Sprint Review: 2018 Hyundai i20 1.2 Fluid   

Most people would dismiss an affordable Hyundai hatchback as dreary but our tester begs to differ.  

What you need to know: The Hyundai i20 has been in southern Africa since 2009 and competes in the Polo/Golf category of our market. Hand on heart, I always thought it was good-looking and great value. Still do, after the Koreans gave the i20 range a quick refresher course earlier in 2018.

There are six models to choose from: two 1.2L 5-speed manuals, two 1.4L 6- speed manuals and two 1.4L 4- speed automatics with varying trim levels. The biggest 1.4 is a semi-crossover called “Active” while our test car was the second-from-bottom 1.2 Fluid. It sports alloys, climate control, front arm-rest and rear park peepers over the cheapest 1.2 Motion model.

More facts: The i20 comes with loads of sensible stuff like remote central locking, a big touchy-feely media screen (with optional navigation), snazzy seat fabric, ABS brakes with electronic force distribution, two airbags, adjustable multi-function steering wheel, power steering, front power windows and a basic trip computer.

The turning radius is just 5.2m, the boot takes 285L (or 1,000L with the rear seats down), ground clearance is 150mm and the tyre size is 195/55R16 –including the spare wheel. The i20’s ride is fairly comfy but the torsion-beam rear axle has its limits; also with spirited driving and the absence of ESP / stability control.

Where we went: Highways, byways and driveways of our ‘hood where the 1.2L engine asked for a little more input than a modern turbo unit. This test mule only had 3,000km on the dial and its lethargy may be worse at altitude but I was often surprised how tractable and willing the motor felt. More than the quoted 61kW or 115Nm.

Watch out for: Obviously it won’t win many drag races and high-speed overtaking can be sweat-inducing. Hyundai claims 165km/h top speed and 0-100km/h in 13.3 seconds; our best time was 12.4 seconds at sea level. This blue i20 also beat the manufacturer’s 100km/h brake test claim of 42.8m by precisely 1.04m.

Why you’ll want one: The simplicity of a naturally-aspirated engine with basic but sensible specs; queue your mechanic rasping: “there’s less to go wrong!” Also, this press car sipped an average of 6.8L/100km from the 40L tank for a theoretical range of 588km. Hyundai claims 5.9L/100km and I believe them.

This 1.2 Fluid currently retails for R241,900. Each i20 is sold with a five-year/150,000km warranty and roadside assistance, additional two-year/50,000km powertrain warranty and a two-year 30,000km service plan. Service intervals are every 15,000km.


Engine:                   1.2L i-4 petrol
Transmission:        5-speed Manual, FWD
Max. Power:           61kW
Max. Torque:         115Nm
Avg cons.:               6.8L/100km (claimed 5.9)
0-100km/h:           12.42 (claimed 13.3)
Top Speed:             Claimed 165km/h
List Price:               R241,900


0-10km/h: 0,57 seconds
0-20km/h: 1,21 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,80 seconds
0-40km/h: 2,93 seconds
0-50km/h: 4,10 seconds
0-60km/h: 5,26 seconds
0-70km/h: 6,54 seconds
0-80km/h: 8,23 seconds
0-90km/h: 10,25 seconds
0-100km/h: 12,42 seconds
0-110km/h: 14,85 seconds
0-120km/h: 17,61 seconds
0-130km/h: 21,81 seconds
0-140km/h: 26,71 seconds

0-100m: 7,77 seconds @ 77,04km/h
0-200m: 11,87 seconds @ 97,58km/h
0-300m: 15,30 seconds @ 111,69km/h
0-400m: 18,60 seconds @ 119,35km/h

100-0km/h: 2,98 seconds @ 41,84 meters (once-off)
Maximum deceleration G-force: 1,00G


0-10mph: 0,96 seconds
0-20mph: 1,97 seconds
0-30mph: 3,91 seconds
0-40mph: 5,80 seconds
0-50mph: 8,34 seconds
0-60mph: 11,65 seconds
0-70mph: 15,52 seconds
0-80mph: 21,34 seconds

1/4 mile: 18,44 seconds @ 75,63 mph

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,50G

Altitude: 60m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

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