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First drive: Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.

First drive: Hyundai i20 Active
Hyundai's i20 crosses over with the all-new Active model.

   



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Hyundai i20 Active

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Hyundai gets street-smart with its i20 by applying the crossover touch to the hatchback, creating the all-new Active model in the process. As with all i20s, the newcomer is a likeable machine and as it comes with just one engine and one specification, it's an easy car to comprehend.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Hyundai i20 Active 1.0 T-GDi 100
Pricing: i20 Active range starts from 15,225; car as tested 15,225
Engine: 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmission: front-wheel drive, five-speed manual
Body style: five-door hatchback
CO2 emissions: 110g/km (VED Band B, 0 first 12 months, 20 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 58.9mpg
Top speed: 109mph
0-62mph: 10.9 seconds
Power: 100hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 171Nm at 1,500- to 4,000rpm

What's this?

The all-new Hyundai i20 Active, which is not to be confused with the ix20 mini-MPV; instead, the Active is based on the regular i20 floor pan and features some, ah, 'rugged' additions to make it into a crossover. Therefore, it sits 20mm higher than an i20 and features the usual external signifiers of a 'soft-roader': plastic cladding on the lower portions of its body, faux skid plates centre front and rear, revised bumpers all round and some roof rails. You'll also notice it has round fog lights fore and aft, which further differentiate it from the hatchback.

Hyundai will be selling the Active in one specification level only, so owners will benefit from 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a DAB radio and rear parking sensors as standard, among a lengthy kit list including cruise control, air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity. Don't expect any mud-plugging styling cues inside, though, as the Active has an identical interior to the five-door i20, save for a slightly different digital display in the instrument cluster. And Hyundai won't be offering four-wheel drive on the Active any time soon, as it simply doesn't see the point due to the extra costs involved. You'll want one, then, purely on exterior looks and exterior looks alone.

How does it drive?

There's only one engine for the Active, which is the new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit that we've already sampled in the normal i20. This compact powerplant is a gem, the Active getting the less powerful 100hp version with the five-speed manual gearbox, but retaining the same 171Nm peak torque figure as the more potent variant. As a result, it doesn't feel appreciably slower than the 120hp engine, but we would say you need to be a little more aware of what gear you select in the wider-spaced five-speed transmission to avoid the Active labouring on occasion.

The 20mm increase in ride height does alter the i20 driving experience slightly, although not by enough to change our opinion of Hyundai's supermini overall. The taller suspension brings a little more body roll than you'd find in the lower five-door car, but the inclusion of 17-inch wheels - rather than the 16s of the Premium i20 - doesn't make the crossover's ride any better, or worse. And you don't really notice the Active's extra loftiness from behind the wheel, either, so don't go expecting to be looking down on other road users.

However, this isn't to say we don't like the i20 Active. It proves to be just as comfortable, refined and decently nippy as a normal i20. The steering is still too light and the chassis remains rather inert, but in all other respects it's a thoroughly pleasant machine that's happy pootling around town, cruising along open A-roads or making progress at motorway speeds. The only note of caution we would sound is that, looping around the same 63-mile route we drove the i20 120hp, the Active was a little further off its official combined figure, giving back just 39.5mpg.

Verdict

Do you like the Hyundai i20? Do you wish it had a pretence of off-road ability, coupled with some well-executed body addenda? Then the Active is your choice. In a world of Renault Capturs and Nissan Jukes and Ford EcoSports and Vauxhall Mokkas, the Hyundai proves to be great value, nicely styled and possessed of a fine little three-cylinder engine. It could have done with a slightly more exciting interior to go with the exterior promise, but otherwise this is an excellent and fully understandable addition to the i20 line-up.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

3 3 3 3 3 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 17 Feb 2016



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2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.

2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.



2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.
 

2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.
 

2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.
 

2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.
 

2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.
 

2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.
 

2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.
 

2016 Hyundai i20 Active. Image by Hyundai.
 






 

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