Hyundai Elite i20 Facelift Long Term Review
A good package of power, efficiency, space and features make the i20 a great car for daily use
Exhausted! That's my situation right now as there has been a lot of travel of late, continuous events, launches, shoots, etc. have made me very tired indeed. Of course, it helps that my daily driver currently is the Hyundai Elite i20 as I seem to have little to no energy to drive and park with long hours in the office and even longer in front of my desk at home.
When the facelifted i20 arrived at MotorBeam HQ for its long term stint, my colleague was quick to grab the keys, she has a soft corner for the i20 because there is one in her family (the pre-facelift Sportz petrol variant). Ours is the diesel because the oil burner is just better than the gasoline in terms of performance and efficiency. The engine is very refined too and is punchy at lower revs, making it easy to drive this hatchback in stop-go traffic.
When I am driving, the MID reads 14 km/l, when my colleague takes to the wheel, it goes up to 16 km/l, this is of course in the city with 100% AC. A little heavy right foot could be blamed for my higher consumption driving but that's mainly because I like redlining the motor, progress might be less in the top-end but the sound and the 5000 RPM redline sure motivate me to hold onto a gear for longer.
I never thought I would say this but I quite like the i20. In terms of aesthetics, I really can't differentiate it with the pre-facelift and the minor changes here and there do up the appeal and the freshness of this Hyundai. However, it's really the light controls, light steering and punchy motor which has made me stick to this Korean hatch when there are more driver centric cars at MotorBeam HQ.
The Hyundai Elite i20 is one well-rounded premium hatchback
Just to put this into perspective, the i20's steering doesn't offer much feel, it's light and easy to twirl but fails to weigh up at speed. But on the flip side, the light steering makes it effortless to drive this car, the soft suspension gives it a great ride quality at low speeds and since my running has been largely in the city, I am rather content with it. But out on the highway, it doesn't feel reassuring when you drive spiritedly and given my current exhausted state, I am in no mood to be spirited.
I also like the convenience features on offer, the boot is big enough for carrying shooting equipment, there is good space under the centre console to keep the car keys as well as my phone and the audio system connects in an instance, offers good sound quality and the reverse parking camera is quite legible too. However, this isn't a car for those who love driving, it's more comfort oriented with good seats, great ride, punchy performance, frugal diesel engine and of course plenty of equipment too (the lack of a request sensor on the co-passenger door still bothers me though)!
* Engine is very refined, punchy and efficient
* Easy to drive along with good ride quality
* Spacious boot and a good list of features
What's Not So Cool
* Steering doesn't weight up at higher speeds
* No request sensor on the co-passenger door
* Oriented more towards comfort instead of performance
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