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New Hyundai i20 arrives in SA


One of Hyundai’s most successful models, the i20, has arrived as a brand new shape in the South


By Thami Masemola on 19 Jul 2021
One of Hyundai’s most successful models, the i20, has arrived as a brand new shape in the South African market. Having sold over 106 000 units here since the first-generation was launched in 2009, the i20 has gone through a number of changes. The new one is the most advanced yet. Plus it features a turbocharged engine, as well as two trim levels; Motion and Fluid.

Hyundai’s integrated front grille that appears to have no beginning or end, is quite prominent on the i20, and is accentuated by the large headlights. Those are in turn, decorated by the foglights and daytime running lights as well. The side profile shows a rising centre line, from the bonnet to the C-pillar, giving the car a solid stance as well as smaller rear windows. A unique design element on the C-pillar itself makes the car standout. Standard 15-inch steel wheels are fitted to the lower-end models, while the upper side gets 16-inch alloys. At the rear the lights wrap around the boot, connected by an end-to-end light bar. Above that is a piano black element below the rear window.

This New i20 appears to be, and is actually more spacious than its predecessor. It has a 10mm longer wheelbase for example, giving passengers extra legroom. It has 2cm higher ground clearance for better visibility and is 1cm longer overall than before. Being a car built for the young and young-at-heart means it comes with a number of colours, some dull, some bright, some every day. They include Phantom Black, Fiery Red and Starry Night. There are also two-tone options with a black roof as the second colour.

Inside the i20 is quietly sophisticated, featuring a number of bigger-model items. One of these is wireless smart phone charging, where you simply place the device on the mat and it automatically charges. Others include USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, a large 20.32cm touch screen for the infotainment system and 26cm instrument panel behind the steering wheel. Among others one is able to access Android Auto and Apple Carplay through it. Depending on the model, a mix of cloth, faux leather and two-tone faux leather is found on the comfortable seats. Hyundai added some extra safety features too, including ABS brakes with EBD and 6 airbags. The range-topper also comes with cruise control, rear parking assist and reverse camera.

Beneath the bonnet lies one of three engine choices. At the bottom is the naturally aspirated 1.2-litre producing 61kW and 115Nm, paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Higher up is a 1.4-litre, also naturally aspirated, making 74kW and 133Nm of torque. It can be had with a 6-speed automatic. Top of the range is a 1.0-litre turbocharged T-GDi motor making 90kW and 172Nm. Buyers can choose between a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DCT automatic transmission.


Previous Hyundai i20 models were a safe, conservative bet. A good, sturdy choice for people looking at a reliable hatch that offers more space and comfort creatures than a Grand i10. The new car is out of its shell and shows off a bit more skin. It should remain a popular buy.

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