In-depth reviews

Hyundai i20 review - Interior, design & technology

It’s let down by some subpar materials and a staid design, but i20s are well equipped and the infotainment is logical to use

If the i20’s exterior styling is wild, then the cabin is closer to mild. There’s some visual interest with the unusual four-spoke steering wheel design, vents that seem to flow into the rest of the dashboard design and a 10.25-inch digital instrument display standard to all i20s, but there’s a depressing lack of colour in here – strange, when Hyundai’s own Kona allows you flashes of colour around the vents and on the seats. It’s not up to the quality of a Fiesta, and nowhere near a Citroen C3 in terms of imagination.

There’s a bit of a mishmash of textures too, though to be fair to Hyundai everything seems well screwed together, with no evidence of squeaks or rattles. Equipment levels are good too and make up for the lack of imagination. The Element special edition is a more affordable option, coming with smaller 16-inch alloy wheels, and deleting kit such as a digital instrument display, cruise control and High Beam Assist tech.

SE Connect gets cruise control, manual air-conditioning and a rear-view camera along with parking sensors; Premium and Ultimate models get such niceties as heated seats and a heated steering wheel, while there’s ambient lighting in the footwells to make night-time driving a little more interesting.

Premium trim additionally adds LED front and rear lights, folding mirrors, automatic wipers and 17-inch alloys, while Ultimate brings a contrasting roof colour, keyless entry and start, a wireless smartphone charging pad, blind spot warning and Bose premium audio. That digital cluster is neat too, available on all models and with a configurable display to keep track of major functions, as well as an overview of the 48-volt mild-hybrid system’s energy flow.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Like many rivals Hyundai has now put its infotainment screen high on the dashboard, level with the driver’s instrument cluster. On Element and SE Connect models you get an eight-inch screen with useful physical controls either side of the display which serve as quick links to the system’s major functions and can connect to your smartphone for further utility.

Premium and Ultimate trim lines get a larger 10.25-inch display, while the hot keys migrate below the screen and now use touch-sensitive technology – not as intuitive, though thankfully the volume knob remains a physical control. Hyundai’s systems are always logical to use, and the larger screen features built-in navigation, though smartphone users can still connect for further functions just like they can with the smaller screen.

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