Hyundai ix20 vs rivals

Latest supermini-MPVs mix practicality with top value. But is Hyundai’s new ix20 a better buy than the Kia Venga and Nissan Note?

Hyundai ix20 vs. rivals

They say nothing draws 
a crowd like a crowd – and 
the supermini-MPV sector is a prime example. For years it was a niche 
market, but there’s now an amazing amount of choice, as an ever growing list of newcomers fight it out with established names for class honours.

The latest pretender to the throne is the Hyundai ix20. It hits showrooms next month, and is effectively the brand’s version of sister company 
Kia’s Venga – the current class leader. Our reigning champ arrived 
earlier this year, and it backs up its simple design, spacious cabin and competitive prices with an excellent warranty.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Hyundai ix20


But the new Hyundai has very similar underpinnings and an equally impressive aftersales 
package, and promises to be every 
bit as good. We test mid-range diesel versions of the two Koreans against a car that used to set the standard in this class. The Nissan Note has just been given a range of improvements to keep it on the pace, and it’s as practical and versatile as ever.

It’s a clash of the small car titans, but which one will come out on top?


This was always going to be a closely fought contest. The Kia is our current class favourite, so the mechanically identical Hyundai was always likely to be a front-runner, too. And the impressive Note couldn’t be ruled out – it had been our favourite supermini-MPV from 2006 to 2008, and the recent revisions would surely keep it in contention. So it comes as a big surprise that the Venga is the first to fall. It is still hugely versatile and spacious, but this sector has moved on rapidly since the car’s debut more than six months ago. The price, miserly kit tally and poor ride mark the Kia down. The updated Nissan is back among the very best. Although it’s not quite as roomy as rivals, it’s cleverly packaged and comes with loads of standard kit. Better still, it’s great to drive and should be cheap to run. Yet it hasn’t done quite enough to regain the supermini-MPV crown. The ix20 takes all the good points of the Venga and serves them up in a cheaper, better-equipped and more comfortable package. So it takes a well deserved debut victory.

1. Hyundai ix20 

The Hyundai clearly shares its roots with the spacious and practical Kia. However, chassis upgrades have delivered an improved driving experience. Add the ix20’s lower price and longer list of standard kit, and it’s hard to argue against it taking the class crown from its Korean cousin.

2. Nissan Note

Although the visual changes to the Note have been kept to a minimum, under the skin is a revised drivetrain that gives low CO2 and decent economy. Adding to the appeal is a flexible, cleverly packaged and well equipped cabin, plus great driving dynamics.

3. Kia Venga

Our champ has been delivered a double knock-out blow – although its third-place finish is more down to the excellence of the opposition than any flaws in the Venga. It still has a lot to offer, and the generous warranty continues to impress.

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