Paris motor show - Hyundai i20

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Hyundai is gradually replacing its entire range with ‘i’ models. First came the i30 and then the i10. Now the Korean manufacturer has taken the wraps off the missing link – the i20.

The five-door model will be up against some pretty stiff competition from the new Ford Fiesta and the Vauxhall Corsa when goes on sale in mid-January. However, when it comes to price the i20 has them both beaten by around £1200.

Replacing the Getz, the i20 will offer significant improvements in fuel economy, quality and space over the old model. It will be built in India, but was designed in Europe with a European market in mind.

Of the four engines coming to the UK, three are new – a 78bhp 1.2-litre petrol and 75bhp and 90bhp 1.4-litre turbodiesels. Buyers will also get the choice of the 100bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine from the bigger i30.

Buyers wanting the three-door model will have to wait until April.

Blue i20
A high-economy 'blue' model will be added in 2010 with sub-100g/km CO2 emissions, making it exempt from road tax.

It gets its savings through a stop-start system, different engine mapping, less internal friction, a six-speed gearbox and a lower ride height that reduces aerodynamic drag.

There's room for four six-foor adults in the i20's nicely trimmed cabin, and maybe even five at a pinch.

Three trim levels will be available – Classic, Comfort and Style – all will get six airbags, air-conditioning and the option of low-cost stability control.

Hyundai is hoping the entry-level 1.2 three-door will come in around £7500.

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