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Hyundai i20 (2010-2013)
Whether it’s as a second car for commuter duties, a first car for a new driver or even primary transport, light cars are steadily growing in popularity.
Buyers looking for a light car in the used market might well find a Hyundai i20 a sound choice.
The i20 was released in mid-2010, selling alongside the popular and budget-friendly Getz, which it effectively replaced when the Getz was discontinued just over a year later. Where Getz was cheap and cheerful, the i20 went a little more upmarket in terms of style, equipment, price, and improved driving experience.
The entry level Active in either three or five-door hatch configuration, mid-field Elite and better equipped Premium, both in five-door body types, make up the range. Active models are fitted with a 1.4-litre engine, while the Elite is 1.4 or 1.6-litre, depending on year. The Premium, dropped from the range in mid-2012, was 1.6-litre only.
Buyers could choose a four-speed auto or five-speed manual. Manual boxes from mid-2012 had six ratios with consequent improvement to fuel economy. The 1.6-litre engine offers a little extra torque and flexibility and would be the better choice, especially if the auto is chosen.
Active models prior to October 2010 only had dual front airbags as standard and a four-star ANCAP crash rating, whereas the other versions (and Active after that date) also had front side and head airbags and a five-star rating. Stability control is standard on all variants.
One omission from the standard equipment is cruise control, though given its primary role as a commuter car many drivers won’t be too perturbed by this.
On the road i20 offers a solid and above average all-round driving experience, but falls short of the class leaders.
The i20 is built in India and is finished to a reasonable standard but once again falls short of the best the class can offer. Hyundai i20 owners by and large seem to be a happy bunch with few complaints reported. A professional pre-purchase inspection is still advisable though. Ex-rental cars may have had a hard life and are probably best avoided.
Look for a record of proper scheduled servicing. i20s generally prove economical for running and repair costs. Check for marked or soiled interior trims and plastics. With a five-year new car warranty, finding used examples with balance of factory cover shouldn’t be difficult. A recall for non-compliant jack labels applies to some late build cars; a dealer will be able to confirm if a car is affected.
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.