Say goodbye to diesel and hello to technology

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Hyundai first introduced the i20 in 2008 at the Paris Motor Show and brought the second generation to market in 2014. Framed as a B-segment, FWD supermini, the i20 is an affordable, small, practical transportation solution, offering decent gear and loads of space inside. Now there’s a refreshed model, and it’s bringing an updated line of gas-powered engines and some of the latest safety tech features.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Hyundai i20.

Official video

2018 Hyundai i20 Exterior Styling

  • Offered as both a five-door and a three-door
  • Restyled Cascading Grille design
  • Alloy wheel sizing between 15 and 16 inches
  • New colors for the 2018 model year
  • Two-tone roof option
2018 Hyundai i20 Exterior
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Heading into the 2018 model year, the Hyundai i20 gets a lightly updated design.

To help it cover as many segments as possible, Hyundai offers the i20 in a variety of body styles. These include both a five-door hatchback and a sportier three-door hatch (Hyundai calls it a “coupe” for some reason). Buyers looking for something a little taller can also get theirs in a crossover “Active” body style, which adds the traditional off-roading styling cues, such as a faux front skid plate, matte black lower cladding, and roof rails.

Heading into the 2018 model year, the Hyundai i20 gets a lightly updated design. Let’s start in front, where we find the fascia gains a restyled Cascading Grille design, replacing the old four-sided insert with a more wavy-looking geometric shape. The lower part of the front bumper also gets a redesign, with a lower character line that’s now slimmer than before. The fog light are also separated with matte-black surrounds moved to the leading corners. The headlights are more or less the same as before in their shape, but now sport lower daytime running light signatures.

When viewed from the side, the i20 gains extra colors and design to help break up the broad panels. The side view mirrors once again come with integrated turn signals, while the C-pillar in the rear continues its blacked-out, floating design. You’ll also notice that the corners are occupied by fresh wheel designs, with the range of alloy rollers including sizing between 15 and 16 inches in diameter.

2018 Hyundai i20 Exterior
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Buyers looking to get a more customized look can get pair theirs with a Phantom Black two-tone roof.

Moving behind the vehicle, we find the the tail was also redesigned to help match the restyled front. The bumper gets an extra black insert near the bottom, while the hatch itself gains an integrated license plate holder. Stretching into the fifth door is a freshly redesigned pair of combination taillights, which do well to add a few extra layers of design to the thing.

Colors such as Tomato Red, Champion Blue, and Clean Slate now join the range of exterior paint options. Customers can also choose from carry-over hues such as Passion Red, Sleek Silver, Stardust Grey, Polar White, and Phantom Black. Buyers looking to get a more customized look can get pair theirs with a Phantom Black two-tone roof, which definitely does well to spice things up a bit.

2018 Hyundai i20 Interior Design

  • Basic interior design and layout
  • 7.0-inch infotainment screen in the dash
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for support
  • 326 liters (11.5 cubic feet) of cargo room
  • Nice lineup of high-tech safety features
2018 Hyundai i20 Interior
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In terms of look and layout, the i20 gets a pretty basic, straightforward interior space.

In terms of look and layout, the i20 gets a pretty basic, straightforward interior space. The steering wheel comes with thumb-operated multifunction buttons and red contrast stitching, as well as slightly pumped-up hand grips at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions.

The gauge cluster consists of a left-mounted tachometer and a right-mounted speedometer, as well as a center-mounted digital driver’s information display. A push-button starter makes it all go, while an infotainment screen is mounted high in the dash. Above the screen is a set of HVAC vents, while the climate controls are placed lower with a dual set of rounded knobs, a few hard buttons, and a digital readout. Buyers can get theirs with an optional panoramic sunroof.

On the infotainment front, the Hyundai i20 comes equipped with all the stuff you’d expect, with features including navigation, media support, and connectivity services. The screen you see in the middle of the center console is a new unit measuring in at 7.0 inches, and comes as standard on the S and SE trim levels. There’s also solid smartphone support, with content mirrored directly from your device of choice via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, including navigation support. An available USB charger keeps your mobile device topped off on electrons.

Passengers will also enjoy a good amount of space inside, while cargo room is rated at 326 liters (11.5 cubic feet).

2018 Hyundai i20 Interior
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Rounding it out is a slew of high-tech safety features, with the very latest from Hyundai’s SmartSense suite.

Rounding it out is a slew of high-tech safety features, with the very latest from Hyundai’s SmartSense suite. Standouts in this area include a Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Keeping Assist System, Autonomous Emergency Braking for the city and inter-urban driving, Driver Attention Alert, and high Beam Assist, all of which are standard on the SE trim level and above.

The systems all work as you’d expect, with the Lane Departure Warning system sending a notification when you move outside the painted lines. Both a visual and acoustic notification are provided. The Lane Keeping assist is operational when traveling over 60 km/h (37 mph), and also includes corrective steering inputs to keep you from straying too far outside your lane. Automatic braking will kick in when it detects an obstruction ahead of the vehicle, while the Driver Attention Alert monitors inputs and can detect when the driver is getting sleepy or might be looking at their phone. Finally, the automatic high beams can detect oncoming vehicles and switch the beam pattern so as to not blind other drivers.

2018 Hyundai i20 Drivetrain And Performance

  • No more diesel option
  • Variety of gas-powered engine options
  • Turbo and N/A engine options
  • Six-speed and five-speed transmissions
  • New sevens-speed automatic on offer
  • Idle Stop and Go system as standard
2018 Hyundai i20
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Hyundai decided to ditch the diesel option, instead sticking with gas-only configurations.

Unsurprisingly, Hyundai decided to ditch the outgoing model’s diesel powerplant option, instead opting for variety of gas-powered engine configurations.

Let’s kick things off with the turbocharged Kappa 1.0-liter three-cylinder T-GDI, which is offered in two power levels. The first is a 100-horsepower configuration, which connects to a five-speed manual. Above that is the 120-horsepower iteration, which is offered with a six-speed manual and comes with a particulate filter to “enhance environmental performance.”

There’s also a naturally aspirated Kappa 1.2-liter engine offered in two power levels, including 75 horsepower and 84 horsepower, both of which get a five-speed manual transmission for the gearbox duties.

2018 Hyundai i20
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The 2018 i20 brings with it a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, a first for the i20 range.

The 2018 i20 also brings with it a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, a first for the i20 range. Interested buyers can get it on the turbo 1.0-liter T-GDI (100-horsepower tune) as a replacement for the standard five-speed manual.

Standout features for the powerplants include an Idle Stop and Go system as standard across the range, which helps to curb fuel consumption and emissions by automatically deactivating the engine at a stop, kicking it over again before taking off. Obviously, gains from this system are most dramatic in heavy traffic situations.

2018 Hyundai i20 Prices

2018 Hyundai i20
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The 2018 Hyundai i20 arrives in dealers this June and will be sold in the European market. For now, interested U.S. buyers are out of luck.

Hyundai did not provide exact pricing information, but it’s expected to start at around 12,000 pounds ($16,513), which is a bit more than the outgoing model.

All i20 models will come with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

2018 Hyundai i20 Competition

Ford Fiesta

2017 Ford Fiesta High Resolution Exterior
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The Blue Oval definitely has some pull in this segment thanks to the tiny and mighty Fiesta. Offered in both a three-door and five-door body style, Ford equips the Fiesta with two gas engines and a diesel as well. Topping it all is a turbo three-cylinder making 138 horsepower, although performance lovers can alternatively opt into the 200-horsepower Fiesta ST. Inside is a 6.5-inch touchscreen, as well as a 4.2-inch driver’s information display behind the steering wheel. Go for the five-door model, and you’ll get upwards of 303 liters (10.7 cubic feet) of space with the rear seats up.

Read our full review of the 2017 Ford Fiesta.

Volkswagen Polo

2018 Volkswagen Polo High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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If it’s extra refinement and high-end quality that you’re after, then the Volkswagen Polo might be the way to go. Engine options are plentiful, ranging from an entry-level 1.0-liter three-cylinder and topped by a 190-horsepower turbo 1.8-liter in the Polo GTI model. Five-speed and six-speed manual transmissions are on the table as well, as is a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic. LED headlights and some handsome styling can be found outside, while a 6.5-inch display is mounted inside. The five-door is the way to go if practicality is a concern.

Read our full review of the 2018 Volkswagen Polo.


2018 Hyundai i20 Exterior
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Overall, the i20 looks to grab customers by offering all the important stuff, but none of the fluff.

While crossovers and SUVs are the body style of choice here in the U.S., the supermini is still running strong across the pond. As such, it makes sense that Hyundai decided to keep it feeling fresh with this latest round of updates.

“The i-range is the strong foundation of our brand’s success in Europe,” said Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Hyundai Motor Europe’s Vice President of Marketing & Product. “By updating the New i20 design, safety, connectivity and powertrain line-up, we continuing to meet the expectations of our customers to ensure the ongoing success of this model range.”

Overall, the i20 looks to grab customers by offering all the important stuff (sharp styling, high-tech infotainment, cutting-edge safety systems, efficient powertrains), but none of the fluff. To that end, the i20 looks to be rather competitive, and while there are more refined and more entertaining options out there, the i20 sticks to the middle of the road as a solid little alternative.

  • Leave it
    • Plastic interior
    • No diesel option
    • Loads of competition


2015 Hyundai i20 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Hyundai i20.

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Top Selling Model: Hyundai Elantra

Read more Hyundai news.

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Read more 2018 Beijing Auto Show news.

Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez
About the author

Press release

Hyundai Motor is continuing its success in the B-segment by introducing a refreshed i20 line-up. In order to meet customers’ expectations, the i20 five-door now has a more modern design as well as updated safety features with Hyundai SmartSense. For both the five-door and the three-door coupe, Hyundai is also introducing a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT) for optimal driving comfort and an Idle Stop and Go (ISG) system, which will reduce CO2 emissions. Offering a choice of three different petrol powertrains, New i20 meets current market demands.

“The i20 is one of our DNA models and has continuously been one of our top-selling cars in Europe for a decade. The i-range is the strong foundation of our brand’s success in Europe”, says Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President Marketing & Product of Hyundai Motor Europe. “By updating the New i20 in design, safety, connectivity and powertrain line-up, we are continuing to meet the expectations of our customers to ensure the ongoing success of this model range.”

Styling: a fresher and more modern appearance

The styling of the i20 has been refreshed in several ways. The elegant lines of the New i20 emphasise its sophisticated exterior. The front of the i20 five-door now features the Cascading Grille, the family identity uniting all Hyundai models. In addition to its modern and fresh design, the New i20 also boasts a spacious and comfortable interior.

Exterior design

In order to make the New i20 more appealing and give it more character, the front of the five-door now features redesigned front bumpers including the Cascading Grille. The rear of the i20 five-door also has updated bumpers and rear combination lamps, creating a more dynamic look. The tailgate has been reworked to integrate the license plate. Also, Hyundai has created a bolder appearance for the i20 five-door by adding new 15”- and 16”-alloy wheels.

The i20 five-door is available with a panoramic sunroof. i20 five-door will be available with a Phantom Black two-tone roof, offering customers more compelling options to personalise their car. Customers can also choose from eight distinctive colours for the exterior: Tomato Red, Champion Blue and Clean Slate are new colours in the i20 range, on top of the existing colours Passion Red, Sleek Silver, Stardust Grey, Polar White and Phantom Black.

Drivers of the New i20 also benefit from outstanding roominess, with an uncompromised trunk capacity of 326 litres (VDA).

Modern and connected

The revised Hyundai i20 range offers various new and advanced connectivity features that integrate seamlessly with the driver’s smartphone, which will ensure even greater comfort while travelling. The new seven-inch Display Audio which will be standard on S and SE trim offers easy connectivity: customers can easily mirror content from their smartphone to the system’s display using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As a result, passengers can use the navigation system of their smartphone without the need for built-in car navigation. Furthermore, the i20 will also now available with seven-inch infotainment system (available on Premium Nav and Premium SE Nav) that integrates all navigation, media and connectivity features, and supports both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ as well as Live Services.

The New i20 is available with a USB charger so passengers can re-charge their mobile devices.

Easy to handle, easy to run

The New i20 offers a choice of two petrol powertrains. The Kappa 1.0-litre T-GDI engine comes with a choice of two power outputs: the engine that is capable of 74 kW/100 PS is available with a five-speed manual transmission, while the high-power version of 88 kW/120 PS comes with a six-speed manual transmission. As an alternative, the 100PS engine can also be matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission – a Hyundai first in the i20 range. Offered for the i20 five-door and three-door Coupe, the Kappa 1.2-litre engine is available with two different outputs, both mated to a five-speed manual transmission: 55 kW/75 PS or 62 kW/84 PS.

The Idle Stop and Go (ISG) is a standard feature on all i20 versions, which will contribute to lower fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions and higher efficiency. The fuel savings of using the ISG will be especially apparent when driving in urban areas, as ISG automatically switches off the engine when the car comes to a halt.

By concentrating on efficient petrol engines in the i20 range, Hyundai is responding to market demands. The 1.0 T-GDI is now equipped with a built-in particulate filter to enhance environmental performance. The whole i20 powertrain line-up is fully compliant with Euro 6d temp regulations.

Safe and reliable: introducing Hyundai SmartSense for i20

To comply with the highest European standards, the New i20 now also includes the latest Hyundai SmartSense active safety and drivers assistance systems. These include Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) city and interurban, Driver Attention Alert (DAA) and High Beam Assist (HBA).

Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) (*standard on SE and above)

The i20 can be equipped with Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). LDWS alerts drivers with clear visual and acoustic warnings if the car begins to drift outside its intended lane. This can help prevent potential collisions with other vehicles.

Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) (*standard on SE above)

The Lane Keeping Assist System alerts the driver of unsafe movements at over 60 km/h by sensing the car’s position. The Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) sounds an alarm before the car moves over white, lines as well as over cat’s eyes, while LKAS warns the driver acoustically and visually before inducing corrective steering to guide the driver back to a safe position.

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) city and interurban (*standard on SE above)

The AEB (city and interurban) is an optional feature in the i20. It is an advanced active safety feature that alerts drivers to emergency situations, and brakes autonomously if required. Using a front camera, AEB operates in three stages. Stage one is initially warning the driver visually and acoustically. Stage two is controlling the brake if there is danger of collision. Stage three is applying maximum braking force to avoid a collision, or minimising the damage if a collision is unavoidable.

Driver Attention Alert (DAA) (*standard on SE above)

The i20 features Driver Attention Alert, a driver-protection feature to help monitor driving patterns in order to detect reckless or fatigued driving and prevent potential accidents. The system analyses various vehicle signals, such as steering angle, steering torque, the vehicle’s position in the lane, and driving time. In addition, the driver can adjust a user-selectable setting for the system’s sensitivity. If the system detects inattentive driving patterns, a sound and message on the instrument display panel will alert the driver.

High Beam Assist (HBA) (*standard on SE above)

When switched to automatic mode, High Beam Assist detects both oncoming vehicles and vehicles in the same lane ahead at night as well as changes to low-beam as appropriate, thereby reducing blinding effects on other drivers. When no more vehicles are detected, the system automatically reactivates the high beams, maximising the driver’s range of vision.

To further demonstrate the quality and reliability of the i20, all models are available with a unique five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

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Press release

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