Yes, we may be late to do this, but sometime back we had a brief stint with the car and we were thoroughly impressed. When we saw Elite i20 is getting updates one after the other when it comes to features and other tit bits, we decided to get the car for testing. The Elite i20 came at a time when we had to choose from the four cars despite 3 SUV’s for the quick new year trip. We decided we wanted to spend some time with the Elite class and hence we opted for the i20.
The Hyundai Elite i20 has been the car that started the premium hatchback segment. The Japanese as always being late to the party and in two generation the car has taken over the market by storm and this new 2’nd generation i20 took the game even further with just its styling. Since it is a Hyundai it has more, we went for a road across two states of Maharashtra and Gujarat in 12 hours. How does it perform? We find out with this road trip and now you can imagine the review can’t get better than this!
Hyundai Elite i20 Price:
Hyundai Elite i20 Era 1.4 CRDI Rs. 6.48 lakhs
Hyundai Elite i20 Magna 1.4 CRDI Rs. 7.02 lakhs
Hyundai Elite i20 Sportz 1.4 Rs. 7.56 lakhs
Hyundai Elite i20 Sportz 1.4 (O) Rs. 7.89 lakhs
Hyundai Elite i20 Asta 1.4 CRDI Rs. 8.11 lakhs
Hyundai Elite i20 Asta 1.4 CRDI (O) Rs. 8.30 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price (New Delhi)
Elite i20 Design
Styling is the reason why 90% of the decision is made. The way the car looks solely and sadly decided the fate of the volumes in our country. Elite i20 does the job really well with slightly quirky at the front with swept back large headlamps. Tail lights, needlessly to say are Alfa Romeo inspired and do gigantic and purposeful with this boxy design.
Hood is a properly European car long and width and stance of the car that 16-inch shiny, large and attractive alloy wheels and tyres give it immense look. The boxy proportions and C-pillar masked and the right shade of color gives it really massive presence on the road. You just cannot miss this car as it is a very striking and almost beautiful at the same time. Rare combination indeed.
Elite i20 Interiors
Step inside you are greeted with the most plush cabin you can get for under 10 lakh rupee. Dual tone color along with well laid and substantial yet lower dashboard with high quality and almost soft touch plastic give you the premium feel you should be getting with this price point of a hatchback. Fit-finish and panel gaps are well sorted out. There is a lot of storage such as driver armrest, which has cubby hole is enough to swallow a lot of your things. Space at the front is generous as there is enough width. Space in the back and in the boot is just about good with segment standard leg, shoulder and headroom.
Two cup holders and a small tray inspired storage area in front of the AUX, USB connector also severs up space. The car has Bluetooth, a 7-inch touch screen unit with voice navigation, rear parking camera, tilt and telescopic steering, fully electric ORVM’s, 1 GB internal storage for music system, 6-speakers including two tweeters, illuminated power window switches, cooled glove box, leather wrapped steering wheel along with keyless entry, climate control, height adjustable seats and start-stop button.
The car continues to miss on out on the MID system, which showcases average, real time and distance to empty, which is shocking and is seen on all cars from the stable for unknown reasons. Leather wrapped handbrake, height adjustable seat belts, auto-chromatic rear view mirror are missing and so are back pockets on the front seats for rear passengers. Most of the bigger features mentioned start from the Sportz variant meanwhile you do get dead pedal, dual tone interior, dual horn, and front seat adjustable headrest. Safety features too, start from Sportz variant, which is standard driver airbag and so does ABS all the way to top variant.
We had the strong and highly appreciated 1.4 diesel engine equipped test car. And it certainly lives up to the name. The engine is butter smooth, refined and NVH levels sound and feel like a petrol motor to amateur and first time drivers. However, this is only witnessed when the engine is warm enough after a few minutes of idling or driving. There is some diesel clatter before that. The engine makes 90 BHP of power and 220 Nm of torque.
Torque is highest the segment while 90 PS of power is segment standard. Engine revs very cleanly to 5000 RPM redline and gearbox throws are short and very smooth. Clutch is a wee bit heavy and throw is a bit longer, but that is something we see on all diesel cars these days. Fuel efficiency was on the low side. Our road trip managed overall 18 km/l because of most of the road was twisties and two-lane highways. Even Arai claimed numbers are quite low when compared to the competition.
The engine has one downside and it is the turbo lag. Below 2000 RPM there isn’t much response from the engine. Gearing is spot on and it isn’t the problem. Turbo lag would not have been apparent issue if the kerb weight of the car had been so high at 1222 kgs, which amplifies the lack of power even more. Low-end is just about adequate, but can be frustrating in moving traffic when you want to close gaps.
Mid-range is good and top-end punch is also good but not great. Post 2000 RPM though it pulls well it surges ahead, but performance isn’t scintillating given the figures it has on paper. Sixth gear and 120 km/hr work in tandem and give you expressway speeds overtaking. If below those speeds sixth gear can actually be a pain and you would have to downshift to fourth or fifth.
Chassis wise the game has changed completely over the past and it is a solid proposition than before. However, it continues to be not the likes of the enthusiast as there is a bit of body roll and it isn’t exactly fun to drive. The handling is neutral and car turns in well with surprisingly good grip from good year tyres. Our 16-inch tyres helped us taking corners better. On the flip side there was a bit of tyre noise in the cabin. Where the Elite i20 completely scores is the way the suspension reacts as it isn’t much of vertical movement anymore.
It isn’t bouncy and remain planted to the road at triple digit speeds. Another complain we have are the brakes, low speed braking was a bit of trouble because the wooden brake pedal feel wasn’t helping much. ABS kicks in way to early too. However, shedding high speeds isn’t an issue. We would like to see this kerb weight and power being masked with the help of rear disc, which were seen on previous version.
2016 Hyundai Elite i20 AVN Review, Verdict
Like any other car even this impressive package has its ups and down when it comes to the equipment list, performance and much more when considered in total. However, the Elite i20 is well taken by the market and is Hyundai’s big ticket into the future of volumes as this car continues to do almost 10,000 units a month.
Competition is finally here and its very strong too. Hyundai has responded by adding and subtracting features, but its basic value, the premium feel inside-out and brand badge on the car, which promises affordability, quality and good reach in sales and service make it an ideal premium hatch for buyers.
- Great aesthetics
- Interior quality and features
- Space and ride quality
- Neutral handling and excellent stability
- Efficiency can be better
- Missing MID
- Wooden brake feel