Hyundai is making a big play for dominance in the small car segment and they’ve just brought their star player onto the field. They’ve just introduced the first diesel variant of the i20 series into the local market. This model jumps right to the top of the line-up within the i20 series.
Hyundai was nice enough to set the launch of the i20 1.4 CRDi in the picturesque Paarl. We were hosted at a lovely guest house, with quite a few brand new i20’s waiting for us underneath the big oak trees in the parking lot. We were then shown a presentation of the new model, after which we got to take the cars out for a drive over the stunning Bain’s Kloof Pass and through some beautiful wine country.
The new diesel model is the i20’s new flagship model and gets the GLIDE treatment, which in short means “all the bells and whistles”. The GLIDE variant is very well stocked for cars in this segment and, typical of Hyundai, is big on value. The diesel model doesn’t look any different nor does it get any new visual treatment from any other models in the i20 line-up, but it does get proper 16” rims.
Hyundai benchmarked this diesel variant against the Volkswagen Polo 1.2Tdi. It sits in the upper end of the small car diesel market, but does show significant value when compared to models such as the Polo Tdi and the Ford Fiesta diesel.
As part of the value proposition, the i20 gets a 3year/60 000km service plan standard. Also standard is Hyundai’s 5year/150 000km warranty and 5year/150 000km roadside assistance. The i20 diesel also scores a 5 star safety rating from NCAP testing, with the GLIDE variants getting 6 airbags, up from the 2 for the MOTION and FLUID variants.
Pricing for the entire i20 range now looks as follows:
i20 1.25 MOTION Manual – R144 900
i20 1.4 FLUID Manual – R169 900
i20 1.4 FLUID Automatic – R179 900
i20 1.4 GLIDE Manual – R181 900
i20 1.4 CRDi GLIDE Manual – R195 900
The diesel outputs a healthy 66kw@4000rpm and a beefy 220Nm@1500-2750rpm of torque for a 1.4 engine. Coupled with a 6-speed gearbox, this makes the i20 both frugal and able to hustle when needed. Hyundai claims 5L/100kmand a 0-100km/h in 13.5secs. Coupled with the low rpms we could maintain due to all the torque, means I’m inclined to agree with their figure. At 120km/h the car was revving at a mere 2200rpm. Overtaking was also a breeze with so much torque.
Overall the drive with the i20 was very enjoyable, with the extra power being a very welcomed addition. With so much creature comforts and a comfortable ride, Hyundai definitely has a strong but conservative competitor here.