New Hyundai i20 N vs Ford Fiesta ST: interiors

Which pocket rocket’s got the right stuff? Join us on the launch pad as we fire up the new Hyundai i20 N and its Fiesta ST rival...

Hyundai i20 N 2021 dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

There’s not much to complain about when you’re sitting behind the steering wheel of either car, although the Hyundai i20 N’s wheel doesn’t have quite as much reach extension. Its seats are good, despite the angled seat squab that digs into your hamstrings slightly.

The Ford Fiesta ST’s are even better, giving you more support for your shoulders and thighs. One thing to note, though: being narrower between the bolsters, the ST’s seat might not suit you if you have a bit of a bounteous behind. Both cars give the driver height adjustment but no adjustable lumbar support.

The i20 N has a fully digital display behind the steering wheel, and the set-up will make avid gamers feel at home; the display can be configured in a multitude of ways to show everything from how much brake pressure you’re using to your lap times on a track day.

Ford Fiesta ST 2021 dashboard

The ST’s instruments are analogue, but that’s also fine. They’re clear and have a small digital screen between them that lets you call up some driving data. Beyond that, both dashboards have simple switches for most major functions, so they’re easy to use.

You get a clear view out of the front of both cars, but their chunky pillars compromise rearward vision. Still, you get standard rear parking sensors and a reversing camera to help you avoid prangs.

The i20 N has full LED headlights as standard. The ST has LED dipped headlights as standard, with halogen bulbs taking over when you flick on the main beams. Full LEDs are available as a £700 option.


Infotainment systems

Hyundai i20 N

Hyundai i20 N 2021 touchscreen

The i20 N’s screen is the bigger of the two, with better graphics and sharper resolution, but the operating system is sluggish. It takes its time booting up when you start the car and when responding to your selections. It also refused to provide sound during a phone call, forcing us to restart it (the smaller touchscreen in lesser i20s is much better). You get wireless phone charging as standard, and you can upgrade to an eight-speaker Bose stereo if you wish.


Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST 2021 touchscreen

This ST-3 trim comes, like the i20 N’s, with all mod cons, including built-in sat-nav and smartphone mirroring. The touchscreen is mounted high up, but the graphics don’t look as good as the i20 N’s and selecting a DAB station is a bit of a faff. It’s otherwise easy to find your way around the system, and the software is reasonably responsive. You get a Bang & Olufsen stereo with 10 speakers as standard. It sounds punchy but lacks some mid-range detail.