat belts, tyre pressure monitoring system.

Premium SE Nav tops the range, with chrome effect door handles, grey radiator grille, heated front seats, panoramic glass sunroof, heated steering wheel, keyless entry with engine stop/start button.

Child seats that fit a Hyundai i20 (2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Hyundai i20 (2015) like to drive?

Initially the petrol line-up in the i20 was limited to three naturally-aspirated engines: a 1.2 with 75PS or 84PS, plus a 1.4 with 100PS. Compared to turbocharged rivals, these felt slow and old-fashioned, requiring working hard to tackle hills or keep up with motorway traffic. They're fine for pottering around town and are fairly efficient according to our Real MPG data.

Buyers looking for a little more performance are betting opting for the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, introduced in 2016. Available with 100PS or 120PS, the turbocharged unit is quick enough to maintain easy progress on the motorway without hindering fuel economy.

Now axed, the i20 was previously sold with a choice of 75PS 1.1-litre and 90PS 1.4-litre diesel engines. Of these the 1.1-litre is probably the best buy thanks to a decent 180Nm of torque.

Although the majority of i20 engines come with a manual gearbox, the 1.0-litre petrol is available with a DCT automatic transmission. This works well and doesn't hinder fuel economy in the same way as the torque converter transmission used with the old 1.4-litre petrol.

On the road the i20 is a very relaxed, easy-going car. It has been engineered in Europe and it shows, with impressive ride quality over rough, potholed roads and very good refinement. Even diesel models are quiet and subdued thanks to excellent sound proofing.

Despite the comfortable ride quality the i20 has fairly good handling – body roll is kept in check unless changing direction suddenly, plus there is plenty of front end grip. The major controls - steering, pedals and gearchange - are accurate yet effortlessly light. That makes them ideal for a relaxed drive, but less rewarding for those who enjoy a tight B-road - keen drivers will prefer a Ford Fiesta.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 T-GDi 100 63 mpg 10.7–10.8 s 107–114 g/km
1.0 T-GDI 100 57–63 mpg 10.7–10.9 s 99–110 g/km
1.0 T-GDi 100 DCT 57 mpg 11.4 s 114 g/km
1.0 T-GDI 120 54–59 mpg 10.2 s 112 g/km
1.1 CRDi 71–88 mpg 16.0 s 84–103 g/km
1.2 69 mpg 12.1 s 106 g/km
1.2 75 50–60 mpg 13.6 s 109–130 g/km
1.2 84 50–59 mpg 12.8–13.1 s 112–126 g/km
1.4 51 mpg 11.6 s 127 g/km
1.4 Automatic 44–46 mpg 13.2 s 155 g/km
1.4 CRDi 69–72 mpg 12.1 s 106 g/km

Real MPG average for a Hyundai i20 (2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

80%

Real MPG

33–74 mpg

MPGs submitted

267

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Hyundai i20 (2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

I want to swap my Corsa for something reliable and fuel efficient - what do you suggest?

I'm currently driving a 2013 Vauxhall Corsa 1.2-litre. I'm doing about 1000 miles a month and it's costing me about £200 in petrol. I have a five-year-old and a dog and we spend most of our time on the moors (driving country lanes) so the car is always full of wellies coats, blankets etc. I am looking for a much more fuel efficient car and one that has enough space to fit us and all our stuff in, along with being reliable and low maintenance costs. Including part exchange, I can only afford to spend about £4500. What would you suggest?
You're not going to find a much more efficient car than your Corsa, unless you consider diesels. A cheap, second-hand diesel can be very expensive to maintain, though - especially as you don't cover many motorway miles (which are necessary to clear out the diesel particulate filter and prevent issues). Before you go trading in your Corsa, have you done everything you can to ensure it's as efficient as possible? Consider clearing out any unnecessary items and have it serviced. If you still want to change your car, we'd recommend something like a Hyundai i20, Honda Jazz, Toyota Yaris or Ford Fiesta (with the reliable 1.25-litre engine). They're all very efficient and should be very reliable.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

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