Hyundai's top-selling i20 compact hatchback has been smartly updated and the refreshed range will be introduced in South Africa in May 2018, replete with a new flagship Active crossover derivative.
The Hyundai i20 is a popular choice in the B-segment hatchback market and the South Korean carmaker has given the i20 a makeover to ensure that it can effectively compete against rivals such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Kia Rio, Mazda2, to name a few.
Exterior and interior styling
The i20's styling has been suitably enhanced. Will the attractive dual-tone paint finish be available in South Africa? We hope so.
The most prominent styling change can be seen up front with a redesigned front bumper and cascading grille. The rear bumper has also been reworked and combination taillights complement the new look. The tailgate integrates the license plate and top-spec i20 derivatives will ride on either newly designed 16-inch alloy wheels (it remains to be seen if this design will be offered on the local market, however) or 17-inch items.
The interior specification of the i20 will remain much the same as on the current car, but for the introduction of upgraded materials.
As for the cabin, the major improvements in terms of the interior concern the introduction of smarter-looking, soft-touch plastics, updated upholstery patterns and a locally-sourced Bluetooth-enabled touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation and a smartphone mirroring function.
On Fluid derivatives you can expect features such as electric windows all round (with 1-touch function for the driver), a multifunction steering wheel, electric folding and heated side mirrors, single-zone climate control, a cooled glovebox, remote boot unlock and rear parking sensors.
The current line-up of 1.2- and 1.4-litre naturally aspirated engines will continue. There won't be a 1.0-litre turbopetrol version.
Whereas the i20 line-up in the European market will feature a 1.0-litre turbopetrol engine and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT), the local market will continue with the 61 kW 1.2- and 74 kW 1.4-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engines, mated with 5- and 6-speed manual gearboxes respectively, although the latter powerplant will also be available in conjunction with a 4-speed automatic transmission.
In terms of safety equipment, dual front airbags (with passenger deactivation function), plus ABS and EBD will be standard, as will crash-sensing door unlock function, follow-me-home lighting, alarm and immobiliser.
The new flagship Active derivative adds purposeful-looking crossover accoutrements to the i20 package.
Although we expect that the Sport derivative, fitted with a performance-enhancing chip (which boosts the 1.4-litre engine's performance to 85 kW and 160 Nm), a stainless steel CAT back exhaust system, sporty rear spoiler and 17-inch wheels, will remain available in the refreshed i20's line-up, the flagship position of the Korean marque's compact hatchback range will transfer to the new crossover-flavoured Active derivative.
Although we expect the standard specification of the Active version to be similar to that of the 1.4 Fluid, its eye-catching exterior execution includes restyled bumpers fore and aft, black side cladding and door mouldings, plus satin chrome roof rails. Inside, the newcomer may feature a 2-tone interior scheme, or, at the very least, sporty contrast-stitching. Although the Active derivative does not feature all-wheel-drive capability, its ride height is 20 mm higher than a standard i20's, which means that it should cope better with light off-roading, including dirt-road driving conditions.
We will keep you updated as soon as full local specification and pricing details become available, but we expect that the current 7-year/200 000 km drivetrain and 5-year/150 000 km vehicle warranties and 3-year/60 000 km service plan will remain standard.