ROAD TEST

Hyundai’s new city car does it well ex­cept for ride qual­ity

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Inside - STU­ART MARTIN stu­art.martin@cars­guide.com.au

Even we find it hard to pick apart the city car seg­ment. Ig­nore that most are coloured like lol­lies and cost less than $20K, though, and dif­fer­ences emerge. Hyundai’s i20 pro­vides value plus, but can it cut it on the road?

SHOP­PING trol­leys aren’t renowned for steer­ing, ride qual­ity and com­fort or fea­tures.

Nei­ther are the cars that share – rather un­kindly – that same mon­icker, but re­cent of­fer­ings have raised the bar.

Ford and Mazda con­trib­ute mod­els that show dy­nam­ics aren’t be­yond the reach of light-car buy­ers.

Hyundai’s i20, how­ever, the In­dian-built five-door hatch model, has a bit of a job ahead of it to match the Fi­esta and Mazda2. It seems more like teen-priced A-to-B trans­port.

VALUE

The i20 we’ve been pi­lot­ing is the 1.4-litre five-door Ac­tive man­ual, the en­try-level five­door priced from $16,490.

For that, the fea­tures list is sur­pris­ingly good – au­to­matic re­mote cen­tral-door lock­ing, an alarm, two-way ad­justable steer­ing, air con­di­tion­ing, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat and a four-speaker sound sys­tem with 3.5mm aux­il­iary jack and a USB port. The sound sys­tem also of­fers a Blue­tooth phone link— which is some­thing many cars twice the price have yet to man­age.

TECH­NOL­OGY

This end of the mar­ket isn’t go­ing to of­fer high-end tech­nol­ogy such as night vi­sion or ac­tive cruise con­trol, but the safety list and the afore­men­tioned con­nec­tiv­ity will ap­peal to the younger first­car buy­ers shop­ping in this seg­ment. This i20 didn’t like to have the iPhone plugged in to the USB, re­fus­ing to ac­knowl­edge the pres­ence of a mu­sic player within the phone – it’s not the only car to baulk at the dou­ble-act ei­ther.

DE­SIGN

A lit­tle pret­tier than some of the reps in this seg­ment, it falls short of knock­ing the Fi­esta out but could

Hon­est: The newHyundai i20 still has a way to go

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