Hyundai Elite i20 review: Beauty is in the 'i' of the beholder

Aug 23 2014, 13:26 IST
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Hyundai i20 Elite is priced between Rs 4.9 lakh to Rs 7.67 lakh. Hyundai i20 Elite is priced between Rs 4.9 lakh to Rs 7.67 lakh.
SummaryBy far the handsomest car in hatchback segment, Hyundai Elite i20's styling is mature, restrained.

What makes a car beautiful? Is it futuristic lines, sleek upscale appearance, ultra-modern looks—or is it a bold, understated and ageless design? Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. The first-generation Hyundai i20 was one such car—people liked its design, yet some felt it didn’t look bold enough. But then design is an ever-evolving process. So when Hyundai decided to enter a new design phase—called Fluidic Sculpture 2.0—it chose the i20 to embody that language in India and gave the car a new name, the Elite i20.

Exterior

Sleek, but not over-the-top. Curvaceous, but not bulbous. Futuristic, but not ahead of its time. The Elite i20 is one such car that will elicit unanimous praise and approval. Why? Because, looking at it closely, you won’t find a line or a curve wrong with this car. Its styling is mature and restrained, and the car has an element of boldness that was missing earlier.

While a single-frame 3D hexagonal grille is a key styling element at the front, the elongated sweptback headlamps and trapezoidal fog lamps complete the look. The large bonnet imparts the Elite i20 a big-car feel and the front three-quarter glance makes you realise how premium the car is. Looking at it from the sides, the 16-inch wheels give it a slightly raised stance and what especially attracts attention is the black C pillar. At the rear, the tail-lamps have an artistic feel to them. The outgoing i20 had these daytime running lights (DRLs) but the Elite i20 doesn’t get DRLs—probably a good thing because anyway those DRLs looked too Audi-esque.

(While the top-spec Elite i20 gets 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, the entry-level models get 14-inch wheels. How gracefully small tyres fill the large wheel arches remains to be seen.)

Interior

Hyundais have been feature-rich cars. The Elite i20 takes the bar higher. The first thing you will notice is a driver-focused cabin. The multi-function steering wheel comes with audio and Bluetooth controls, and the music player gets 1 GB internal memory. The car gets something called the FATC (fully automatic temperature control), which essentially is a one-touch ambient cabin temperature command. Both the driver and front passenger get a console armrest with storage box, and the driver’s seat can be adjusted for height. The central locking button has been moved to the centre console and thus even the front passenger can use the button. The

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