Hyundai ix20 review
The Hyundai ix20 is a stylish supermini-MPV that's good to drive and has a versatile interior
With its practical, versatile interior, the supermini-sized Hyundai ix20 is a popular choice for young families. It's neat design means that while it's every bit as big inside as cars like the Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf, its compact body work gives it a smaller footprint, making it easier to park. The ix20's elevated driving position makes it easy to drive too, and offers excellent visibility.
Three trims are offered, including Classic, Active and Style. All offer plenty of kit, but Style badged cars are the most luxurious. Build quality is first rate, while the fit and finish of the cabin is easily a match for rivals like the Honda Jazz. It's based on the same chassis, and uses the same engines as the Kia Venga, but in our eyes, the Hyundai is the better looking car, both inside and out. All Hyundais offer a five-year warranty, breakdown and servicing deal, keeping running costs low.
Our choice: ix20 1.4 CRDi Classic
Engines, performance and drive
The high-set driving position offers a good view of the road – although thick A-pillars cause worrying blind spots. On the plus side, the six-speed manual box has a slick action, an its tall top gear offers relaxed cruising. Comfort is a major theme, and is boosted by supple suspension.
Hyundai has worked hard to tune the ix20's driving manners to suit UK roads, and the results have been a success. While the ix20 can’t quite match the Nissan Note for fun and agility, it’s composed and capable on winding roads. If only the engines offered more power. Even the fastest 1.6-litre engined ix20 takes 12.2 seconds to accelerate from 0-60mph
MPG, CO2 and running costs
There are 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines, and a 1.4-litre diesel too. None dip below the 100g/km CO2 barrier. At least all offer strong fuel economy - the 1.4 diesel is the undisputed star, returning 65.7mpg, but the cheaper to buy 1.4-litre petrol version is not far behind, offering 50.4mpg. The Hyundai also offers a five-year warranty and breakdown recovery deal. The firm's five-year triple car package is also available, and adds a free annual health check.
Interior, design and technology
The team that styled the Hyundai ix20 was led by Audi TT designer Peter Schreyer, and it shows. The ix20 is a much better-looking car than the Kia Venga, with which it shares its chassis and engines. Inside, the dashboard gets piano black and shiny silver trim, while the instruments get distinctive blue back lighting. Elsewhere, Hyundai's signature honeycomb pattern appears on the speaker covers and seat fabric.
Practicality, comfort and boot space
The ix20 looks relatively compact on the outside, but inside it's huge. There's plenty of space for front and rear seat passengers and the cabin features lots of innovative storage solutions that are perfect for families on the go.
There are also some very clever design details inside, including under seat storage bins. The 440 litre boot is bigger than that offered by the new Ford Focus, for example. Seats fold completely flat to offer a 1,440 litre load bay. It's not quite as big as the Vauxhall Meriva, but it's worth bearing in mind that there are some vans that don't offer that much space!
Reliability and Safety
There’s little to complain about when it comes to quality, the Hyundai feels every bit as well built as rivals. Inside the ix20’s cabin is solidly screwed together. Some of the plastic trim looks and feels a little cheap, but the overall effect is very impressive. With a full set of driver and passenger airbags and traction control as standard the ix20 scored a full five stars in the EuroNCAP safety test.