2017 Hyundai i20

Hyundai i20

Hyundai have for the last many years become a good competitor in the car market. With their 5 year warranty with no km/mileage limit it is easy to see why, as it indicates that they are not just selling their cars, they believe in them.

The Hyundai I20 is what I believe to be the in between car of the I10 and I30 models. This is apparent when you are sat in the car, and can see its not much bigger than the I10, yet considerably smaller than the I30.

This Model  

The I20 comes in a range of equipment versions starting with the life (basic) version where you get things like hill start assist, follow me home lights, and ISG stop/start as standard. Then with a few versions more you get to the premium version which is what I have been driving. 

The Premium version

This version was fitted with a range of technology that can be useful as well as distracting. Starting with the outside, we have LED driving lights with automatic normal lights, as well as automatic folding mirrors when you lock and unlock the car. Tyre pressure monitoring system (which is now law in Denmark for all new cars), and tinted rear windows. Moving to the inside of the car and you get automatic climate control, automatic windscreen wipers, heated steering wheel, heated seats, Bluetooth connectivity, lane warning, cruise control, speed limiter and voice control. The radio has USB connection, AUX connection, and you get for your passengers individual reading lights front and rear.

I found while driving on the motorway that the lane warning system was a little late for my liking, it would start to beep and flash once my wheels were on the lines. I would have liked it to go off a little sooner. The automatic lights were nice and I found it very useful for my wife (that constantly forgets to turn them on). The automatic windscreen wipers were not as good, as I'd hoped they would be. They would start randomly with no rain, and when there was rain they were slow to begin. 

Overall the cabin is set out well, with everything in easy reach of the driver. There is plenty of movement in the steering wheel and seat, so you can find a good seating position and reach all the buttons. 


The car in general feels like they have tried to put a lot into a small space, which is true to an extent. The rear seats get enough leg room for children and small adults to enjoy, as for those a little bigger they will struggle to be comfortable.  The 2 outer seats are fitted with ISO fix for child seats, though when I put my daughter's child seat in, it did not sit flush with the car. In fact, I could fit my hand under the child seat once fitted.  Boot space is limited as well, with a top and bottom layer. You can fit one medium sized suitcase in with the top boot floor panel down and 2 with the top boot floor panel removed. For those that do a lot of shopping you will find that you either never use the top boot floor panel, or are struggling for boot space. In fact, I have no idea why they would put this (top boot floor panel) into this car. Generally, it's meant to level the boot out with the seats so you can easily carry larger objects, yet in this car you can't fit larger objects through the boot opening. 

The car is trying to be something it's not, a small/large city car. With 2 children and always a need for boot space, I found this car to be lacking, and frustrating at times with the automatic windscreen wipers and lane warning systems. Another thing that became apparent is that the rear windows are sat higher up and are smaller. This makes it impossible for my young children and short wife to look out the windows, when sitting in the back. It also obstructed my blind spot view when turning and setting off, especially when you have a child seat fitted in the back.   

The drive

The 1.25 engine provides enough power for general city driving, but as soon as I left the confines of traffic and slow speeds,  I found my self shouting at the car for more power. You put your foot down and nothing happens. It takes a long time to build up speed which makes overtaking a no go. Even when entering the motorway the pick up was so slow that by the time I was joining the motorway lanes I would only be doing a max of 80 kph.  Other to the lack of power and pickup, the car performed nicely, turning was nice and tight when needed, and it held to the road very well. On country roads with a speed of 80 kph the car took the corners well, never feeling like it would lose grip or slide.   


After driving the car for a few days, and using it for day to day uses. I have come to the simple conclusion that this is not a car for me, and my wife agrees. We actually began to argue about who should drive the car, as neither of us wanted to. At one point my wife took her bicycle in protest to go to work, just to avoid driving this car. Anyone that knows my wife would be shocked to hear of her doing any form of physical exercise. This car does not fit into any class of practicality for anyone else, that I can think of. It seems like Hyundai had a gap in the model range to fill and this was the simplest solution. For the price difference I would recommend to go for the I10 if you want a small car or the I30 for a larger car. The I20 is just not worth it, Saying that if you do buy this car then the 5 year warranty and general good build from Hyundai will leave you not having to worry about costly repairs in the future (like with all their other cars). 

To find out if this car is for you contact me.




Hyundai i20
Hyundai i20
Photo courtesy of Tomáš Gál
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