Hyundai has announced the specification and pricing of its facelifted i20 range in South Africa. In addition to the subtle mid-life upgrade, there is now also a crossover-flavoured Active derivative.
With close to 90 000 examples sold in the South African market since its initial introduction in 2009, the i20 is one of the mainstays of the Korean giant's local line-up. The current generation i20 was originally launched early in 2015 and has now come under the knife for slight facelift. Several models have also benefitted from added features, but the major news is arguably the introduction of the crossover-themed Active 1.4 which replaces the outgoing Sport and comes in at a more affordable price.
General design changes
Ignoring the Active for now, the rest of the range also benefits from a few styling tweaks, predominantly to the front and rear bumpers, a reshaped grille and different graphics of the head- and taillamps. Inside, Hyundai's efforts have gone into creating a more upmarket look and feel, and so expect to see upgraded materials and finer attention to detail. Under-the-skin changes include revisions to the front and rear suspension as well as the steering, all in an effort to endow the i20 with greater steering precision, comfort and responsiveness. We'll drive the new i20 soon, so look out for our thoughts on these changes.
With slightly higher ground clearance and typical SUV addenda as part of the design, the new Active derivative fits well into the marketplace.
As crossovers are very much the trend at present, it only makes sense for Hyundai to add such a product to the i20 line-up. Although the only practical benefit of the Active's crossover pitch appears to be a ride height that's 20mm higher than normal, you do also get a more individualistic look. Based on other brands' success stories with similar vehicles, we can see this going down well in the local market.
The Active gets all the usual SUV-addenda, including roof rails, wheel arch linings and front and rear "skid plates" to make it look ready for the urban jungle. It also gets a very different grille/front foglight treatment and inside there is a far more youthful blue/red colour theme. Standard specification is generous on this model and includes; automatic air-conditioning, infotainment system (navigation optional), auto lights, leather steering wheel/gearknob, rear park assist, projection headlamps with LED DRL, different alloy wheel finish, height-adjustable driver's seat and electric windows all-round. It still appears a bit light on safety specification, with only dual front airbags and ABS/EBD appearing on the features list. We'd have liked to see ESP (electronic stability control) included, too.
The rest of the line-up remains much the same, but there are some specification tweaks. The entry-level 1.2 Motion derivative has gained an infotainment system, while the slightly dearer Fluid gets that and adds a centre armrest and rear park assist. The 1.4 Motion Auto also gets an infotainment system, while the 1.4 Fluid Auto further adds auto lights, a centre armrest, leather steering wheel/gearknob and LED daylight running lights. The 1.4 Fluid manual's specification is similarly beefed up.
Model range and Pricing
i20 1.2 Motion MT - R229 900
i20 1.2 Fluid MT - R241 900
i20 1.4 Motion AT - R254 900
i20 1.4 Fluid AT - R284 900
i20 1.4 Fluid MT - R266 900
i20 1.4 Active MT - R279 900
All derivatives are sold inclusive of Hyundai's excellent 5-years/150 000 km warranty (and addition 2-years/50 000km powertrain warranty), while 1.2L derivatives come with a 2-years/30 000km service plan, extended to 3-years/60 000km for 1.4L offerings. Roadside assistance is also part of the deal, for 5-years/150 000km.