iCatching i20 ready to launch
HYUNDAI'S all-new i20 - the company's rival to cars like the Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio - arrives with a new design language, a starting price of £18,595, a bunch of big-car technology and the promise of an N-badged hot hatch version, writes William Scholes.
Lower and wider (by 24mm and 30mm respectively) than the outgoing i20, the new car has a strong presence and a distinctive look.
There's a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system too, working with a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine to make 99bhp and 127lb ft, with CO2 emissions of 115g/km.
This drivetrain uses a six-speed automated manual transmission and can be specified with a seven-speed double-clutch automatic.
It's the only engine choice for now. A twice-as-potent 1.6-litre petrol turbo will find its way to the hot hatch N model. It will have outputs of 201bhp and 203lb ft, pitching it against the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST.
The i20 N will draw on the company's WRC rally car contender and the know-how picked up from the acclaimed i30 N model.
Similar styling cues to the N will be offered with the more humbly-engined N Line trim level.
Other trim levels include entry-level SE Connect, which gets 16-inch alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights, an eight-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, air conditioning, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, and rear parking sensors with a reversing camera.
Above that is Premium, priced from £20,795. It gains 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, automatic wipers, heated front seats and steering wheel, and a larger 10.25-inch infotainment system.
The top trim at launch is Ultimate, which starts at £22,095. A two-tone roof is standard, along with keyless entry, a wireless smartphone charging pad and a Bose sound system.
All i20 models get Hyundai's 'SmartSense' safety package as standard. This includes e-call, forward collision alert, driver attention alert, intelligent speed limit warning, high beam assist, lane-keep assist and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
The N Line and i20 N models are expected to arrive next year, and their prices are yet to be announced.
Ashley Andrew, Hyundai's managing director in the UK, said the i20 "follows the lead set by the all new i10 earlier this year with an improved level of specification which focuses on exceeding customer expectations".
"The efficient 48V hybrid powertrain will deliver a strong balance between economy and performance, whilst drivers more focused on sportier handling and performance won’t have to wait too long until the i20 N Line and i20N join the range," he said.
All Hyundai models benefit from a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty, a roadside assistance package, annual health checks for five years, and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.