Hyundai ix20 Hatchback full 9 point review
The 1.4-litre petrol engine is the pick of the range because it’s the cheapest to buy and gives eager performance. By contrast, the 1.4 diesel is best avoided. Yes, its fuel economy is vastly superior to the petrols’, but it’s not particularly flexible. We haven’t driven the 1.6 petrol yet, and that is available only with an automatic gearbox.
Ride & Handling
The ix20 is reasonably comfortable, although the diesel model’s ride is restless at low speeds. In both the petrol and diesel versions, the tall body leans quite a bit in corners, and the steering has virtually no feedback, although there’s enough grip to make the ix20 feel secure.
The 1.4 petrol engine does a decent job of melting into the background when you’re cruising at speed, but the coarse diesel gives off too much noise and vibration at all times. In fact, there’s so much engine noise that you barely notice the moderate levels of wind- and road noise that are audible in the petrol.
Buying & Owning
The ix20 isn't cheap enough to be considered a budget buy, but its resale values are decent. What’s more, the 1.4-litre engines come with a stop-start system that reduces their fuel consumption in traffic. The 1.4 petrol averages more than 50mpg, while the diesel will better 65mpg.
Quality & Reliability
Hyundai has managed to give the ix20’s interior a smart look, and everything feels solidly constructed. However, the plastics are a little disappointing because they’re all hard to the touch. Hyundai didn’t do particularly well in the 2010 JD Power customer satisfaction survey, either, but you do get the reassurance of a five-year warranty.
Safety & Security
Safety is key in MPVs, whatever their size. Fortunately, every ix20 has stability control, active anti-whiplash front head restraints and front, side and curtain airbags to protect you and your loved ones. All this helped the car achieve a five-star crash rating from Euro NCAP. Standard security kit includes deadlocks, an engine immobiliser and an integrated stereo.
Behind The Wheel
You get an elevated driving position; some people may wish that the seat and steering wheel had a wider range of adjustment, though. The heavily styled centre console can look a little daunting, but the buttons are all big and clearly marked. Pity the thick front pillars badly restrict your view.
Space & Practicality
There’s lots of cabin space for a supermini-sized car, thanks to the tall body; the boot is also big, and the rear seats can be slid forward or folded flat when you need even more luggage room. You have to shift the adjustable boot floor to its highest setting if you want a level load area when the seats are folded, but this is easy to do. It all works quite well, but it's nothing revolutionary.
Even entry-level Classic models come with air-conditioning, remote central locking, electric front windows and a CD player with a USB socket. However, you have to upgrade to Active trim to get electric rear windows, Bluetooth, alloy wheels and parking sensors. Range-topping Style cars add a panoramic sunroof, rear privacy glass and front foglights.