Hyundai Elite i20 Facelift Review & First Drive

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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 Exteriors

We got a chance to sample the 2018 Elite i20 in Mumbai in its new shade of sunburst orange, in the range-topping Asta trim. The cosmetic changes are minimal but easy to notice. The three-pot detailing of the taillights has made way for a new pattern made up of horizontal lines (and somehow reminds me of the Mercedes-Benz GLA’s taillights). It is surprising that Hyundai did not make use of more efficient LED lighting for it. The reflectors and fog/reversing lamps placed on the rear bumper have been re-profiled too.

At the front, the Elite i20 now wears the reshaped hexagonal grille and the complex mesh pattern adds a bit of flair to the familiar face. The bumpers integrate a new design for the fog/cornering lamp housing, that now carves out vertical crevices on the outer ends for better airflow and a marginal reduction in drag. The paint quality looks quite premium and is on par with some of the more expensive cars in Hyundai’s line up. The Elite i20’s new orange and red exterior colours can be specified with a gloss black roof and that gets you a matching two-tone colour scheme for the cabin elements too.Check for Hyundai Elite i20 price in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

Hyundai Elite i20 Interiors

Inside, the changes are of a blink-and-you’ll-miss variety. The buttons between the central AC vents, for example, no longer sit flush and one of the 12V power sockets ahead of the gear lever has been replaced by a USB port. The MID is a little more comprehensive as well, as the all important distance-to-empty and average fuel efficiency readouts can now be seen here. There’s also some nice attention to detail as the parking sensors display/door ajar warning show you the new Elite i20 in the advanced Supervision cluster (Hyundai talk for multi-information display).

That aside, contrast-painted versions i.e. the black-roofed versions get an all-black interior and contrast-coloured accents on the AC vents and gear lever. Get your Elite i20 in white or red with a black roof, and you get red accents inside, while choosing orange with a black roof gets you orange accents inside. The dual-tone paint option is only available with the Asta variant and unlike the standard Asta, it gets adjustable rear headrests and the aforementioned 16-inch alloy wheels. The added cost is Rs 25,000 over the standard Elite i20 Asta.For more details on Hyundai Elite i20  visit Bigintmedia

Speaking of which, the standard Asta isn’t any cheaper than before but loses features like the smart key, leather steering/gear lever and no longer has readouts like the service reminder or parking sensors shown in the MID. The diamond-cut 16-inch alloy wheels have also been ditched in favour of a set of 15-inch gunmetal finish alloys.

Hyundai Elite i20 Engine

No changes have been made under the skin, so you get the same 1.2-litre petrol with 82-bhp and 1.4-diesel with 89-bhp engines. Overall, performance is acceptable. The diesel engine has visible lag below 2000rpm, while the petrol runs out of breath by 4,500rpm.Engine refinement of both engines is good too, even when revving hard the engines remain largely muted. The 1.2-litre should deliver between 11-12kpl in the city while the diesel will deliver 14-15kpl. The i20 has never been the keenest car in its class and it’s no different with the new one. Focus is clearly on the side of comfort. The gearbox is nice and easy to use with a short throw action on both versions. The diesel gets a 6-speed unit while the petrol offers a 5-speed one.

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.

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 Features

No drastic changes to the features list. You still get the same 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, but with a revised user interface and the Arkamys sound tuner. Hyundai has also added the Auto Link telematics app, which lets you access information like your travel time and distance travelled, and even gives you instances of hard braking or acceleration and more, remotely.The central armrest not only gets storage but also slides. For some odd reason, however, the 60:40 split rear bench is no longer available. Also, a miss here is that ISOFIX, like side and curtain airbags, has been limited to the Asta (O) variant when it should’ve been offered as standard. That said, ABS and dual airbags still come as standard, irrespective of the fuel type or variant chosen (you hear that, Honda?).

Hyundai Elite i20 Cost In Hyderabad

Hyundai Elite i20 On Road Price is 6,38,117/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,42,900/- in Hyderabad. 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 Conclusion

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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