Hyundai has a unique nomenclature for some of its Indian models. Over here, the international alpha-numeric model name is prefixed by a flattering, if unimaginative, adjective. So, the new i10 is called the ‘Grand i10’, and now the new i20 you see here has been christened the ‘Elite i20’. Hyundai wants to drive home the point that these cars have that little extra bit thrown in to make them special for the Indian market. Marketing spin notwithstanding, there’s no doubt that Hyundai has been pulling out all the stops with its recent launches, and the new i20 is no exception.
Built on an all-new platform that meets the latest global standards – as it has to sell in many developed countries – the i20 is now even bigger and more upmarket, rivalling many mid-size sedans for space, equipment and road presence. The new i20 shares little in common with the car it replaces, apart for the same 1.2-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engines.
Not surprisingly, the i20 is more expensive than the earlier i20 if you make a spec-for-spec comparison. Prices range from a reasonable Rs 4.89 lakh to Rs 6.47 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the petrol models, while the diesels are considerably more expensive, ranging between Rs 6.10 lakh and Rs 7.67 lakh. What’s surprising though is that Hyundai has knocked off some of the equipment you’d have found on the previous top-spec i20. More on that later.
Sales of the previous i20 crashed by over 30 percent last year, and Hyundai is banking on the new one to generate fresh interest. But can Hyundai’s latest hatch win back buyers? We put both the top petrol and diesel models through our rigorous road test treatment to find out.
Bad numbers in this department can break a car in India regardless of how great it is. The new i20 doesn’t have to worry about that though. Both petrol and diesel versions are quite fuel efficient for the car’s size. The petrol engine managed a respectable 11.5 and 15.2 kpl in the city and highway respectively, while the diesel i20 sipped a litre only every 13.8km and 19.5km, in the city and highway respectively.