Before anyone gets ahead of themselves, the new Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition is not some firebreathing hot hatch, nor a rival to the lavishly equipped Ford Fiesta ST Line. The Turbo Edition sits comfortably in the middle of the i20 line-up and its appeal is based around value rather than searing performance ora lengthy kit list.
The Turbo part of its name points to the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet that develops 99bhp and emits just 104g/km of CO2, giving a tax bill of only £20 a year.
Prod the accelerator and you’re met with a characterful thrum and punchy acceleration when you’re in the right gear.
The downside to the downsized unit is a lack of power be low 3,000 rpm, so you have to work the smooth-shifting five-speed manual gearbox a little harder than you might expect. After we tested the hatch on country roads and suburban streets, giving all the gears a thorough workout, we were averaging around 45mpg – roughly 30mpg less than claimed. Extremely light steering makes town driving a doddle, though, and body roll is well controlled around sharp country bends.
i20‘s generously sized boot impresses. A capacity of 326 litres makes it one of the best in class, while seats fold fully flat for easy loading.
Backseats are comfortable, with enough leg and headroom for adults. There’s no transmission tunnel intruding on foot space in middle, either.
The i20 is safe and composed rather than overtly sporty if you take a back road home, but this means you can place the car with confidence when the road gets twisty. Visually, little separates the Turbo Edition from other i20 models, other than a horizontally-slatted front grille.
There are also rotor-style 16-inch alloy wheels, which are standard fare on the more expensive i20 Premium models (regardless of the engine you choose).
Turbo Edition cats are based on the mid-range SE spec; you get cruise control, Bluetooth and DAB, plus a seven-inch TomTom sat-nav.
Inside, the dashboard is simple and well laid out, if a little bland, and material quality is good enough for a car in this class. The touchscreen sat-nav is the biggest benefit of all the additional kit; you’ll now spend around £1,700 less than before if you want your new i20 to come with GPS guidance.
Add all of this together and you have a car that is well worth its sub-£l3kprice tag. Ifyouwant a small turbo petrol Fiesta with a similar amount of equipment, you’ll have to fork out around £3,000 more for a 1.0-litre Eco Boost Titanium model. On that basis, the i20 Turbo Edition is worthy of consideration.
Price: £ 12,975
Engine: 1.0-litre, 3cyl turbo, petrol
Transmission: Five-speed dual-manual, front-wheel drive
Top speed: 116mph
On sale: Now
The handsome looks and practicality impress, but it’s on value for money that the i20Turbo Edition plays its trump card. It has equipment and space that a similarly priced Ford Fiesta can only dream of. The claimed fuel economy figure of 72.4mpg could be difficult to achieve, so you’ll have to adapt your driving style toget the most out of the engine. But otherwise, this is a strong package.
NEED TO KNOW
The Turbo Edition trim is only available on the five-door hatchback, not the sportier i20 Coupe