We review the Hyundai i20 from price to economy and all its features

VALUE for money will be the buzz words for the majority of new car buyers in 2009.

Consumers are counting every penny and want to be sure the motor they snap up is giving maximum bang for the bucks.


Great value … Hyundai i20 super mini

The days of buying a car with your heart and not your head are gone, temporarily at least, for all but the lucky few.

And one manufacturer confident they have the ideal package for these cash-strapped times are Hyundai, who have two new small cars that are on the button when it comes to VFM.

A few years ago Hyundai were bought only because they were cheap, but they now deliver far more European-styled models like the i30 hatchback, the Coupé and Sante Fe 4×4.

Now the i10 city car and this month the i20 super mini confirm that buyers of small cars can get models that look good and that don’t have to mean a sacrifice in creature comforts.

The i10 went on sale last year and at one stage had a waiting list. With prices starting from £6,994 and an industry leading five-year warranty, it’s easy to see why the little Hyundai is regarded as a shrewd buy. And this month it is joined by its big brother i20.

Take away the grille badge and it could very easily be mistaken for a Vauxhall Corsa.

On the inside the i20 is a revelation — in contrast to the cheap plastics of the past, my test car had red and black trimmed seats and co-ordinated red door trim.

Even the entry level Classic gets six airbags, air conditioning, electric front windows, radio/CD, adjustable steering wheel, driver’s seat height adjustment and even a glove box cooling sysem — not bad for a base supermini.


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Move up to the Comfort and Style models for a few hundred pounds more and you add everything from alloy wheels to individual climate control, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors and half leather seat facings.

What about practicality? Tick that off as well because the rear space is amongst the best in class and beats many rivals, including the new Fiesta.

You can sit a 6ft passenger in comfort behind a 6ft driver.

The i20 is less impressive for boot space but still has a useful 295litres. But a split folding rear bench seat boosts the space up to 1,060litres for big loads.

That leaves us with the driving experience — which is perfectly acceptable.

I worry when some road testers talk about the handling of a supermini on the limit! The average supermini driver goes from A to B and wants to be comfortable, which is what the i20 does.

The 1.2litre engine will be the big seller and it’s spot on for owners who will spend most of their time driving short distances in heavy traffic. Fuel consumption is an average 54.3mpg.

For those wanting a bit more power go for either the 1.4litre petrol or 1.4diesel, that return 45.6mpg and 64.2mpg.

All of which makes the i20 hard to ignore for buyers on a budget with prices starting at £8,195, undercutting all main rivals.

Car price experts at CAP say the car wil retain 47 per cent of its value after three years and that’s better than its rivals.

The i20 is a Hyundai that you can bank on and you can’t say that about many things these days.

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