Hyundai Elite i20 Overview

On 29th December, 2008, just as the Hyundai i10 was climbing the ladder of popularity, Hyundai launched the uber-cool i20. Since its launch, it has undergone various facelifts, first in 28th March, 2012 with the launch of i-Gen i20, and finally in 11th August, 2014 with the Elite i20. The Elite i20 further went on to bag the prestigious Indian Car Of The Year (ICOTY) award 2015 on 17th December, 2014. This makes Hyundai cars win ICOTY award for two years in a row.

 So, what makes this car win such a prestigious award? Is it exciting to drive? Does it have a good appeal on indian car buyers? The answers are there, but hey, you must read the full article to find them out-

Car Type Hatch-Back
Fuel Diesel,Petrol
Transmission Automatic,Manual
Expert Rating
Ex-showroom Price Range 5,59,693 - 9,41,003

Hyundai Elite i20 Exterior

Just like the Hyundai’s aerodynamic Fluidic design, the Elite i20 is sleek, stylish and aerodynamic too. With a length of 3985mm, width of 1734mm and a height of 1505mm, it looks tall and stylish too. The wheelbase of 2570mm means that there is ample of space in the car. 185/70 R14 steel wheels in base variants and 1st in the hatchback segment 195/55 R16 diamond-cut alloy wheels in top-end Asta variant makes the car look cool. Looking at the front of the car, it looks so menacing with the dominating hexagonal radiator grille with a chrome boundary. The projector headlamps with LED DRLs and escort function (much like the Follow-Me-Home function) add the dash of style to the front. The modern design of the fog lamps is truly stylish. What is more interesting is the hood character lines that neatly integrate with the front bumper, adding the wow in the car’s exterior front. Now going to the sides, a lot of design elements pamper this car well. The ORVMs are aerodynamically structured with turn indicators which fold out when the car is unlocked and in when the car is locked, a 1st in segment feature. A black colour waistline molding is a cool addition to this car’s style quotient. The C pillar is back coloured which adds to the sportiness of the Elite i20. At the rear side, the one feature that stands out is the combination taillights, which is curved well to meet the side of the car. The bumper has a dual tone finish with black garnish at the bottom to make the car look even more sportier. The car comes with 5 standard colour options- white, silver, grey, red and blue and also 2 dual-tone colour option in red and white where the roof is painted in black. A rear roof antenna completes this car’s uber-cool and ultra-stylish exterior.

Hyundai Elite i20 Interior

The first thing one can notice in the car’s interior, is that it is incredibly spacious. This is clear with the car’s large wheelbase. The dual-tone black and beige finish is cleverly arranged in this car. Going to the driver side, the steering wheel is well-designed with the audio and call control buttons and its comfortable too with the tilt and telescopic adjustment feature. The instrument panel has blue and white illumination and the multi information display has a TFT LCD screen that provides information in high clarity without straining your eyes at night. The centre console has a 7” AVN system with smartphone connectivity, a 1st in segment feature. The AC system is fully automatic and has a cluster ionizer, another 1st in segment feature which cleans, purifies and deodorizes the air in the cabin to ensure a pleasant and healthy ride. In the rear side, the seats split 60:40 which adds in more cargo. But even without folding, 285 liters of storage space is a clever idea by Hyundai. Rear AC vents provide comfort during long journeys. Other features include adjustable headrests, armrests on doors, rear parcel tray, map pockets, ticket holder, driver seat adjustment, cooled glove box, luggage lamp, seat pockets, floor console storage system, cup holder and overhead storage console.

Hyundai Elite i20 Driving

The diesel engine is refined as usual, and at start it idles quietly. The clutch and gearbox are light which indicates less effort to change gears. But even with 6-speed gear, it delivers the performance of a typical 5-speed one, as the final gear doesn’t help you to speed up quickly. Even it says peak torque comes at 1750rpm, actually it comes at 1900rpm. As far as acceleration is concerned, 0-100km/h in 12.85seconds is something which is borrowed from its predecessor; however improvement is seen in the 4th gear with 40-100km/h taking 13.84seconds.

 The petrol engine is a bit disappointing. At lower speeds, it feels more responsive from its predecessor; but it’s not the best. When fully packed, the engine can be prone to stalling and one has to push the accelerator all the way down to drive. Partial throttle inputs get a plus point here, but on pushing fully down, response is poor. The flat torque curve (much like an electric car) makes revving the engine unexciting. Acceleration of 0-100km/h in 15.71 seconds seems a bit long.

 On the handling side, Hyundai has made improvements, but are not enough and makes the Elite i20 not too exciting. The EPS unit is vague and is not properly proportioned.  At corners, there is a fair bit of body roll, but the fatter tyres on the top-end Asta variant enhances grip on the road. Through potholes and sharp edges, the suspension doesn’t offer much cushioning, but the lower variants with 14-inch wheels and tall tyre sidewalls offer considerable cushioning. On uneven surfaces, speeding up can be an issue as the damping gets erratic in such a case. The braking is not that confident and hard braking causes the brake pedal to be on the verge of breaking (it feels wooden).

Hyundai Elite i20 Engine

The Hyundai Elite i20 has 3 engine options and 3 transmission options.

 There are two petrol engine options.  The first one is the 1.2liter Kappa engine with dual VTVT. Having a volume of 1197cc, 4 cylinders and 16 valves, this engine delivers a power of 81.8bhp at 6000rpm and a torque of 114.74Nm at 4000rpm. This engine is mated with a 5-speed manual transmission. The other engine is the heavier 1.4liter dual VTVT engine, which is a 1st in segment. This 1368cc engine has 4 cylinders and 16 valves and delivers a power of 98.6bhp at 6000rpm. This engine comes with a 4-speed automatic transmission.

 The diesel powerhouse is the 1.4liter U2 CRDI engine. It is a 1396cc, 4 cylinder and 16 valve engine. This oil burner delivers a power of 88.7bhp at 4000rpm and a torque of 219.67Nm at 1500-2750rpm. This engine has a 6-speed manual transmission.

Hyundai Elite i20 Safety

Hyundai has focused sharply on the Elite i20’s safety features. Dual front airbags comes in as a standard feature, while the top end Asta variant get not only the dual front airbags but also the side curtain airbags as well. Antilock brakes is seen only in top-end Asta variant. The McPherson Strut with Coil spring suspension in front and Coupled Torsion Beam Axle with Coil spring suspension in rear provide the much needed stability. Auto headlight feature is a nice addition, which switches on the headlights in dusk and off in sunlight. One touch signal system to warn about lane change is a welcome addition. Front disc brakes and rear drum brakes add to its safety. Speed sensing auto door lock and impact sensing auto door unlock, reverse parking camera with sensors, auto up/down power window with pinch guard, clutch lock and a smart pedal which applies brake by overriding the accelerator pedal are other safety features in the Elite i20.

Hyundai Elite i20 Value

Priced from Rs. 5.7 lakh to Rs. 9.6 lakh, the Elite i20 is expensive to own. Considering its drivability, the Elite i20 is made only for city driving, but if you want to take it on highway, the diesel version is the only option. With many 1st in segment features, well-sculpted and sleek exterior, a spacious interior, safety features and a good appeal, the Elite i20 has made Hyundai pride on it. Overall, this car is made for those who are rich and doesn’t like long drive on highways.

Hyundai Elite i20 Maintainence

If we consider that the car is driven for 1000km in a month which amounts to 12,000km in a year, the cost of ownership for Hyundai Elite i20 can come upto Rs. 64,465 for one year. This includes Rs. 17,300 of insurance cost, Rs. 1462 of maintenance cost and Rs. 45,703 of fuel cost. We have not factored in the loan interest as it depends on person to person and the percentage of amount taken in loan.

Hyundai Elite i20 Maintainence

The Hyundai Elite i20 though has won the ICOTY Award 2015, new entrants in the segment are showing rivalry against it. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Honda Jazz, Volkswagen Polo and Ford Figo have amped up the competition well. Now, it’s all up to the future sales which will have the final word of this car’s popularity.

Hyundai Elite i20 Image Gallery


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