Hyundai i20 Active Diesel Long Term Review
The Hyundai i20 Active did not disappoint in its stay with us

Hyundai i20 Active Long Term Review

Long Term Test No. 93

Car Tested: Hyundai i20 Active CRDI
Kms Done: 3622 kms
Test Started at: 7241 kms
Test Concluded at: 10,863 kms
Mileage: 14.50 km/l, 17.82 km/l (best), 11.96 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 250-litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 13,250/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 3.65/-

The Hyundai i20 Active is a comfortable, efficient and feature-loaded compact crossover

The Hyundai Elite i20 is a success story in the premium hatchback segment in India and the i20 Active is a crossover based on the Elite i20 itself. The i20 Active is seeing good demand and is even the highest selling car in its segment. My colleague Javeid had been driving the i20 Active for some time now while I had the Terrano. Since the Terrano had to go for a major service which would take a really long time, I decided to take the i20 Active and use it for my daily runs to see how it performs.

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The i20 Active has very bold styling elements

The Hyundai Elite i20 looks really beautiful and classy while the i20 Active is the opposite. It has some rugged and sporty appeal and easily stands out in a sea of cars. The DRLs and projector headlamps look cool while the front bumper also comes with a skid plate. The side profile looks slightly overdone to me due to the black cladding, roof rails and the hideous fuel lid cap. The rear also has a very busy design with the large bumper with black cladding and the big circular fog lamps. The i20 Active is a looker but the design is kind of love it or hate it.

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Host of features on the inside, comfortable seats too

The interiors of the i20 Active are largely similar to its elite sibling. The dashboard carries the same styling and it boasts of premium quality materials. The crossover is offered with two different colour schemes for the insides. The one which we had on our test car had aqua blue panels on the dashboaed and centre console while the other colour theme has subtle orange iserts in an otherwise all-black interior. The first theme looks quite loud while the other one looks discrete. The i20 Active also gets silver finish sporty pedals.

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The 1.4-litre oil-burner is frugal and has decent power on tap

Powering the Hyundai i20 Active is the same 1.4-litre CRDI diesel engine that also powers the Elite i20. It is tuned to churn out 90 PS of power at 4000 RPM and 220 Nm of torque between 1500-2750 RPM. The oil-burner comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The engine feels very refined and the clatter isn’t annoyingly loud. Driveability at the lower end of the RPM range is good and once the turbo starts spooling at 1800 RPM, it pulls the vehicle cleanly till 3000 RPM. The engine on the i20 Active provides 11% better low-end performance than the Elite i20.

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Light steering is a given in any Hyundai car

The Hyundai i20 Active has a good engine but what it needs is an AT

However, due to the heavier weight of the car, fuel efficiency has taken a marginal drop on the crossover. The ARAI-rated fuel efficiency is 21.29 km/l while we managed to extract anywhere between 12 km/l to 17 km/l in real world conditions. Running costs have been very economical too. The i20 Active feels very easy to drive around and the light steering really helps matters in urban driving conditions. The seats are a comfortable place to be in and all round visibility is also pretty good.

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The i20 Active has a stiffened suspension but ride quality is good

The Hyundai i20 Active has nice ride quality and passengers don’t feel uncomfortable. Due to the higher ground clearance, it also tackles poor road surfaces with ease and doesn’t scrape anywhere. Hyundai has also increased the height of the coil springs and the suspension has been stiffened up a bit. Due to this, the i20 Active continues to have very similar levels of ride quality as the Elite i20.

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The i20 Active seems to have better tyres than the Elite i20

Handling is a very neutral affair and the i20 just doesn’t feel as sharp as say the Volkswagen Polo. Even though the steering has improved over the previous generation, it still feels lacking of feedback. However, it now weighs up pretty decently at high speeds, while remaining extremely light at low speeds. Braking has always been excellent on Hyundai cars and this one feels no different. The Active comes with 195 section 16-inch Apollo Alnac tyres which have impressive levels of grip.

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The Hyundai i20 Active turns out to be a good car to live with

Hyundai i20 Active Service Costs

1. Service Schedule – 10,000 kms and 12 months (whichever is earlier)
2. Cost of Service Per 1,00,000 kms – Rs. 56,363/- (D)
3. Cost of Spares –

* Engine Oil Per Service – Rs. 1569/- (D)
* Brake Oil – Rs. 264/- (D)
* Oil Filter – Rs. 451/- (D)
* Fuel Filter – Rs. 2016/- (D)
* Brake Pads (Front) – Rs. 1553/-
* Front Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 1444/-
* Rear Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 6340/-
* Headlamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 15,079/-
* Tail Lamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 1964/- + Rs. 1553/- (Quarter Panel + Boot)

All the parts’ prices are MRP Delhi and labour includes Service Tax : 15%

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Hyundai has an excellent service network, some parts are pricey though

Our test car was the SX variant which comes shod with dual front airbags and ABS. Hyundai has an excellent after-sales network in the country and thankfully our i20 Active was reliable enough to not visit a service centre in its duration with us. The Hyundai i20 Active is pricier than the Elite i20 but for the extra price you get some additional features which are useful and of course a lot of cosmetic enhancements. The vehicle is extremely easy to drive and has decent dynamics too. It provides a hassle-free ownership experience and thus makes for a good choice in the compact crossover segment where it competes with the Toyota Etios Cross, Fiat Avventura and Volkswagen Cross Polo.

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The only thing missing now is an automatic gearbox

What’s Cool

* Comes with a long equipment list with a lot of features
* The 1.4-litre CRDI engine has good performance and is frugal
* Ownership experience is pretty hassle-free
* Hyundai’s after sales service and excellent reliability

What’s Not So Cool

* Handling mannerisms are still not as sharp as most rivals
* Slightly pricey for a compact hatchback-based crossover

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The i20 Active is a very practical vehicle

Testers’ Note:

“The Hyundai i20 Active makes for a practical car to live with as it is practical and also boasts of interesting styling elements which does please the target audience. Compared to the regular i20, the Active is pricier but also offers more in many ways, including equipment, appearance and performance too. Most importantly, the i20 Active is a better handler than the Elite i20, making it a bit of fun too.” – Faisal Khan, Editor, MotorBeam.
“I had been driving the Elite before switching over to the i20 Active and even though they are the same cars, there are different in many ways. The steering feels more responsive, there is more equipment on board and the practicality it offers is pretty much unmatched. Also, the higher ground clearance is a boon in Mumbai, especially in the monsoons. Overall, the Active ticks all right boxes as a comfortable and functional hatchback.” – Dr. Javeid Khan, Deputy Editor, MotorBeam.

Further Reading

Hyundai i20 Active Long Term Review – Initial Report
Hyundai i20 Active Review
Hyundai i20 Active vs Hyundai Elite i20
Hyundai i20 Active vs Fiat Avventura vs Toyota Etios Cross