The dictionary defines the word elite as ‘someone who is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of the society.’ Well, in that sense, Hyundai’s premium hatchback i20 has been an elite car since its inception in 2008. With its impressive fluidic design, interior quality and avant-garde features, the i20 redefined the benchmark in the segment. Now, in its second generation, the i20 has been justifiably christened the Elite i20 and let’s find out what makes an already good car even better.
The Elite i20’s exterior represents the latest iteration of what Hyundai calls Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language. However, Hyundai has ditched the rounded fluidic edges for a bold design with sharper character lines. Dominating the front is the signature hexagonal grille, but this time with honeycomb mesh surrounded by chrome accents. The lower bumper is adorned by a plastic mesh strip that neatly connects the fog lamps. The striking design of the swept-back headlamps yields an elegant as well as wider stance at the first glance.
If you thought the LED daytime running lights on the outgoing i20 is a premium feature, you might not be impressed by the fact that the Elite i20 doesn’t offer DRLs. Side view is more exciting with a rising waistline and sloping roof converging at a matt-finish black c-pillar. The Elite i20’s dynamic appearance is further exaggerated at the rear. The dual-tone rear bumper with black insert adds to the sporty appeal and the car will certainly bowl you over with the rear three-quarters view.
Sharp lines and symmetric cut-outs create a sophisticated European look inside, too. The dual-tone dashboard oozes great quality and elegance with clear and stylish instruments. The multi-info display has been shifted from the top of the dashboard to the centre console. AC vents too have been redesigned to accord with the rest of the design. The instrument cluster now gets white backlight and its brightness can be adjusted using a knob. The rest of the displays are bright blue and could be distracting at night. Minor but interesting touches such as the piano black finish around the ORVM controls and chrome gearshift surround show how much attention to detail Hyundai has paid to enhance the premiumness of the car.
The transmissions have been carried over from the outgoing model – 6-speed for diesel and 5-speed for petrol. Soft clutch coupled with butter-smooth gear shifting makes both variants effortless to drive in traffic and long distances alike. Automatic transmission is not available yet. Diesel boasts of an ARAI-certified mileage of 22.54kmpl as against petrol’s 18.6 kmpl.
Hyundai i20 has always been a tad pricier than its direct competitors. However, that didn’t stop anyone from falling in love with the styling, cabin quality, ride comfort and the features it offered. As the Elite i20 kicks up all these qualities a notch further without much difference in price, it will be greeted with long lines outside dealerships.