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Hyundai i20 Automatic: How good is it?

Last updated on: February 23, 2011 15:43 IST

Hyundai i20 Automatic: How good is it?

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Ameya Naik, CarWale.com

"Which automatic car should I buy for my dad?" our marketing head asked a day before we were to test the Hyundai i20 automatic. "Hang in there," I said.

The timing of the i20 was quite right. Our long-termer Skoda Laura(automatic) was away and after driving it for some time, I was used to the comforts of an automatic.

This i20 automatic promised the prowess of the original with a more comfortable transmission. Did it match up? I find out.

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Image: Hyundai i20 Automatic
Photographs: CarWale.com
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Hyundai i20 Automatic: How good is it?

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Except for the Auto and 1.4 badges, the Hyundai i20 Automatic is identical to its manual counterpart. The car has the same clear lens head lamps and the waistline crease that rises toward the rear.

On the inside too, nothing changes except the gear selector. After the facelift, the red backlit dials are now blue -- a standard colour seen on all the new Hyundais.

The automatic variant of the i20 gets a 1.4-litre petrol engine which churns out 99bhp of power and 137Nm of torque.

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Hyundai i20 Automatic: How good is it?

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The engine comes mated to a four-speed automatic transmission with tall gears, due to which the engine doesn't feel responsive enough.

The revs do eventually grow but the power output isn't phenomenal. In our performance run, the i20 reached 100kph in 14.5 seconds, which is due to the four-speed box.

Step on the gas and the autobox does take a while to downshift. 

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Hyundai i20 Automatic: How good is it?

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We wish the i20 came with a five-speed automatic transmission as it would have suited the drive better.

The i20 worked well on the fuel efficiency meter. In bumper-to-bumper city driving, we got a figure of 10.10kpl which is notable for automatic petrol.

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Hyundai i20 Automatic: How good is it?

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Even the highway figures were impressive, about 15.2kpl. We got the worst figure of 9.8kpl during our performance run.

This Korean hatchback hasn't undergone any changes in its suspension and sports McPherson struts at its front and a torsion beam at its rear. The suspension has been set-up for better ride quality and the handling is decent.

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Hyundai i20 Automatic: How good is it?

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The suspension set-up suggests that the hatchback has been built to be driven in the city. It has a well-balanced chassis, but the steering does feel slack on bends. 

The i20 with all the bells and whistles is a great package and our marketing head was impressed with the styling and offered features.

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Hyundai i20 Automatic: How good is it?

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Price

The only aspect not in favour of the car is its pricing. The Hyundai i20 automatic costs Rs 8.76 lakh (Rs 876,000) -- on-road, Mumbai -- which is steep since it is a petrol automatic hatchback.

But working in its favour is the fact that the i20 doesn't have any competition in its segment.

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Hyundai i20 Automatic: How good is it?

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However, the SX4 automatic seems to be more value for money as it only costs Rs 95,000 more than the i20.

But if you're looking for a premium hatchback with automatic transmission, the Hyundai i20 is the only option available.




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