The new Hyundai i20 features a sharper design, a spacious cabin, and a mild hybrid powertrain that boosts efficiency and performance. Hyundai has given its i20 hatchback a major makeover for 2023, bringing it in line with the brand’s latest design language and adding some smart features that make it stand out in the crowded subcompact segment. The new i20 is not only more attractive but also more spacious, more efficient, and more fun to drive than before.
I got a chance to test drive the new i20 on the scenic roads of Denmark, where the hatchback is one of Hyundai’s best-selling models. Here’s what I learned about this stylish and practical car that could give some of its European rivals a run for their money.
Sharp and dynamic design
The new Hyundai i20 has a sporty and dynamic look that reflects Hyundai’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design philosophy. The front end features a wide cascading grille that integrates with the sleek LED headlights, creating a distinctive face for the hatchback. The side profile is characterized by sharp creases and curves that give the i20 a sense of motion, while the rear end features a horizontal LED light bar that connects the taillights and emphasizes the car’s width.
The 2023 Hyundai i20 is slightly longer, lower, and wider than the previous model, which improves its proportions and aerodynamics. It also has a longer wheelbase that benefits the interior space and stability. The new i20 is available in 10 exterior colors, including four new ones: Intense Blue, Aurora Gray, Brass, and Aqua Turquoise. Customers can also opt for a two-tone roof in either Phantom Black or Polar White to create more contrast.
The new i20 is available in 10 exterior colors, including four new ones.
Spacious and modern cabin
The interior of the new i20 is spacious and modern, with a minimalist dashboard that features two 10.25-inch digital screens: one for the instrument cluster and one for the infotainment system. The screens are seamlessly integrated into a single unit that gives the cabin a futuristic feel. The infotainment system runs on Hyundai’s latest software that supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth connectivity for two devices simultaneously.
The new i20 also offers a wireless charging pad, four USB ports, and an eight-speaker Bose sound system for enhanced convenience and entertainment. The cabin is also equipped with ambient lighting that can change colors according to the driving mode or mood.
The new i20 has more headroom, legroom, and shoulder room than the previous model, thanks to its increased dimensions and clever packaging. The trunk capacity has also grown by 25 liters to 351 liters (12.4 cubic feet), which is impressive for a car of this size. The rear seats can fold down in a 60/40 split to create more cargo space when needed.
The interior of the new i20 is spacious and modern, with a minimalist dashboard that features two 10.25-inch digital screens.
Mild hybrid powertrain
The 2023 Hyundai i20 is powered by a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 120 horsepower and 172 Newton-meters (127 pound-feet) of torque. The engine is paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that adds an extra 4 hp and 16 Newton-meters (12 pound-feet) of torque when accelerating or overtaking.
The mild hybrid system also helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions by enabling engine-off coasting, idle stop-start, and regenerative braking. According to Hyundai, the new i20 can achieve up to 5 liters per 100 kilometers (47 miles per gallon) of combined fuel economy and emit as low as 115 grams per kilometer of CO2.
The new i20 can be equipped with either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Both options feature Hyundai's Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT), which is a first-of-its-kind technology that eliminates the need for a clutch pedal. The iMT uses sensors and actuators to automatically engage and disengage the clutch when the driver shifts gears, making the driving experience more convenient and enjoyable. The iMT also improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions by enabling engine-off coasting and idle stop-start.
The new i20 also comes with three drive modes: Normal, Eco, and Sport, which adjust the engine response, steering weight, and transmission logic according to the driver’s preference. The Sport mode also adds some artificial engine sound to enhance the driving excitement.
Smart and safe features
The 2023 Hyundai i20 is not only smart in terms of its powertrain but also in terms of its safety and connectivity features. The hatchback is equipped with Hyundai’s SmartSense package, which includes a range of advanced driver assistance systems such as forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, driver attention warning, high beam assist, blind spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision warning, and intelligent speed limit assist.
The new i20 also features a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, rear parking sensors, hill start assist, and vehicle stability management. Additionally, the new i20 is the first Hyundai model in Europe to offer a center-side airbag, which protects the front passengers from colliding with each other in case of a side impact.
The new i20 also boasts a high level of connectivity, thanks to its Bluelink telematics system that allows the driver to access various functions of the car remotely via a smartphone app. For example, the driver can lock and unlock the doors, check the fuel level and tire pressure, find the car’s location, and send destinations to the navigation system. The Bluelink system also offers live services such as real-time traffic information, weather updates, points of interest, parking availability, and fuel prices.
The new i20 is equipped with Hyundai’s SmartSense package, which includes a range of advanced driver assistance systems.
Fun and agile driving
The new i20 is not only smart and stylish but also fun and agile to drive. The hatchback has a lightweight and rigid body structure that enhances its handling and stability. The suspension has been tuned to offer a balance between comfort and sportiness, while the steering has been calibrated to provide more feedback and precision.
The new i20 feels lively and responsive on the road, thanks to its turbocharged engine and mild hybrid system that deliver smooth and linear acceleration. The engine sounds refined and quiet at low speeds but becomes more vocal and engaging at higher revs. The iMT works seamlessly with the engine, shifting gears smoothly and intuitively without any jerkiness or delay.
Thanks to its compact dimensions and good visibility, the new i20 is easy to maneuver in tight spaces and urban traffic. The hatchback also feels stable and confident on the highway, thanks to its improved aerodynamics and noise insulation. The new i20 is a versatile car that can adapt to different driving scenarios and conditions with ease.
The 2023 Hyundai i20 feels lively and responsive on the road, thanks to its turbocharged engine and mild hybrid system that deliver smooth and linear acceleration.
A compelling choice
The new i20 is a compelling choice for anyone looking for a stylish, spacious, efficient, and fun-to-drive hatchback that offers a lot of smart features for a reasonable price. The new Hyundai i20 starts from 16,995 euros ($19,500) for the base Comfort trim level with the manual transmission. The top-spec Premium trim level with the automatic transmission costs 22,995 euros ($26,400).
The 2023 Hyundai i20 competes with other subcompact hatchbacks such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Peugeot 208, Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz, Kia Rio, Skoda Fabia, and others. However, the new i20 stands out with its unique design, technology, and performance, making it a smart and enjoyable car to drive.
The new i20 is a testament to Hyundai’s continuous innovation and improvement in the subcompact segment. The hatchback offers value and quality for its customers while being environmentally friendly and fun. The new i20 is a car that deserves your attention if you are looking for a stylish and practical hatchback that can do it all.
The new i20 is currently available in Europe, but there is no word on whether it will make its way to other markets such as the US. If it does, I think it will be a strong contender in the subcompact category. The new i20 is one of the best hatchbacks I’ve driven this year, and I highly recommend you check it out if you get a chance. You won’t be disappointed.
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