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The great American graphic designer Milton Glaser once remarked that there were only three responses to design – yes, no and wow! In the case of the new 2018 Hyundai Elite i20 however, wow is the only one we can think of. Its already stylish silhouette has undergone a mild update and now features a glossy C pillar. Its striking road presence is the consequence of an all-new cascade high gloss grille at the front, combined with brand new projector headlamps with integrated LED DRLs and positioning and cornering lamps. At the rear, uniquely designed tail lamps compliment the front to create a balanced design. Finally, the package is rounded off with a set of brilliant diamond cut 16-inch alloy wheels.
This sporty yet premium theme is carried on inside as well, with the Elite i20’s spacious interior benefitting from body coloured accents or a dual tone scheme and a clean dash layout where everything is logically placed within easy reach. Where comfort and convenience are concerned, the Elite i20 is a game changer with its 17.7cm audio-visual infotainment system. A premium Arkamys sound system has been employed for a superb acoustic experience. Auto headlamp control, anti-pinch power windows, reverse parking camera, and more complete the list. There’s even a smartphone app to help you and your Elite i20 stay connected.
” Its striking road presence is the consequence of an all-new cascade high gloss grille at the front, with brand new projector headlamps with integrated LED DRLs”
The Elite i20 gets a choice of two excellent engines. First up, there is the powerful 1.2L Kappa Dual VTVT free breathing petrol unit. This modern 1197cc four-cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder and double overhead camshafts puts out a very healthy 82bhp and 115Nm of maximum torque. The unit is mated to a slick shifting five-speed manual gearbox that sends all the grunt to the front wheels. For those looking for diesel economy there is the lovely 1.4L U2 CRDi turbo diesel unit. This smooth running 1396cc four-cylinder unit pushes out 89bhp and a whopping 220Nm of torque that kicks in at a lowly low 1500rpm. All of this is sent to the front wheels via a precise six-speed manual transmission with short throws.
Be it petrol or diesel, the Elite i20 feels peppy yet refined. Power delivery remains linear throughout, even with the turbocharged diesel, to offer an easy driving experience as you cut through city traffic or overtake overloaded trucks and slow moving buses on highways. For those who like to enjoy some spirited driving, the Elite i20 has more than enough to offer with its quick accelerating darty nature. Especially important is the fact that none of this is at the cost of efficiency with both the petrol and the diesel versions of the car offering excellent fuel economy in their respective classes.
“Be it petrol or diesel, the Elite i20 feels peppy yet refined. Power delivery remains linear throughout”
With the Elite i20, Hyundai is now up there when it comes to offering a balance between a supple and comfortable ride quality and sporty handling characteristics. Its taut monocoque exhibits limited body roll when you hustle this premium hatchback through a series of twisties. Combined with its MacPherson strut with coil spring front suspension and coupled torsion beam axle with coil spring, both of which are set up just right for Indian road conditions, the Elite i20 is capable of sticking to the line chosen by the driver with a confidence that is reassuring. Not even the tightest of switchbacks will unnerve this premium hatch. This also gives the driver the confidence to push harder, and as a result smile harder as he enjoys The Thrill of Driving.
Yet, these thrills don’t come at the expense of a comfortable ride quality, which is extremely important on our varied Indian road conditions. The Elite i20’s suspension setup has been optimised in such a way that while it is capable of holding the hatchback on its chosen line, there is enough give in the front and rear suspension to be able to absorb the shocks of ruts, bumps and potholes. Nothing short of the highest of speed breakers and the deepest of potholes will catch this supremely comfortable hatchback unaware. So while you are having fun in the seat that really matters, the seat that carries the people who matter will remain comfortable and at ease throughout the journey.
“The Elite i20 is capable of sticking to the line chosen by the driver with a confidence that is reassuring. Not even the tightest of switchbacks will unnerve this premium hatch”
Hyundai Elite i20 1.2L Dual VTVT/ 1.4L U2 CRDi
Engine: 1197cc, in-line 4-cyl, petrol/ 1396cc, in-line 4-cyl, turbo-diesel
Transmission: 5-speed manual/ 6-speed manual
Power: 82bhp @ 6000rpm/ 89bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque: 115Nm @ 4000rpm/ 220Nm @ 1500-2750rpm
Price (ex-showroom Delhi): Rs 5.35 lakh – Rs 7.91 lakh/ Rs 6.73 lakh – Rs 9.16 lakh