With bookings piling up and Hyundai struggling to keep up with the skyrocketing demand of new Elite i20, we at ECARDLR decided to compare this new Elite i20 to its predecessor. The motive of this old versus new comparison is to actually locate the fountainhead of Elite i20 success along with mulling on aspects where its predecessor lacked. Even though an overview of the Elite i20 can easily reveal its true mettle, a comparison to predecessor will make things even more straightforward for our readers to comprehend. So without any further ado, experts’ team at ECARDLR brings you comparison of new and old generation of Hyundai’s i20 premium hatchback.
New Elite i20 is notches above in both looks and interior department than old generation i20 that it has replaced recently. In fact Elite i20 has set a benchmark for the segment with its contemporary, sophisticated and elegant design language. Unlike older i20 that was a bit overboard in terms of fluidic design usage, new Elite i20 has uses the second iteration of this design theme dubbed as Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 philosophy. Leave aside the jargon the moot point is that this new design iteration is not only looks more elegant and sophisticated it also steers clear from offending the conservative design ethos that is still intact in mind of most of the prospective customers.
Elite i20: Handsome design
Low slung nose, long stretched angular headlamps and unique chrome outlined grille makes new Elite i20 frontage elegant as well as sophisticated. A unique air of understated design augments the appeal of i20 and along with floating roof and wrap-around rear windscreen impression new i20 trounces every other car in segment on designing aspect.
Old i20: Immature footprints
Older i20 was a good looking car too though it clearly lacked the sophistication and elegance of its present avatar. Older i20 was having a trough like air dam that is now replaced by large hexagonal secondary grill in new Elite i20. Further the older i20 had a dropping roofline that really ate a lot of rear head space which is not the case with new i20. Further there were no blacked out C-pillars in older i20 as feature in new Elite i20 that makes the newer car a more handsome and substantial look.
Inside the cabin differences are even more dramatic that we have just assessed on outside. New Elite i20 is miles ahead than its outgoing model in each and every aspect of critical consideration. Be it quality of interiors, ambience, space or equipment; Elite i20 has raised the class benchmark and can even compete with segment-higher cars on the aforementioned criteria.
Elite i20: Soothing interiors
New Elite i20 features a far more superior lay-out and cabin design compared to older one. Two-tone dash board with bright coloured seats lift up the cabin ambience in addition to making the whole environment roomier and spacious. Further new steering wheel with loads of equipment whip up the intensity of challenge that new Elite i20 now poses for challengers. Best-in-class wheelbase and practically laid-out boot ensures that this new Hyundai doesn’t lose out to competition on even a single aspect.
Old i20: Unanimated cabin
Older i20 was definitely not as premium as newer one is and even the lay out was unimpressive in its turnout. Though quality and finishing was of top-notch, still older i20 didn’t feel the premium it should have felt given its position in premium hatchback segment. Further the steering wheel that was a straight lift from i10 was not able to hold candle with chunky units as featured by its competitors. Space was good in the older i20 but the newer model features even more room as 45 mm has been added to wheelbase of new Elite i20.
Unchanged Under The Hood
There has been no alteration in mechanical and suspension hardware as new Elite i20 features the same power trains as featured in older i20. Elite i20 comes with two engine options: 1.2-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel however the option of 1.4-litre petrol has been omitted from variant list of new Elite i20 that was there in older model. We presume Hyundai has reserved 1.4-litre petrol for face-lift version that could be coupled with automatic to embellish mid-life posture of Elite i20. In terms of performance one crucial difference in case of diesel engine is high drivability of newer model. In a stark contrast to older i20, new Elite i20 in its diesel avatar feels less sluggish at lower revolutions. The total absence of low-end torque is not exactly true for Elite i20 that in fact features better grunt at low revolutions.
Elite i20: Drivable oil-burner
Further an extra addition of 6th gear in transmission gives new Elite i20 better legs on highways as cruising feels more effortless than older i20 featuring 5-speed gearbox. Further the addition of dead pedal, progressive lighter clutch and precise gear shift make Elite i20 engine tranny package far more enjoyable than older i20. However on steering feedback there has not been any significant improvement as this new version of i20 treads the same lifeless path inhabited by its predecessor.
As the case with engine, suspension too remains unchanged in new model though significant efforts have been made to make Elite i20 a better driving car and it is indeed a more involving car to drive than its predecessor. Ride quality is fantastic and Hyundai’s soaking ability has gone up further with Elite i20. However it is handling of new i20 that impresses us a lot simply because expected nothing great on this front from Hyundai.
Elite i20: Matured road etiquettes
We prepared ourselves to be tossed around as we ready to go around corners but then Elite i20 didn’t feel as horrific as its predecessor or for the sake other Hyundai were. The overindulgence on softness of springs has gone and Hyundai has now showed a mature move as it finally starts listening to complaints about its suspension settings. We hope to see even better driving cars from company’s staple in future.
There hasn’t been any drastic change in prices and Hyundai has done a commendable job by keeping the prices under control. Trim for trim comparison of new and old i20 reveals that the price hasn’t exceeded by more than Rs 10,000 for any of the model. What makes this commendable pricing job even impressive is the fact that new Elite i20 is a huge step up compared to older i20. In each and every critical aspect, new i20 is leagues ahead of its predecessor and all of this in the almost same price as of older i20. Now it is crystal clear why it is hard to resist the package of new Elite i20.