What's the used Hyundai i20 hatchback like?
Buyers after a well-built and handsome small car could do a lot worse than sparing a glance at the Hyundai i20. It sits in a hotly contested class, of course, that includes the iconic Ford Fiesta and the excellent Skoda Fabia, but it stands out against other used rivals due to the peace of mind of a long manufacturer's warranty. It’s available in three- and five-door forms, or as a rugged-looking SUV called the Active.
There’s a wide range of engines on offer, too, including four petrol and two diesel options. Petrols kick off with a 1.2-litre at either 74 or 83bhp, or you can select a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre unit with either 99 or 118bhp. An automatic gearbox was initially offered on a 99bhp 1.4-litre, until this engine was replaced with a 1.0-litre of equivalent power from 2018 onwards. If you want to go diesel, there’s a choice of a 74bhp three-cylinder 1.1-litre or an 89bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder.
Trims start with entry-level S, which is a little basic and lacks air-con and Bluetooth, and moves up through SE, which adds alloy wheels and rear parking sensors, and Premium SE, which throws in heated seats and a sunroof, to Turbo, which gets a 7.0in infotainment screen as standard. Confusingly, the three-door i20, which carries a coupé label, calls these last two trims Sport and Sport Nav, although they offer exactly the same equipment.
On the road, the 1.0-litre petrol engine is the best performer in the range, in either of its power outputs. Both feel good, even on motorways, although only the higher-powered 120 version gets a six-speed manual gearbox. The 1.2 and 1.4 petrols feel a little sluggish, even if they are quite refined, while the diesel options are both rather tardy in their responses and occasionally a bit noisy, too. The i20’s steering is slightly slow and heavy, although it's an easy and safe car to drive, with good grip levels and predictable handling. Its ride is generally comfortable, but it can be caught out by sharp road imperfections and feels a little choppy around town.
Inside, there's a good driving position with excellent visibility, and the dashboard is logically laid out and simple to use. The i20 feels solidly built and fairly plush relative to its main rivals, with good use of soft-touch plastics, and the 7.0in touchscreen infotainment on higher spec cars is responsive.
Space in the front is truly excellent, while rear seat passengers get plenty of leg room and a good amount of space across the car. Added to that, boot space is one of the biggest in the class, with easy access and a height-adjustable floor on higher trims.
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