2018 Hyundai Elite i20 diesel review

Hyundai is known to give significant updates to its existing lineup from time to time. The Hyundai Elite i20 was already one of the company’s highest selling cars. It had the looks, space, long list of features, punchy engines and smooth transmission…But the competition wasn’t exactly sitting twiddling their thumbs. The new Maruti Suzuki Swift offered nearly everything that the i20 does and at a lower price point. So, in comes the new Hyundai Elite i20 face lift. So, does it have the ammo to further cement its position as a premium hatchback? Read on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For starters, the facelift has given the new Hyundai Elite i20 a much more grown-up look. That cascading grille, the projector headlamps with LED DRLs, the new fog lamp enclosure and the ever so slightly redesigned tail lights. As is the norm these days, there are no badges saying if its a petrol or diesel. Heck there is no badge saying if its the i20 itself. The strange case is that the petrol gets an i20 badge as well as the trim mention on the boot. We have asked Hyundai for an explanation and an answer is awaited.

The cabin of the new Hyundai Elite i20 is revised too. The new touchscreen system now has an IPS display which makes it easier to look at even in harsh light conditions. Simply put, the glare is now absent. The other features like the Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and the Hyundai app that lets you understand your car better are all part of this system. Additionally, Hyundai has added an extra USB port for the front passenger. I have driven the pre-facelift i20 extensively and its a good highway as well as city car with respect to the way the seats don’t let you feel any fatigue. The same holds true for the newer one too. The car that I was driving had six airbags while Hyundai has now made dual airbags and ABS as standard across the range.

More fuel efficiency is part of the deal with facelifts and the i20 is no exception. Hyundai claims a marginal improvement of nine per cent courtesy of better aerodynamics and revising a few components in the internals. In the test, the i20 diesel returned 14.7 kmpl in the city and 22.4kmpl on the highway. Dense traffic sees the efficiency fall to 12kmpl. The Hyundai i20 is slightly firm and while this is good with a few passengers on-board, a lone driver will feel the set up to be a bit stiff. While the suspension doesn’t dethrone you from your perch, you still feel some of the road irregularities filtering in. At high speeds the car stays rock solid and the ride quality too improves. I quite like this diesel engine. It’s not only refined but has abundance of torque and less of turbo lag. Even if I don’t have much of a daily usage, I will still opt for this diesel engine. It’s that good. The clutch though while being decently light is jerky. Initially you will struggle to understand the right biting point. This was the case with pre-2014 cars. However, as I have observed in the past, the clutch become slighter once the car is properly run in and the abrupt biting point eases out with time. The brakes while being reasonably powerful, feel a tad wooden.

The new Hyundai Elite i20 can be ordered in a new orange shade (everyone is joining the orange brigade. Might be the ruling party’s order) too. Prices range between Rs 5.35 lakh to Rs 9.16 lakh, ex-Delhi. It is on the higher side especially when you consider that the very capable Baleno comes in at a tad more affordable price. However the i20’s powerful 94PS engine and the 6-speed gearbox make a strong case for itself.

Positives apart from those mentioned above

The best engine insulation in the business where its hard to tell if the car is petrol or diesel, feature spread now wider, those drool worthy alloys

Negatives apart from those mentioned above

Slightly lower fuel efficiency as compared to the competition, lifeless steering wheel, speakers feel bland, higher price

 

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