Hyundai i20N £25k Hot Hatch Review: 0-60mph, Ride, Handling & Performance Test

Hyundai i20N £25k Hot Hatch Review: 0-60mph, Ride, Handling & Performance Test


The Hyundai i20N has a tricky job in life: it’s the follow-up to Hyundai’s terrific first hot hatch (the family-sized i30N) and it’s got to head into battle against the might of the spectacularly fun Ford Fiesta ST. And even the likes of Renault, Peugeot and Volkswagen have given up trying to knock the king of the small hot hatchbacks off its throne. Hyundai’s trusting that a touchscreen bursting with tech, enough modes and set-up nerdery to last a lifetime and some very zig-zaggy styling will do the job, so now it’s over to Magazine’s Serious Car Tester, Ollie Kew, to give the i20N a very close inspection.Chapters:0:00-0:34 Intro0:35-1:02 What is it?1:03-1:24 Exterior1:25-1:49 Engine1:50-2:17 Tech2:18-2:48 N Mode/N Menu2:49-3:08 Interior3:09-4:45 Acceleration4:46-5:04 Handbrake5:05-6:20 Motorway test6:21-7:07 Comfort7:12-8:48 Handling8:49-10:46 Verdict WATCH MORE TESTED: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?

who knew it turns out that not every exciting new car that’s launched in 2021 is powered by electricity no some of them still have one of those funny little old engines powered by lots of little explosions and this one it even does pop some bangs welcome back to top gear testing and welcome to the new hyundai i20s what is it it’s the difficult second album from hyundai’s end division after the brilliant i30n that’s the family sized hot hatch it’s based on hyundai’s i20 super mini as driven by your grandparents but they’ve saturated it with attitude and technology to help it drive as well as the ford fiesta st because that is as good as small fast cars get right now what does it look like it’s like a hot wheels toy that’s been sketched by a particularly angry anime cartoonist look it’s all zigzagging furious lines and the wheel’s got these chunks missing out of it for some reason and check out the size of the wing it’s enormous this is hot hatch design that is unapologetic and lairy it’s a super mini gangnam style what’s the engine refreshingly simple really 1.6 liters four cylinders one turbocharger driving the front wheels for a six-speed manual gearbox there is a front differential to help wrestle that power to the road but no hybrid boost no all-wheel drive no drift mode you even get an old-fashioned handbrake this car keeps the mechanicals simple but really goes to town on the tech will i get along with the tech well if you’re talking just turning the volume up and down or mucking about with the heating couldn’t be simpler because look we’ve still got proper buttons for it unfortunately everything else lives in this 10 inch touchscreen which is responsive and it looks cool but it is a bit fiddly and it could really do with a home button actually to get you back to the main menu we are in a hot hatch after all and stiff suspension and fiddly touchscreens are not best friends what’s the gimmick oh i thought you’d never ask there is so much to play with in the i20n look at my end menu here with my brake pressure my throttle everything about my lap times my revs and then if we swipe over this is where you set up your n custom settings this is crucial three settings for your engine angriness how on you want the traction control whether or not you want to see your g’s it to match your revs for you and then you can save all that onto the end buttons how roomy is it well you can fit a grown-up in the back seats the boot’s pretty generous for a town car the seats fold down easily which is just what you want in a hot hatch because you can hear your exhaust burbling all the time so pretty good on the whole it’s just a shame it is so dark and dingy back here how fast is it right then time for some acceleration hyundai claims naught to 60 in 6.7 seconds for this car and a top speed of 143 miles an hour which we’re not going to get to because our straight isn’t long enough but i am going to give you uh not to 60 not to 100 and a quarter mile time and the car is going to help me because up here we do have launch control which i can activate now it’ll even let me dial in or choose the revs that it holds the engine up but hyundai’s default is 3000 rpm and let’s trust them so into first gear good start handbrake off that’s definitely off the rest is kind of up to me here we go build up the revs holding it three thousand off we go oh it’s always so brutal launching a front-wheel drive car it wants to lose traction as the weight comes off the front wheels but we’re cleanly into third that’s the slightly tricky one and 85 miles an hour taking fourth indicated 95. come on give me a hundred there it is we’re just going to run past 100 make sure we’ve got the time well it’s still pulling really fast the hyundai i20n managed to just beat its claimed naught to 60 time getting there in 6.4 seconds but it then took another 10 seconds to reach 100 miles an hour getting there in 16.6 seconds and the app store’s finest tells me that the quarter mile came up in 14.6 seconds so hot hatch performance job done what about the handbrake so as you can see if you do fit a car with a proper handbrake lever instead of one of those annoying parking brake switches you can still do a good old-fashioned handbrake turn what’s it like on a motorway it’s quite firm and a little bit justly but it’s a small hot hatchback with stiff suspension because it’s a yacht so what do you expect at least out here while cruising at about 70 miles an hour it’s doing about 45 miles per gallon at the cruise which sort of makes up for the fact that it gets pretty juicy when you’re really thrapping it speaking of which let’s see what happens when you go a little bit faster settle down in top gear at 115 miles an hour i mean of course it’s rock steady here 120 no problem at all because the n in i20n well that partly stands for nurburgring it also stands for nam yang the home of hyundai in south korea but it’s the nurburgring we’re all interested in isn’t it not just for the lap times but because it is the cruelest test of how to set up a car they didn’t spend all their time on the corners they obviously made sure the i20n could hold its own all the straight bits in between as well high speed hot hatch test check is it comfy well i wasn’t looking forward to this one because of all the things that you can adjust in the i20 the revs for your launch control the loudness of the exhaust you cannot tweak the suspension stiffness it’s like this all the time and that means that if you’re just not in the mood well the i20n doesn’t care it’s always a really justly little so-and-so if you want a comfortable small hot hatch i suppose you could go and have a volkswagen polo gti but come on you don’t look at this thing and go comfortable it drives and it rides like it looks it’s angry what’s it like in a corner well if you drive the i20n like your granddad drives his i20 then you’re probably gonna start to wonder what all the fuss is all about no to really get under the skin of this car you’ve got to put it in end mode and then it becomes a bit of an animal it really does change the character of the car and what i love is that underneath this thing is just a pure old-school hot hatch it wants to pick up an inside wheel it wants to be a bit of a fruitcake but it’s using that technology to make itself more accessible it doesn’t feel kind of over complicated doesn’t feel like the computers are trying to do anything for you you can obviously turn all this rev match and engine noise nonsense off if you want it fully authentic and what’s underneath oh it’s just spot on the gear shift delectable the front diff is so tenacious and there’s just so much grip it’s a really different character to the ford fiesta st which you’ve really got to mention when you’re talking about small hot hatchbacks because well it’s been the king hasn’t it for 10 years and it’s still a fantastic car i absolutely love it i20n goes about its business slightly differently i mean it’s more accurate it’s a bit more laser focused i think you’d probably have this if you’re doing more track days because it’s the one that you’re going to set up to your absolute liking and then it’s just a bit more obedient it’s a bit more grippy underneath you rather than always wanting to act the full but don’t for a second think that it is boring this is a proper little firecracker what’s the verdict i’ll tell you what i love about this car it uses the gps to sense when you’re near a good set of bends and it actually pops up here on the dashboard right in front of you it says hmm s bends ahead would you like end mode it’s not a car that’s been designed and engineered for lap times or for bad snobs it’s here to have fun and that’s what we need we need cars you can have fun in on the road and do so without taking up lots of space without burning lots of fuel and without spending too much money i mean this thing is 25 grand with the diff and the sport seats and the great looking floor mats and the modes and the wing there’s absolutely everything you’d need on it to have a cracking time and a hot hatch and it costs bang on what it should do in 2021 i’ll tell you what as well it’s proof that hyundai no they’re not a fluke gave us the i30n and we thought maybe that thing the golf gti rival perhaps it was beginners like oh not a bit of it they’ve come out with the i20n and i think it’s even better i’m not sure what they could have done to make this a better car maybe a slightly fruitier engine that’s my only criticism i think that this four-cylinder ah it doesn’t sound quite as exotic as the little three-cylinder in the fiesta it’s it’s just a good engine it’s a good engine there we go his problem is that it lives in an absolutely fantastic car this isn’t just one of the best hot hatches you can buy right now this has to be one of the star cars of 2021

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