i20 remains popular within the Hyundai brand
Hyundai has become one of the popular car manufacturers in South Africa. The sponsorship of the 2010 soccer world cup has increased the popularity of Hyundai in Soth Africa. Many people in the townships buy the i20 immediately after acquiring profesional jobs.Since it was introduced in 2009 it remains popular and it competes with other popuar car Polo, Fiesta etc
To turn the standard i20 into the Active, Hyundai has added all the usual SUV-themed design features. You get neat roof rails, 16-inch wheels, a ride height raised by 20 mm, black plastic wheel arch linings and cladding elsewhere, as well as front and rear “skidplates”. Interestingly, the new Active derivative actually uses the grille and rear tailgate of the pre-facelift i20, yet it still manages to look fresh…
Inside, the i20 is distinguished from its siblings by red or blue trim inserts (depending on the choice of exterior colour) on the gear lever console, gearknob and air vents.
Overall, it’s a good-looking offering that has plenty of showroom appeal. Build quality appears to be very solid and the facelifted i20s all benefit from subtle upgrades to the trim materials and ergonomics. Included is a neat touchscreen infotainment system that, for an extra R2 500, can be upgraded at dealer level to include navigation. There’s also a convenient centre armrest that includes a storage compartment.
In fact, practicality is one of the i20’s strengths. The driving position is really good, with a height-adjustable driver’s seat being standard. Even with my 1.8m frame behind the steering wheel there was ample legroom left for rear passengers. The luggage bay measures a very decent 285 litres, expanding to 1 001 with the rear seats folded.
It’s an attractively styled newcomer, this i20 Active, and fits perfectly within a popular segment.
The new i20 Active replaces the previous “Sport” in the line-up, but don’t expect performance fireworks as a result. It is powered by the same 1.4-litre naturally aspirated engine as other models in the i20 line-up. The engine delivers 74 kW at 6 000 rpm and 133 Nm of torque at 3 500 rpm. Mated with a fuss-free 6-speed manual transmission, the i20 Active feels sufficiently powerful for the daily grind, but turbocharged rivals feel more responsive to throttle inputs, as you’d expect.
More important than outright performance in this segment is fuel economy – Hyundai claims a combined cycle consumption of 6.7 litres/100 km, which seems fair, seeing as after a morning of hard driving (including mountain passes) our car indicated a consumption figure of 8.8 litres/100 km.
We drove the Active on roads of varying quality in the Western Cape, but did not try it on gravel. The extra 20 mm of ground clearance will undoubtedly be appreciated by owners that travel rougher surfaces often, but we’re also happy to report that on tarred surfaces and at higher speeds the raised clearance didn’t negatively affect the i20’s general surefootedness. This car has always had well-balanced underpinnings. You get the sense that it can easily cope with more power. At the same time, it remains comfortable in the cabin and NVH refinement is very good.
The luggage bay is nicely shaped and sized to accommodate a small family’s luggage and more. Rear seats are split 60:40.
When it comes to the showroom appeal of the i20 Active, many boxes are ticked. The new infotainment system is going to be a powerful arm-twisting tool for salesmen, but, besides that, you get automatic climate control, electric windows all-round USB/aux and Bluetooth support, rear park assist and auto lights, among other items.In terms of safety equipment, the news is not as positive. Dual front airbags are included, as are ABS with EBD, but there’s no ESP and some competitors also offer a greater number of airbags. At this price (R279 900) we maintain that ESP really ought to be included. Of course, those ESP-equipped rivals can’t always match the i20 in terms of other (non-safety) features and particularly the warranty/service plan, so the consumer has to decide what is ultimately more important to them.
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