Hyundai Elite i20 Facelift First Look Review


Hyundai Elite i20 Overview

Seeing the 2018 Hyundai Elite i20 under the new car reviews section, you might think, “Wait, that doesn’t look like a new car”. Sure enough, and we somewhat agree as this facelifted version doesn’t look very different from the old Elite i20. In fact, you need to have a very keen eye to spot all the minor changes on the outside. However, as you get closer and step inside the cabin, it becomes easier to notice the tiny yet significant upgrades that have been introduced with this facelift.

Let’s see whether Hyundai has made an already good package even better or if there is still some room for improvement. Midlife facelifts are not meant to radically change the appearance, but subtly update the look of a car. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the 2018 Elite i20 has been updated with a very mild makeover. It’s still got that wide, assertive stance and a well-balanced design that helps it attract buyers who want to be seen with their cars. In terms of changes, up front, the hexagonal grille is slightly wavier and the triangular shaped fog lamps are completely new. Move onto the sides and you will notice the same laser cut treatment for the 16-inch alloys, however, the design is all new.

Hyundai Elite i20 Exteriors

In terms of design, the new Elite i20 looks quite similar to its predecessor at first glance. However, take a closer look and you will realise it features enough changes to make it stand apart from the older version. Up front, the 2018 Elite i20 gets a redesigned bumper that houses Hyundai’s signature ‘cascading’ hexagonal grille. The fog lamp housings have also been modified and it now gets functional vents for better aerodynamics. The halogen projector headlamps with LED DRLs remain unchanged.

Where the new Elite i20 has changed the most is at the rear. It gets larger tail lamps with refreshed graphics that mimic LED elements seen on more expensive cars. Further, the number plate has been moved from the bumper to the tailgate making the car look more like a conventional hatchback. Meanwhile, the matte black cladding on the rear bumper gives the hatchback a more stylish look.

The side profile remains identical to the outgoing model, except for the new 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels offered in the top variant. All other variants continue to be equipped with 14-inch and 15-inch wheels.This time around, Hyundai is also offering the Elite i20 with dual-tone exterior paint options (blacked-out roof with red, orange or white body colour). However, it is available only with the Asta variant.

Hyundai Elite i20 Interiors

Why fix something good that isn’t broken, right? So the interior layout and design of an ergonomic and practical cabin remains the same. The quality of parts is impressive even if the dual tone dash is something I am not fond of. We would have loved to see leather seats, but the updated i20 gets black and beige coloured fabric for the otherwise comfortable seats.

There are new switches on the steering wheel reiterating the great fit and finish along with functionality. Adjustable driver’s seat, a good frontal visibility, clear and functional instrument cluster and comfortable seats made sure I was in the driving seat for hours. The second row passengers will be happy too with supportive seats, good view of surroundings, great space and air-con vents to keep circulating air. Apply car loan for Elite i20 at Fincarz.

Speaking of the features, the i20 has always been the benchmark in this segment and continues to do so. The top-spec Asta (O) here is well specced with an easy-to-use AVN system that comes with complete in-car entertainment and the usual connectivity features. Sat-nav is optional, but Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirror link is now standard. It comes paired to a rear view camera with guidelines that add to the convenience. This also reminds me of the practical keyless entry, push button start, automatic climate control, tailgate opener with remote etc. that add to the ease.

Also, all cars in this segment get a USB charging port, but the i20 gets a fast charging one. Clearly, Hyundai has wanted to be a step ahead of competitors. Even in terms of safety, there’s ABS on all trims with the top-spec getting six airbags adding to the safety net. Boot space remains unchanged with an acceptable 285 litres, which can be extended to 1,042 litres with the entire rear seat folded down.

Hyundai Elite i20 Engine

Hyundai hasn’t tinkered with the powertrain options for the new Elite i20, however, come May 2018 there will be an all-new petrol-CVT option added to the range. Until then, the i20 can be had with either a 1.2-litre petrol or a 1.4-litre diesel motor with a five and six speed manual respectively. For this test we have the more popular 1.4-litre diesel with 90bhp of power and 220Nm of torque.

According to Hyundai, this diesel engine has seen an improvement in low end response and fuel efficiency (up by 9 per cent). Truth be told, we didn’t find any noticeable improvement in low end response but the engine remains highly refined as ever. Sure, it isn’t the punchiest performer out there but when you need to reel in that gap in traffic, it delivers torque with little hesitation and pulls the car in a linear manner. A special mention here goes to the six-speed manual which is incredibly precise, easy to use and supplements the linear torque delivery. That said, we do feel the clutch pedal could be less springy so as to make driving in the city a little bit easier.

The new Elite i20 has had its rear suspension tweaked. By that we mean the damping has been changed to make the rear less bouncy at speed. Unlike the engine, you can actually feel the upgraded rear-end improving the car’s high speed manners, with less of the up-and-down movement. That said, if you decide to chuck the i20 through some corners, it’s not going to set your world on fire – the steering feel is still inconsistent off centre and there is more body roll than what you would expect. On the plus side, the i20 retains its class leading refinement over bad roads – road noise is minimal and the suspension remains rather quiet over jittery surfaces. For more details on  Hyundai Elite i20 visit Bigintmedia

Hyundai Elite i20 Riding

Now on to the ride and handling department. The Elite i20’s steering drew a lot of flak earlier and the Koreans still need to work on this. The Elite i20 still doesn’t make for driver focused and most connected car. Though the steering is light it isn’t direct and still vague at the centre. The brakes too aren’t progressive and the late brake bite doesn’t instil confidence in hard braking. On the plus side, the Elite i20 has a sorted ride especially at slow speeds. The well-tuned suspension will absorb bumps and sharp potholes with ease. There’s no clatter from any body part and so poor roads are not an issue at all. However, as you throw the car into a corner you realise the body roll come into the picture. It doesn’t feel very agile and responsive around these bends. Also, built up some speed and the car still tends to wallow a bit. Nonetheless, this up and down movement has considerably improved over the old model. In any case, the car feels planted and smooth to drive.

Hyundai Elite i20 Safety

Safety is another key point Hyundai has concentrated on with the 2018 Elite i20. The refreshed hatchback comes with dual front airbags, ABS and front seatbelts with pre-tensioners as standard across the range. The top-spec Asta (O) variant gets six airbags and ISOFIX child seat anchors over the standard equipment.

Hyundai Elite i20 Cost in Hyderabad

Hyundai Elite i20 On Road Price is 6,38,117/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,42,900/- in Hyderabad. Hyundai Elite i20 comes in 8 colours, namely Red Passion,Star Dust,Pristine Blue,Sleek Silver,Phantom Black,Polar White Dual Tone,Polar White,Red passion Dual Tone. Hyundai Elite i20 comes with FWD with 1197 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 82 bhp@6000 rpm and Peak Torque 115 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at 13.2 seconds . Hyundai Elite i20 comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .Check for Elite i20 price in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

Hyundai Elite i20 Conclusion

Launched in 2014, the old Elite i20 was already a good all-rounder, with a well-balanced design, tons of features and a spacious cabin. But since then, a lot has changed in the premium hatchback segment, especially after the Maruti Suzuki Baleno came into the picture. On the whole, this midlife facelift is a minor yet significant improvement over the old car – it does look more upmarket on the outside and the revised upholstery and updated infotainment system adds some zest to the interior as well. Add the improved high speed ride into the mix and you have a spacious and upmarket hatch that’s more than capable of venturing out of the city and covering long distances with ease.

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