Road Test Review: Hyundai i20 Ultimate

Independent review by Edward Stephens

5-minute read

Hyundai i20 Ultimate Side

Road Test: Hyundai i20 Ultimate

Explore the key features of the Hyundai i20 Ultimate in our expert road test review

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The Hyundai i20 has a lot going for it in terms of road presence and performance, making it one of the most popular supermini's on offer.


  • Fun to drive
  • Modern design
  • Packed with technology
  • 5-year warranty
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If budget constraints mean you need to go small on size, it sometimes pays to consider going big on spec.

And that's true with the i20, the second-smallest car in Hyundai's line-up.

While you could opt for the cheaper base model, the top-of-the-range Ultimate version offers so much that you could easily be riding around in a car several categories higher.

Not only does that bring with it a feel-good factor, but it can also give you the edge when the time comes to trade in your prized possession.

Design and Practicality

The i20 has always been a popular supermini, but the latest version is now much more stylish, much sharper, and a much more appealing buy.

It’s lower, longer, and wider, and with its wider grille and more aggressive looking headlights it now has the kerb appeal the model lacked for so long.

Along with the higher spec comes more visual appeal as the Ultimate has contrasting roof and body colours to make it stand out in the crowd.

Similarly, the interior has a contrast in colours, with the higher section in black and the lower parts in grey.

Engines and Performance

There’s only one engine available so whichever spec you opt for you will get the same 1.0-litre, turbocharged 48-volt mild hybrid, 3-cylinder unit but with a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.

Go for the Ultimate version, as driven here, and you get the 7-speed automatic box as standard, along with three driving modes – eco, comfort and sport – which gives you plenty of flexibility on the road.

I found the Eco mode – which the car always defaults to when you switch off the ignition – a little too sluggish, but Comfort mode is fine for everyday motoring, and you can always liven things up a bit with Sport mode.

In Sport, the i20 genuinely feels like a car with a much bigger engine rather than a sub-1.0-litre one, and will satisfy the needs of most family hatchback buyers.

Whichever mode you drive in, the i20 handles motorway speeds with ease, feeling stable and reasonably well planted, unlike a lot of small cars.
Edward Stephens

Thanks in part to the mild hybrid system, the i20 boasts an impressive 53.5mpg, average fuel consumption.

Equipment and Technology

Then there’s keyless entry and exit, keyless ignition, cruise control, air conditioning, heated front seats, and even a heated steering wheel and armrest.

Add to that a Bose premium sound system with eight speakers, and it’s easy to see why the Ultimate has so much appeal when it comes to everyday driving.

The layout is both smart and functional with super sharp, easy to read dials, an 8-inch central touch screen - with a useful split view showing.

There’s even a speed readout on the passenger side of the map, so your other half will always be aware when you are over the speed limit. A feature which may not appeal to everyone.

Switches and dials are extremely intuitive. There’s a normal knob for the radio volume not to mention a conventional handbrake, both of which are getting rarer on new cars.


The Hyundai i20 in Ultimate spec lives up to its name in many ways, including driving experience, practicality, and equipment. And as with all Hyundai models, you get a full 5-year, unlimited mileage warranty to round off what is a nice little package.