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In-depth reviews

Hyundai i20 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.

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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.

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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 lane departure warning, cruise control, lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking, in addition to more superficial features like 15-inch alloy wheels.

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Premium Nav trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers and climate control, and top spec Premium SE Nav cars add luxuries like heated seats, LED lights, and 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.

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