Hyundai i20 (2014 - 2020) review - Interior, design and technology

Smart on the outside, plain on the inside, but the infotainment system is among the best in the class.

The current i20’s looks are more grown-up than its predecessor, and changes to 2018 models have made minor tweaks to a neatly styled car. Highlights include the distinctive trapezoidal grille, swept-back headlamps and gloss black trim panels covering the C-pillars. Facelift models can be most easily distinguished from their predecessors at the back - the number plate was previously located on the bumper, but from 2018 onwards it has moved to the bootlid, flanked by a pair of revised headlights.

Inside, the dashboard is logically laid out, but it can’t match the style of the latest Polo. A large speedo and rev counter are easy to read, and aside from some of the minor switches that are hidden away on a panel down by the driver’s right knee, everything is very easy to work out. Very little changed in the 2018 updates - there are some new seat fabrics, and that’s about it.

As we’ve come to expect from Hyundai, the fit and finish is first rate, while decent-quality materials are used. The top of the dashboard is trimmed in soft-touch plastic, the chunky three-spoke steering wheel gets a soft leather covering and the seats are upholstered in durable fabrics. Elsewhere, bright contrasting coloured panels for the dash and door inserts give the cabin a lift on some models.

The most useful upgrades in the 2018 facelift were the introduction of both air conditioning and a seven-inch touchscreen as standard on even the most basic model. Hyundai hasn’t scrimped on standard kit elsewhere, either. Mid-spec SE cars come with big-car additions like autonomous emergency braking, cruise control and lane keep assist, in addition to more superficial features like 15-inch alloy wheels.

Premium Nav trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, climate control and front and rear parking sensors, while top-spec Premium SE Nav cars add luxuries like heated seats, a heated steering wheel a panoramic glass roof. As an odd quirk of the Hyundai spec sheet, a panoramic glass roof isn’t available with an automatic gearbox, which is why the Premium SE Nav is manual only.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

All versions of the i20 feature a seven-inch touchscreen complete with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The Google system features excellent mapping systems, which in most cases are better than manufacturers’ proprietary systems.

That being said, Hyundai’s set-up is one of the best in this class. The screen’s graphics are sharp enough, the menu layouts are excellent, and loading times are fine. Outside of the systems you get in a VW Polo or SEAT Ibiza, very few cars in this class come close.

Premium Nav and Premium SE Nav models add satellite navigation and a rear view camera to the same display. This latter feature should also help when manoeuvring in tight spaces.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0T GDi 48V MHD SE Connect 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £17,991

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0T GDi 48V MHD SE Connect 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £17,991

Fastest

  • Name
    1.0T GDi 48V MHD 120 N Line 5dr DCT
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £22,836

Most Popular

New Suzuki S-Cross 2021 review
Suzuki S-Cross - front
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SUV

New Suzuki S-Cross 2021 review

The all-new Suzuki S-Cross is excellent value for money and good to drive, but it’s slightly utilitarian interior won’t appeal to all buyers
25 Nov 2021
Lexus LC Coupe and Convertible gain chassis upgrades for 2022
Lexus LC 2021 - front
Lexus LC

Lexus LC Coupe and Convertible gain chassis upgrades for 2022

Lexus says mechanical tweaks have made the LC more comfortable and improve its handling
26 Nov 2021
Dacia Sandero Stepway: long-term test review
Dacia Sandero long termer - front
Dacia Sandero Stepway

Dacia Sandero Stepway: long-term test review

Final report: Jacked-up Dacia Sandero hatch wins hearts and minds of Dawn’s family
26 Nov 2021