This hatch is i-rie

2012-08-25 15:25

The Koreans have been getting ready for their hatchback attack. After recently launching the second-generation i30, they’ve just revealed a face-lifted i20 model.

First launched in 2009, the popular i20 was due for a fresher look, which was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

The first big change is that the 1.6-litre engine is no longer available in the new model

line-up that comes in three derivatives. There is the 1.4 Fluid entry-level model and the top-of-the-range Glide, which both have a six-speed manual gearbox.

The mid-spec Fluid model is the only one available in automatic with a four-speed gearbox. All models push out 73kW of power.

At a glance, the car has had a touch of finesse added: there

are stronger lines, adding to the chiselled look. The front end is completely different with a new bumper, radiator grille and bonnet, making it look more aggressive.

It also features the hexagonal grille that is part of Hyundai’s now established styling DNA.

The elongated headlight clusters have been replaced with an eagle-eye design and darker, smoked edging around the orange and black lights to define the look.

It’s complemented with new yellow fog lights.

The rear end is updated, too, with a more detailed bumper, redesigned tail lights and integrated reflectors.

Physically, the car is 30mm longer in front and 25mm longer at the rear.

The all-silver fascia monotony of the audio system and other controls is now broken by black buttons. The equipment feels a lot less plastic and the seats have some new materials too.

Bluetooth connectivity is standard, and so is rear-park assist and one-touch turn signals.

These are the kinds of things motorists look for in modern cars, especially with new laws allowing cellphones to be confiscated if you’re caught with one to your ear while driving.

Park assist is a great tool for young drivers to feel more confident behind the wheel.

These conveniences score Brownie points as they’re included in the before-extras price.

The steering and suspension feel a lot sturdier compared with the previous model, although the six-speed gearbox might be unnecessary in such a small car.

The range-topper Glide model is pricy for a 1.4 litre, but it does come with 16-inch alloys, climate control and six airbags.

It also comes with Hyundai’s five-year/150 000km warranty and free roadside assistance with a three-year/60 000km service plan.

While Volkswagen leads the pack in this segment, the i20 makes one think twice when weighing up the choices.

Quick Stats
Model: Hyundai i20
Engine: 1.4 CVVT manual/auto
Power: 73kW
Torque: 136Nm
Fuel consumption: 4.2 l/100km / 4.8 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 132 g/km / 140g/km
Price: from R164 900 to R176 900

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