Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

sion devel­op­ment, though there are four-wheel disc brakes. The five-speed man­ual gear­box is what you ex­pect, but there is still only a four­speed auto across the range.

Hyundai claims a lot of work went into cut­ting noise and im­prov­ing the driv­ing dy­nam­ics of the car, but it has no Aus­tralian in­put on the sus­pen­sion set­tings.


THE i20 is a good-looker with big head­lamps along­side the fam­ily grille, a cute back end and rea­son­able cabin space. The in­te­rior steps up a long way from the Getz, par­tic­u­larly in the fin­ish­ing of the plas­tics — and even the lay­out and op­er­a­tion of the di­als and read­outs — be­cause it’s aimed at peo­ple who could be spend­ing more than $20,000.

The seats are well shaped and have space for four adults, vis­i­bil­ity is good in all di­rec­tions and the fi­nal fin­ish­ing is as good as any­thing in the class.


THE i20 comes with ev­ery­thing you need and ex­pect these days, from six airbags to anti-skid brakes, but there is a catch.

The first ship­ment of ba­sic Ac­tive cars has only a pair of front airbags and there will be a price in­crease next month when it, too, moves to a six-airbag in­te­rior.

So Hyundai cur­rently claims a four-star rat­ing for the $14,990 car and a full five-star re­sult for the rest of the range, with five-star across the board soon.

The car has ABS brak­ing and elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, with trac­tion con­trol in­cluded, as well as elec­tronic brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion.

But there is no chance to com­pare the op­er­a­tion of the elec­tron­ics with its ri­vals, or the sort of cars — let’s say a BMW 5 Se­ries — which set the bench­mark for cal­i­bra­tion of ac­tive safety sys­tems to avoid a crash.


THE i20 is nice enough for the size and price, though it does not ri­val the sporty feel of a Ford Fi­esta or the all-round qual­ity of the pricier (much) Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat.

The best com­par­i­son is against the Getz and the i20 is roomier, qui­eter, more com­fort­able and com­pli­ant than Hyundai’s cur­rent baby­class con­tender.

The en­gine is sprightly up to about 4000 revs, but is not keen to push to the red­line, and the gear­box is slick and easy to use.

The sus­pen­sion is all right for the job, but I find the steer­ing has the same sort of ‘‘bind­ing’’ feel that mars the big­ger i45, with­out the wob­bly front sus­pen­sion of the Sonata re­place­ment.

So it’s fine for the price and ev­ery­day com­muter work, but not re­motely sporty.

She says (with Ali­son Ward)

THE i20 is what it is— a cheap small car, mostly for first-car buy­ers. It fits four peo­ple fine, and it ac­tu­ally has a big­ger boot than I ex­pected. It doesn’t have much guts, which I also ex­pected.

I’d def­i­nitely wait to get the six-airbag model, even if it cost an ex­tra $500.

But I couldn’t buy one, for a sin­gle, sim­ple rea­son.

The air vents in the cen­tre of the dash blow straight on to my hands all the time, freez­ing my hands and mak­ing driv­ing a pain.

So that’s game over for me.


A BIG step up from the Getz, and solid for the size and price. But not a stand­out.

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