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SMALL AND MORE PERFECTLY FORMED (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 88
The Hyundai i20 supermini evolved in second generation guise. In this form, it was no longer merely a budget choice but now had the quality, the efficiency, the technology and the looks to square up against the supermini class leaders. Plus it's retained one of the best after-sales packages anywhere in the car industry - and pricing didn't get too ambitious. All of which makes it well worth considering as a used buy. If you're shopping in this segment, here's a car you shouldn't leave off your shortlist.
Modelsword count: 11
3/5dr hatchback (1.2, 1.0 T-GDi petrol / 1.1. 1.4 CRDi diesel)
Historyword count: 371
We're used to hearing success stories from Hyundai, but in recent years, there's one important market segment this Korean company has found something of a struggle: that for superminis. Quite simply, it's never built one that could go head to head with the class best. That though, was exactly the aim with this car, the second generation i20. As its name suggests, the i20 slots neatly in between Hyundai's i10 citycar and i30 family hatchback, both impressive but sometimes rather forgotten contenders in their respective sectors. You could make the same observation about this i20, for apart from a brief sales spurt following an original launch in 2009 that was boosted by interest generated by the government's short-lived Scrappage Scheme, it had become a rather forgotten choice in the supermini segment before the arrival of this MK2 model in early 2015. This car though, aimed to change things, delivering what the importers claimed to be a class-leading value proposition. The brand knew that this time round, the i20 needed to sell on more than just value. By 2015, buyers in this segment were demanding extra style, technology and driving satisfaction and they tended to favour products created with the European market in mind. Hyundai told us that the first generation version of this car was developed that way but in reality, it was built in India on budget principles very much related to the company's past. This MK2 design was very different, with production transferred to a state-of-the-art plant in Turkey, following a German-based product development programme and a demanding testing schedule on roads right across the Euro zone. This one, in other words, really was designed precisely for us. You can see that in the way it looks, in the sophistication it offers and in the efficiency that lies beneath the bonnet. There was even a separate coupe version that aimed to particularly highlight driving dynamics the Korean company also claimed were much improved. An 'SUV'-style 'Active' version of the five-door model was added to the range in 2016. This MK2 i20 sold in its original form until 2018 at which point it was significantly facelifted. It's the original version though, that we look at here as a used buy.
What You Getword count: 277
The Korean brand calls the design of this car 'a study in elegant simplicity'. We're not sure we'd call it that but there's no doubt that in MK2 form, the looks of this i20 had a bit more personality. Most chose the volume-selling five-door version, but Hyundai also offered a three-door Coupe model that got a bolder rear wheel arch design and a very slick rear C-pillar, smart touches that created quite a desirable shape. The five-door version can't quite match that of course, but Hyundai's usual 'fluidic sculpture' design theme brought with it confident curves, a low wide stance and a sloping roofline that gives the whole shape a bit of energy. Lift the hatch and you're greeted with one of the most accommodating luggage areas in the segment, capacity having increased by 10% with this Mk2 model to a class-leading 326-litres in the five-door variant. Move to the rear seat and space remains a strongpoint. Those familiar with the previous generation version of this car will appreciate the additional room freed up by 45mm of extra wheelbase length in the MK2 model. It's quite pleasant up-front too, where a two-tone colour scheme adds a bit of character to what might otherwise be a rather featureless design. Depending on the exterior paintwork you've chosen, this upper section can come either in beige, a dark grey, a 'Cappuchino' brown or in a 'Grey Blue' shade. All of these finishes smartly set off an intuitively laid-out dash that features what Hyundai calls 'functional clustering' of the key technologies - a grouping together of key instrumentation items like the audio, heating and ventilation systems to create a cleaner-looking fascia.
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