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Hyundai i20 Active: A good buy in its segment

April 28, 2016 12:42 IST
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The Hyundai i20 Active is an equipment-loaded car which increases the practicality of a hatchback, says Faisal Khan,

The Indian automotive market has changed significantly with the SUV body-type attracting more attention from a lot of buyers.

This demand has led to the opening of quite a lot of new segments, one of them being that of the compact-crossover.

This segment appeals to those buyers who want the looks of an SUV with the affordability and practicality of a hatchback.

There aren't many choices out there and the Hyundai i20 Active is one of the top alternatives in this segment.

We drove the i20 Active for a few months in Mumbai to check out how it fares.

The Hyundai i20 is a big hatchback and the size of the Active is pretty much the same.

We grew fond of the SUV styling elements, the silver skid plates, roof rails and black cladding which really give the car some SUV DNA.

Though, very similar to the Elite i20, the Active looks more rugged and has better road presence too.

The insides are a comfortable place to be in. Since our test car is silver in colour, it gets the aqua blue treatment to the interiors.

We honestly prefer the tangerine orange theme which is seen in the darker body colours as it looks more sporty and subtle.

All lighter body colours come with aqua blue colour scheme.

Some top of the line features are the talking point of the car. It comes with projector headlamps which not only add a lot of bling but are also very effective in the dark.

You also get turn-with-steering lamps and if you love to flaunt DRLs on your car, Hyundai has offered them standard on the i20 Active.

Apart from this, all the other features of the Elite have been carried over and they offer a lot of convenience and practicality to the entire package.

The interior is very spacious by hatchback standards and seating three adults at the back is not uncomfortable.

Tall passengers might feel thigh support to be lacking but the seats offer good cushioning. No one complained even on long drives.

We have been driving the i20 Active in both city and highway situations with an occasional countryside run too.

The CRDI diesel engine produces 90 PS of power and 220 Nm of torque which is more than adequate for all scenarios. We really liked the linear performance this oil-burner offers.

The cherry on the cake is the light clutch and butter smooth transmission which makes it quite easy to drive the car in peak hour traffic.

As compared to the Elite i20, the Active also has better low-end torque delivery and it's evident when you start driving the car.

The 6-speed gearbox is quite sorted and works well in both city as well as highway conditions with a tall sixth gear enabling the Active to be a comfortable cruiser.

The high speed stability of the i20 Active is very good and the steering feels more responsive as compared to the Elite i20 with slightly better feedback on offer.

Hyundai has significantly improved when it comes to handling and the Active has a more stiffer suspension than its hatchback counterpart.

A drive around the ghats gives you good confidence to push the pedal harder but still the handling has a lot of scope for improvement.

Handling has never really been Hyundai's forte but the Active has matured and bettered in this dynamic.

The higher ground clearance hasn't compromised on the handling characteristics much.

The ride quality is pretty good even when the car is fully loaded with adults and a boot full of luggage. 

The i20 Active CRDI is churning good fuel efficiency of 16-17 km/l which feels very economical.

We have come to the conclusion that the car feels very practical for day-to-day usage and is a good buy in its segment.

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