Hyundai's ix20 is perhaps one of the most relevant small cars on sale right now.
The ix20 is a close cousin to the Kia Venga, so we had an idea what to expect and since we have already driven the ix20 at the car's European launch in Croatia earlier in the year, we knew that the ix20 isn't a bad looking car. It feels really nicely built, which isn't all that surprising anymore.
When: December 2010
What: Hyundai ix20 1.4-litre Diesel
Occasion: Irish test drive
Inside & Out: 3.5/5
The ix20 is a close cousin to the Kia Venga, so we had an idea what to expect and since we have already driven the ix20 at the car's European launch in Croatia earlier in the year, we knew that the ix20 isn't a bad looking car. It feels really nicely built, which isn't all that surprising anymore. Hyundais generally feel well put together these days.
Slightly bigger than something like a Ford Fiesta, there is plenty of leg- and headroom up front and in the rear, while you can slide the rear bench seat to get more legroom or luggage space. The quality of the materials used in the ix20 is good too. There is a leather steering wheel and gear knob and the plastics used are first rate.
Engine & Transmission: 3.5/5
You have a choice of two engines in the ix20: a 90hp petrol engine, which will make up about 30 percent of sales, and then there is the car we drove, the 90hp 1.4-litre diesel. Granted, the diesel is more expensive, but it will be marginally cheaper to run and will almost certainly be more welcome at the dealership when you go to trade in again.
The 1.4-litre diesel is no rocket; it takes over 14 seconds for it to get to 100km/h, but this won't be a major concern for most buyers in this segment. However, when you do get it going it is fine and this engine is strong enough for motorway commuting. It is quiet and pretty refined too.
Ride & Handling: 3.5/5
At the European launch of the Hyundai ix20 we were surprised by how decent this car is in terms of steering and handling - and the same applies at home in Ireland. There is a good level of feedback from the steering and the ride copes well with a variety of surfaces. In and around town is where this car feels most at home and with the large glass area it is easy to see out of it. Unsurprisingly it is a doddle to park too.
You are unlikely to feel the need to really push this car hard, but even if you do it acquits itself quite well. This is a really competent little car.
Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: 4.5/5
This car scores really highly here. For a start, the petrol model starts at €17,495 and since this is still in Band B, this isn't going to cost a fortune to run. However, you are probably still a little better off coughing up €1,500 more and getting the diesel. All ix20s get air conditioning, a multifunction steering wheel, USB and auxiliary inputs and Bluetooth - which operates your phone and audio system (it works really well with an iPhone).
As we mentioned already, this car has emissions of 119g/km so it sits in motor tax Band A, while fuel consumption of 4.3 litres/100km is really impressive.
You get a five-year warranty with the ix20, as well as five-year roadside assistance and five-year vehicle health check so at this price it is a really good offering.
CompleteCar Index: 4/5
Hyundai ix20 1.4-litre Diesel
•Engine: 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
•Maximum power: 90hp at 4,000rpm
•Maximum torque: 219Nm at 1,750rpm
•Acceleration (0-100km/h): 14.5 seconds
•Maximum speed: 242km/h
•Fuel economy (combined cycle): 4.3 litres/100km (65.7)
•CO2 emissions: 119g/km
•Motor tax band: A
•Annual road tax: €104
•Retail price: Official price of test car without options is €18,995