Hyundai Elite i20 Hatchback First Look Review

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Hyundai Elite i20 Overview

It’s the facelift of a very popular premium hatchback, so naturally, there was a lot of anticipation for it. When the wraps came off it at the 2018 Auto Expo, however, the first impression was that not much had changed. Even afterwards, when we placed photos of the old and new side by side, it was a tricky game of ‘spot the difference’. Now that we have the car with us for some closer inspection, let’s see if there’s more than meets the eye.

Hyundai Elite i20 Look

As you’d expect of a facelift, the most significant changes are cosmetic. Up front, the Elite i20 sports the new Hyundai family grille, which essentially gives the old grille a shot of botox. That aside, the front bumper looks sharper and gets smaller front fog lamp enclosures. A cool touch here is that they include slim air curtains to reduce drag.The only noticeable changes on the sides are the restyled 16-inch alloy wheels of the Asta dual-tone and Asta (O) variants. They’re a direct lift off the European-spec i20 and look quite sporty.Check for Hyundai Elite i20 price in Pune.

It’s the rear end where the changes are easier to spot. The number plate has been moved from the bumper to the boot; the bumper itself gets an Xcent-esque black insert and the tail lights get revised internal detailing (they still aren’t LEDs but do look the part).Also, no more ‘VTVT’ or ‘CRDi’ badging at the rear and you’ve now got two new colour options – ‘Fiery Red’ and ‘Passion Orange’. Our test car sports the prior and for the life of us, we can’t tell the new red apart from the old ‘Red Passion’.

Hyundai Elite i20 Comfort

Speaking of the cabin, it receives a few nips and tucks too. The most important is the new touchscreen infotainment system, which now incorporates an IPS display that has lesser glare and is easier to read from varied angles. The operating system now uses a greyscale theme for its icons and menus, replacing the blue theme seen on the outgoing model. The system is compatible with Hyundai’s new smartphone app (that debuted with the Verna) that lets you monitor your driving patterns, track service history, and schedules and access certain vehicular functions like trip data. Hyundai has also thrown in an additional USB charging port that sits in line with the USB media port and 12V socket in the centre console. My carpool companions, then, feel happier in the new Elite i20 than our long-term Tucson loaner!

If you don’t opt for the aforementioned dual-tone colour scheme for the exterior, then by default the Elite i20 ships with a black and beige combination for the dashboard and upholstery. The mid-life update now uses a darker shade of beige for better endurance to dusty conditions. The upholstery is done up in matching shades too and has a new pattern compared to the outgoing car. There is no change to the seating arrangement or to the contouring of the seats. They are quite comfortable and I still feel that the rear seat could have done with more recline.

Choosing the range-topping trim seen here, let’s you secure the cabin with up to six airbags. Unlike the Grand i10, the Elite i20 is a more responsible car and gives you anti-lock brakes and the driver and front passenger airbags as a standard fit. The rear seats now come with Isofix child seat anchorage too.

Hyundai Elite i20 Transmission

There have been no mechanical changes on this facelifted i20, but there has been a bit of retuning to both the engine and the chassis. For instance, Hyundai says it has achieved a nine percent increase in fuel economy thanks to a slight remapping of the engine and those aero ducts in the front bumper. In truth, you can feel it a bit when you drive. In this diesel car, for example, the bottom end feels a bit stronger and some of the punch at the top end is missing, thanks to changes to the fuelling. The change is not too drastic, and if you drive primarily in the city, you will appreciate the improved low-end responses. What remains unchanged is the smooth nature of this motor and the light and easy gearshift action.

Hyundai claims a nine percent improvement in fuel economy, thanks to the better aerodynamic efficiency of the front end. During our test on the manual petrol, we didn’t find any noticeable difference in the city economy of the car. The highway runs revealed a marginal improvement over the outgoing Elite i20 of similar spec (13.41kmpl city / 22.33kmpl highway vs 13.3kmpl city / 21.2kmpl highway). The rest of the package remains quite likeable as ever with a refined drivetrain, a conveniently light steering, progressive brakes and a supple ride.To know more information on Hyundai Elite i20 check Controlenter

Hyundai Elite i20 Driving

In a bid to make it a bit more engaging to drive, Hyundai has also tinkered a bit with the suspension and the steering of the i20. They’ve stiffened the rear suspension a little bit and you can feel that in the way the car isn’t quite as bouncy coming off a large speedbreaker, for instance. They’ve also sharpened up the steering a bit and reduced the slack at the centre position to make it feel a bit more engaging than before. Truth be told, this is still no driver’s car, and to truly improve the dynamics would require a full generational leap – as we saw with the new Verna, but it’s good to see Hyundai is trying to improve things on the current-generation car.

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 Cost in Pune

Hyundai Elite i20 On Road Price is 6,43,005/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,42,900/- in Pune. Hyundai Elite i20 comes in 8 colours, namely Red Passion,Star Dust,Pristine Blue,Sleek Silver,Phantom Black,Polar White Dual Tone,Polar White,Red passion Dual Tone. Hyundai Elite i20 comes with FWD with 1197 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 82 bhp@6000 rpm and Peak Torque 115 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at 13.2 seconds . Hyundai Elite i20 comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Hyundai Elite i20 Summing Up

Overall, this facelift appears to be a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and really, not much was broken with the Hyundai i20. It’s also worth remembering that Hyundai has been giving the i20 small, regular updates over the years, particularly to the equipment list, and this is why the facelift doesn’t feel as much of a change as most facelifts do. The long equipment list couldn’t have gotten much longer and the interior quality was already pretty much at the top of the class. Even the changes to the engine mapping are very minor. What is much appreciated is the small but effective attention that’s been paid to dynamics, for whatever it’s worth. So yes, the i20 hasn’t changed all that much with the facelift, but then, it didn’t really need to.

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