2018 Hyundai i20 review
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2018 Hyundai i20 review

Hyundai has given its i20 a mid-life refresh with a revised look and new safety kit. We get behind the wheel to see if it can transform an average hatchback into a great one.


It’s nearly 10 years since the original i20 hatchback first went on sale as its first credible entry into the competitive supermini class, and helped to expand the South Korean manufacturer’s portfolio.

The second-generation model was launched at the end of 2014, so it’s about time that the model received an update.

The most obvious change to the refreshed model is the exterior styling. A new cascading front grille features – the latest face for Hyundai cars – while the rear has been altered with a new bumper and rear lights, which give the i20 a sportier aesthetic.

Hyundai SmartSense also features. The package features driver assistance features such as lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking, driver attention alert and high beam assist.

2018 Hyundai i20


The i20 is offered with petrol-only engines. The first of these is a 1.2-litre unit, which produces either 74bhp or 83bhp. Both of these come paired with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The second choice is a turbocharged 1.0-litre T-GDI engine, delivering either 98bhp or 118bhp in its range-topping guise.

Our test car was the 98bhp version paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The engine delivers the right amount of punch, but is let down by the automatic gearbox, which just can’t change gear quickly enough under hard acceleration.

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2018 Hyundai i20

Ride and handling

Aside from the automatic ‘box, there’s very little to grumble about when it comes to the way the i20 drives.

It has a cossetted ride, as its supple suspension absorbs bumps impressively well, and helps to make the i20 feel relaxed to drive as performance is not the name of the game here after all.

The steering could perhaps do with a bit more feel, but it performs well in the corners and holds tightly to the road.

2018 Hyundai i20

Interior and equipment

The i20’s interior is particularly spacious, with plenty of headroom and legroom for passengers in the rear. While its 301-litre boot is not class-leading, it’s well-sized for a supermini.

A big highlight of the i20 is its seven-inch infotainment display. It’s both intuitive and has excellent graphics to it as well. High-spec cars also come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity.

The main area where the i20 falters is when it comes to build quality. Despite our test car being a high end Premium model, it featured too many hard plastics. These would be forgivable if the i20 took up an entry-level price point, but that’s no longer the case.

Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, a seven-inch touchscreen and DAB radio. The step up to SE adds front fog lights, more speakers and the aforementioned Hyundai SmartSense package. Our test car was in the Premium Nav guise, and came with 16-inch alloy wheels, climate control and satellite navigation. Range-topping Premium SE Nav adds chrome exterior trim, a sunroof and a classier grey front grille.

2018 Hyundai i20


Prices for the i20 are competitive, but it’s certainly not the bargain it used to be. Prices start from a respectable £13,955, which is good considering the kit on offer, but as you jump up the trim levels it all looks a bit pricey. Our test car cost £18,945, which is just a bit too expensive.

On the plus side, all the engines are efficient. The 1.0-litre petrol unit in our car delivered 49.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 114g/km.

2018 Hyundai i20


The latest i20 has certainly been improved with its smart-looking grille and excellent safety kit – offered as standard on all but entry-level S specification. It’s practical and good to drive, and does everything that most supermini buyers are expecting from their car.

It’s not without fault, though, and there’s a few issues here and there that Hyundai could have addressed – the sub-par interior quality, for example.

But these faults are easy to look past. And while it might not be as good as the Ford Fiesta, it’s still a pleasant supermini.

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