Hyundai ix20

New supermini MPV heads straight to the top of the class

Why it won...

The days when Hyundai bosses were happy if one of their cars simply avoided the wooden spoon in a magazine group test are long gone. The ix20 shot straight to the head of the sector when it hit showrooms at the end of last year, and it fully deserves its class-leading status.

Not only does this practical model look great, but it brings new levels of cabin quality and comfort to the supermini-MPV sector. The final suspension settings for UK models were fine-tuned on British roads, and this crucial aspect of development has paid dividends. It has resulted in a chassis that balances comfort and agility more effectively than any of the ix20’s competitors.

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

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Of course, this market isn’t all about dynamic prowess, and the Hyundai is one of the biggest and most practical models in the class. Critically for a car aimed at families, it’s also fantastic value for money. Better still, Hyundai’s 5 Year Triple Care deal means you won’t have much to worry about for the first five years, as it takes care of the warranty, servicing and MoTs for the duration.

Choose the ix20 and you also get the security of buying a car from one of the most highly regarded dealer networks in the country. A year after taking its first-ever Auto Express New Car Award, the Korean manufacturer seems to have picked up the winning habit – but will the ix20 be able to hold on to its crown in 2012?

Video: watch Hyundai's response to winning the Best City Car and Best Supermini-MPV categories

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Our pick: Punchy 1.4 CRDi Active is the high point of the ix20 line-up. Stop-start technology contributes to low CO2 emissions of 114g/km, while handy features include Bluetooth with voice controls, an iPod connection and a multifunction steering wheel. Even entry Classic models offer air-conditioning, and the flagship Style adds grown-up touches such as a panoramic sunroof.

Highly commended

Honda Jazz The Jazz is neither a normal supermini, nor a proper MPV – but don’t let that put you off. Intelligent packaging, versatile rear seats and impeccable quality gave us no choice but to recognise the Honda’s talents. Think of it as a downsized compact family car and you won’t go wrong.

Kia Venga Last year’s champ hasn’t managed to hang on to its crown this time around, but the Venga remains top value. It’s big, well equipped and good to drive, so there’s still plenty to recommend it – and Kia’s brilliant seven-year warranty is not to be ignored. It provides peace of mind for private buyers.

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