In this section:
- Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
- Suspension and ride comfort
- Noise and vibration
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
This section is nice and simple because the Hyundai i20 is available with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, with either 99bhp or 118bhp. Both have mild-hybrid tech, which means there’s a very small electric motor and battery, which adds a little electrical ‘kick’ to the engine as you drive around.
The entry-level version, badged 1.0 T-GDi 100PS, pulls from about 1800rpm, feels hearty in the mid range, and, while it doesn’t feel hugely energetic in the final furlongs of the rev counter, it finishes the 0-62mph sprint in 10.4sec (11.4sec for the seven-speed auto gearbox). In other words, there’s plenty of poke for town or country driving and it certainly doesn’t feel lacking next to a Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 95 or Seat Ibiza 1.0 TSI 95.
That said, because the i20 is on the firm side, you'll be more aware of the lumps and bumps that you drive over, due to there being a slight thud through the steering wheel. It’s not horrendous and it doesn’t mean that the i20 is uncomfortable, but anyone looking for a small car with more of a focus on comfort should try out the Peugeot 208 or VW Polo instead.
The added up-side of the i20’s firmer suspension set-up is that it handles better than those rivals with more give. That’s because it doesn’t lean over as far when you corner quickly and the lack of bounce makes it feel very stable over mid-corner bumps. Adding to this, the i20’s steering feels sharp and eager to turn in to bends.