Hyundai i20 Mo­tion

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Nam Wheels - - Front Page - Text Hanjo Stier Im­ages Gal­imoto Me­dia

En­try-level mod­els can be at­trac­tive in more than one way - Hyundai's i20 shows us why.

Bar­gain base­ment, bot­tom drawer, cheap seats.

These phrases don’t evoke a pos­i­tive feel­ing and most peo­ple wouldn’t want to hear them while shop­ping for a new set of wheels. In our world of high ef­fi­ciency and cool tech­nol­ogy, some ve­hi­cles like the cheap­est Hyundai i20 can prove oth­er­wise.

With only a few ex­cep­tions to this rule, I of­ten no­tice that the most af­ford­able car in a cer­tain model range isn’t only the most fi­nan­cially sound de­ci­sion but also quite a re­lax­ing one. They look al­most iden­ti­cal to their sib­lings, won’t suf­fer as much de­pre­ci­a­tion and are of­ten eas­ier to live with.

Start­ing at N$213,000, the Hyundai i20 1.2 Mo­tion I tested ben­e­fits from its maker’s stylish de­sign lan­guage, their gen­er­ous equip­ment strat­egy and that im­pres­sive 5-year / 150,000km war­ranty. Its ser­vice plan is slightly short at two years or 30,000km but that’s part of the N$ 23,000 sav­ing to­wards the next model.

More cost cut­ting, in no par­tic­u­lar or­der, in­cludes the lack of al­loy wheels, rear park beep­ers, power ( rear) win­dows, cli­mate con­trol, a lug­gage net, power fold­ing ex­te­rior mir­rors and, uhh, that’s it, ac­tu­ally.

Not only does that hardly equate to N$23,000 but, hand on heart, I didn’t miss any of them while driv­ing.

I for one wel­comed the dele­tion of fog lamps at the front as my pow­ers of ob­ser­va­tion tell me that the chief cul­prit for driv­ing around on a clear day with all lights blaz­ing is the Hyundai i20. Apart from the hub­caps on our grey test car, only true ex­perts would be able to iden­tify it as the el-cheapo ver­sion.

Even the colour cod­ing and trim is iden­ti­cal to the more ex­pen­sive i20’s, as is the re­ally im­por­tant stuff like alarm & im­mo­bi­lizer, Blue­tooth, airbags, seat ad­just­ments, seat belts with load pre-ten­sion­ers, re­mote cen­tral and child lock­ing, rear fold­ing seats, es­cort light­ing, one-touch triple in­di­cat­ing and a few stor­age bin­na­cles.

Con­ve­nience fea­tures it shares with its dearer brothers are a chilly glove box, trip com­puter, six de­cent speak­ers and a CD/AUX/USB ra­dio sound sys­tem; among others. There are more up­sides to this cheapy edition. If you re­ally want to add park­ing sen­sors and fancy wheels, just pick your favourites from an af­ter­mar­ket store!

I would al­most ad­vise against such a move as the slightly smaller wheels (185/70R14) have more rub­ber to act as damp­ing when com­pared to the fancier i20’s 195/55R16 setup.

The ba­sic rear sus­pen­sion struc­ture and my test car’s skin­nier tyres gave a softer ride and more ad­vanced warn­ing when I pushed the bound­aries of grip.

You’re not go­ing to be­lieve me but it gets even bet­ter. Skin­nier tyres mean less rolling re­sis­tance so fuel con­sump­tion and noise lev­els are both lower.

Us­ing the tyre di­men­sions above, a lo­cal shop gave me the fol­low­ing retail prices: N$1,100 vs N$1,400.

Yup, they're cheaper too.

As I've es­tab­lished that this bud­get ver­sion is just about iden­ti­cal and doesn’t skimp on the good stuff, I can tell you that driv­ing it doesn’t feel much dif­fer­ent from other mod­els.

Hav­ing tried the 1.4 i20 on var­i­ous oc­ca­sions, I would cer­tainly ad­vise that petrol heads go for that one – with the big­gest en­gine in this range.

This 1.2-litre pushes out a re­spectable 61kw and 115Nm which means top speed is “only” 165km/h and 0-100km/h takes a la­bo­ri­ous 13.6 sec­onds.

Per­haps as grat­i­tude for my jour­nal­is­tic praise, our ea­ger grey spec­i­men shot past the 100km/h mark in a (Gps-ver­i­fied) 12.88 sec­onds at sea level.

While still not im­pres­sive, this lit­tle en­gine and car make for a fairly pleas­ant ev­ery­day com­bi­na­tion.

It idles al­most mo­tion­less, has suf­fi­cient torque in most of its five for­ward gears, brakes as asked to, fea­tures de­cent head­lights and breezy, light steer­ing feed­back in­clud­ing a well­honed hom­ing in­stinct.

Hyundai claims aver­age petrol con­sump­tion of 5.9L/100km from the 45L tank which, with a bit of ef­fort, should be doable. Hell, its tried tech­nol­ogy and lack of gad­gets should spell cheap main­te­nance in the long run.

The only real prob­lem I fore­see with this car is a fully-laden hol­i­day jour­ney with over­tak­ing haz­ards.

Other than that, this is one im­pres­sive bot­tom drawer model. For­get the rat­tling plas­tic cover where the ra­dio’s sup­posed to be or a rub­ber grom­met in place of an air-con but­ton. This 1.2 Mo­tion has all the i20 style, most of the fea­tures, is more com­fort­able and prob­a­bly cheaper to run.

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