Hyundai ix20 2015 review
Spacious and safe, the new Hyundai ix20 has changed in all the right places, making it ideal for growing families and a leader in its class. This re-styled model debuted at the Geneva Motor Show earlier on this year and was warmly received for its eco-friendly, souped-up engine and new look exterior, conceived of as part of a complete conceptual overhaul by Audi TT designer Peter Schreyer.
The re-designed exterior embraces the car’s eastern heritage, with the new grill a delicate mesh and acute angles interwoven into the fluid bodywork. The projector headlights and LED rear combination lamps are amongst other welcome new additions, and you can now choose from an impressive range of nine paint finishes.
The new Hyundai iX20 comes in three different trim packages: from the basic ‘Classic’ range, up through the ‘Active’ and ‘Style’ ranges. There’s not a huge variation between these packages, but there are some elements that make it worth an extra investment. The ‘Classic’ trim comes with a variety of electronic external features, but if you choose to step up to the ‘Active’ package, you’ll find automatic headlights and electric heated door mirrors, whilst the ‘Style’ package will add electric folding door mirrors with integral indicators and privacy glass in the rear windows and tailgate. The higher trims also give you the option to choose 16-inch alloy wheels, an eco-pattern front grille and body coloured external accessories, such as door handles and mirrors.
The latest addition to the Hyundai family is something of a Tardis, with acres of interior space (comparable to C-segment vehicles and even some people carriers), a high ceiling and unrivalled amount of boot-space that can be increased from 440-litre to 1,486-litres by shifting the rear seating arrangement. A dual-panel panoramic roof is available on premium trims, affording plenty of extra light and the option to either tilt to open or slide completely back the front panel.
You can choose from regular black or two-tone beige, with cloth upholstery for the interior furnishings, whilst the dashboard is a sleek mix of black leather and plastic, chrome-like touches and blue/black lighting. Hyundai have subtly branded the ix20 throughout, with the honeycomb grille pattern being mirrored on seat fabric and speaker covers.
The ix20 has a host of techy features to help make those journeys fly by, as well as a few that will take the edge off trickier manoeuvres and driver calculations. The car comes equipped with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, as well as USB and the traditional AUX inputs. You can also upload up to 1GB of music direct to the car’s integrated hard-drive, meaning less time spent fiddling with external devices. Hyundai have also installed an eco-drive indicator, reversing sensors and an ‘Intelligent Stop and Go’ function (in the 1.6 CRDi version only).
On the road
Hyundai have improved drivability and efficiency across all of the ix20 variants, making for a comfortable cruiser that can be easily navigated through inner-city traffic without fear for the environment. The front seats have been re-set higher up for a more comfy driving position, allowing you to really enjoy the space inside.
There are three options when it comes to engine type: a 1.4 or 1.6-litre petrol engine or 1.4-litre diesel. All deliver an emission rate of less than 100g/km, with the diesel variant setting itself apart from competitors with a return of just 65.7mpg, whilst it’s petrol cousin doesn’t lag too far behind at 50.4mpg. This, coupled with other eco features including low rolling resistance tyres and an ‘active air flap’ to reduce drag from the grille (both included in the Blue Drive models), ensure that the ix20 falls well within Euro6 emissions standards.
When it comes to safety, Hyundai have ensured that all models meet the same exacting standards. Every car within the range comes with six airbags, traction control, active front head restraints, TPMS, ABS and pre-tensioning seatbelts, which has helped Hyundai to achieve the full five stars in EuroNCAP safety tests.
The Hyundai ix20 has family-friendly features in spades, combining eco and safety elements with a fun and fluid driving experience. The 1.6-litre petrol version provides an option for those of a sportier disposition, whilst the interior and exterior design improvements have given the car an aesthetic that surpasses the Kia Venga (which has the same chassis and engine) and others in its class.
Hyundai offer a heap of incentives to help sweeten the deal, including a five-year warranty and breakdown recovery, as well as the optional five-year triple car package that adds a free annual health check. The car is a snip for drivers looking to save money, coming in at a lightweight £12,265 with instalment options also available.