Hyundai Elite i20 Performance & Test Drive

Hyundai Elite i20 Overview

Hyundai has updated their premium hatchback offering the i20 for the Indian market. There is no doubt that the Elite i20 hatchback attracted a lot of attention when it was launched but the sales figures dipped south when Maruti introduced the Baleno in India because it offered the better package at that price point. But Hyundai is unwilling to leave the competition yet and thus decided to updated their current premium hatchback.Although the changes are subtle both inside and outside the additional equipment now added to the hatchback surely has made the current hatchback a better value for money product for certain. So without any further due let’s get straight to the point, shall we?  Hyundai Elite i20 price range in India is between 5,27,237/- 9,09,152/-.check for detail pricing of Elite i20 in Carzprice

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Hyundai Elite i20 Design

It would be a pretty bold statement to say that this is the best looking vehicle in its class, but we’re sure many others would agree with us. The designers have fortunately veered away from excessive cuts and slashes for the sake of making it look attractive and instead, the Elite gets an understated layout which grabs attention rather than begging for it. Overall, it has a clean and sharp profile that injects a sliver of sportiness into its image. Admittedly, if you removed the Hyundai emblem, we would’ve easily mistaken it for something made by a European manufacturer. The face is aggressive thanks to the sleek, swept-back headlamps, with muscular lines down the bonnet complementing the chiseled fascia. The chrome outline on the grille adds just the right amount of flash to the front. The Elite i20 is a handsome car thanks to the sharply styled front bumper, which also slims down the car’s front. Even the indicator lights hide in plain sight and are well-integrated into the headlamp cluster. The chrome door handles are a bit much, but then again, Indians do love their chrome. The 16-inch alloy wheels that are nothing short of droolworthy and are a design highlight. You won’t feel the need to forage through aftermarket options. Unlike the Baleno or Jazz, the Elite i20 doesn’t have any MPV-like overtones. The blackened C-pillar slims down the side profile, as does the shoulder-line and door cladding. It’s also interesting to see how the shoulder-line connects the tips of the head and tail lamps.The rear doesn’t get the same slimming elements as the front, but it isn’t bulbous like the Baleno either. The LED-look tail lights look particularly good at night and perhaps a little black cladding in the rear bumper would improve the look from the back.

Hyundai Elite i20 Cabin

While the cabin space is par-for-the-course, the upmarket ambience will be quite a deal maker. Premium hatchbacks today offer quality we’d expect in segments above and the Elite’s cabin is a perfect example.The dashboard is elegantly designed, with uniquely styled AC vents and a centre console with controls that are easy to navigate through. The lower portion of the dashboard is coloured black, while the upper half stretching all the way into the windshield is beige.We enjoyed the diversity of the atmosphere, and thought it fed off a trend that most car makers are following today here in India. The audio system is positioned at the top of the centre console, right below the central AC vents.Though it comes as a highlight, the central screen could have been bigger for improved ease of use on the move. The controls for the system are arranged around the display, and a large engine start/stop button is placed by the side of the console. The new edition has been updated with an advanced AVN(Audio Visual Navigation) system that comes along with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Below is the climate control console which hosts a slender screen with blue illumination. At the lower end of the console, you have a small storage area where occupants can keep phones and other spare items. Also incorporated here are dual 12V power sockets, a USB and an AUX port, adding convenience to the passenger’s experience.The 3-spoke steering wheel is draped in leather, adding to the upmarket experience of the cabin.The instrument cluster comes with an analogue tachometer and a speedometer, and the illuminated dials make it easy to read in any condition.Door pockets are present in all of the doors, but we have to stress that they’re too shallow to hold anything substantial. The entire arrangement is ergonomically sorted and everything falls to hand quite easily.Armrests and headrests provide added comfort, and the lumbar support is excellent too. The seat upholstery bumps up the premium feel in the cabin, while the contrasting beige and black stitching is a visual treat.Added bling comes in the form of the metal highlights on the gear knob, parking brake and the inside door handles, showcasing the attention to detail.

Hyundai Elite i20 Transmission

The i20 diesel comes with the same 1.4-litre, common-rail engine as the previous i20. There’s no change in power (89bhp at 4,000rpm) or torque figures (22.4kgm at 1,750-2,000rpm) either. The six-speed manual gearbox has been carried forward too, albeit with slightly shorter third, fourth and sixth gears to aid drivability. Engine refinement is good with a quiet idle and a subdued clatter being the only sound from the engine bay to keep you company in slow urban commutes. You don’t need to rev the engine very hard to get the best out if it because power comes in nice and early, and this is followed by a gentle surge after 2,000rpm. You’ll also seldom find the need to pass 3,000rpm to get past slower traffic. If you do so, you’ll find the engine quite loud on its climb to its 4,900rpm limiter. While not the most enthusiastic of performers, the i20 diesel makes a strong case as a car for city driving. Helping in no small measure here are its smooth-shifting gearbox and adequately light clutch. A light, if somewhat snappy clutch, and easy gearshifts are some of the traits you’ll find in the i20 petrol too. While power and torque outputs are unchanged from the earlier i20, the 82bhp, 1.2-litre motor has been re-tuned for better bottom-end responses. The engine does feel better than before but it’s still not the liveliest at low engine speeds. However, things get progressively better as you rev harder. The i20 petrol builds speed quickly and revs quite readily past 6,000rpm. Just don’t expect it to excite you.

Hyundai Elite i20 Ride & Handling

Hyundai has worked towards improving the ride and handling on the Elite i20 and it shows on the move. Though the suspension has been carried over from the older car in theory, the geometry as well as the damping characterisers have been revised significantly. The setup is slightly firmer than the older i20. Surprisingly, it hasn’t affected the ride and the i20 still rides quite well; it feels pliant, absorbent and well judged.

The improvement in handling on the other hand is more than obvious. The body roll, the pitch and the waywardness under quick direction changes have all been tied down tightly giving the i20 a more confident, stable and exploitable handling character. We would have liked a less artificial steering response though; the current setup fails to connect the driver with the happenings. Braking on the other hand, even though Hyundai has ditched rear disc brake in favour of a drum setup, is stable and strong.

Hyundai Elite i20 Safety

Hyundai has incorporated a decent braking system in the hatch, which consists of disc brakes on the front and drum brakes on the rear. It is supported immensely well by the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), but that is limited to the top three variants. Earlier, Hyundai i20 used to be the only hatchback under Rs. 10 lakh that offered as many as half a dozen airbags and was impeccably safe. But, now the scenario has reversed as even the top-end trim has only 2 airbags. The base and mid variants don’t feature a single airbag, while the Sportz trim comprises of only driver’s airbag. The parking assist feature with reverse parking sensors and rear camera with ECM display comes handy during parking the hatch. There are front fog lamps to improve visibility in inclement weather conditions.But, again, both the aforesaid features are with Sportz and Asta trims. Additionally, the top-end trim also features seat belt pretensioners for the driver and front passenger, automatic headlamps, impact-sensing auto door unlock and clutch lock. On the security front, it has immobilizer, smart keyless entry, and central locking (door and tailgate) to endure any event of burglary or thievery. It can be propounded nonchalantly that the current gen Elite i20 stands nowhere close to its predecessor in terms of safety features. The company has disappointed thoroughly in the safety and security aspect.

Hyundai Elite i20 Price

Hyundai Elite I20 Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 5,27,237/- (Elite i20 1.2 Era Petrol) to 9,09,152/- (Elite i20 1.4 Asta Option Diesel). Get best offers for Hyundai Elite I20 from Hyundai Dealers in India

Hyundai Elite i20 Bottomline

Hyundai definitely have a finger on the pulse of the Indian buyer, they very effectively know just what it is the market demands and are responding with highly emotional products. The only emotions they aren’t touching are the ones that enthusiasts bear, so if you are looking for a hot hatch and the i20 definitely looks the part, this is not the car for you.If you want a smooth effortless and feature rich product then the i20 ticks all the right boxes. I am impressed but only so much, I want the European spec with more power and better dynamics but that’s me. For the general populace, this is a superb car though I do feel Hyundai should have priced the higher variants a bit more competitively. They would have taken a hit but would have gotten an immensely stronger customer base. Superbly finished, good looking with a great drivetrain and refinement, a list of features to put the competition to shame, the i20 can go on to achieve great things for Hyundai. It’s definitely an evolutionary product and one that will either take the competition back to the drawing board or offering massive discounts. Either way, it’s something that will earn you your neighbour’s envy for a long time to come!

 

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