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Hyundai i20 interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

Gone are the days when superminis felt flimsy and lacked standard equipment. The Hyundai i20 feels grown up and modern inside, partly thanks to its large touchscreen. In fact, the screen and the steering wheel are very much like the Hyundai Tucson, and the i20 borrows some of the Tucson’s tech as well.

All the buttons feel solid and tactile, and we like that Hyundai has stuck to physical controls for things like the air-con settings. The car seems to be built really well, suggesting it’ll cope with the rigours of family life. While there are some soft pads on the door cards and the steering wheel is fairly soft, some of the plastics feel hard and cheap. The straked dashboard design looks very plasticky, especially in a light grey colour, although it does make the interior much more interesting than the design of the Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo. You also don’t get a lot of the blank buttons that you’ll see in the Renault Clio.

Grab an i20 in N Line trim and you’ll get red stitching everywhere you look – on the steering wheel, the handbrake, gear lever and seats – as well as red air vent accents. We’ll leave you to decide whether it’s the right amount of sporty or a bit much.

Standard equipment

SE Connect isn’t a quiz show, it’s the starting point of the i20 lineup. But it scores plenty of points, with 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a rear-view camera, all-round electric windows, lane-keep assist and auto emergency braking. This trim level was renamed Advance when the i20 was facelifted in 2023, presumably so you don’t mistake it for a pretentious TV quiz.

Premium sits on 17-inch alloys, and really turns up the kit count. There are heated seats and a heated steering wheel, climate control, auto wipers, LED headlights, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, privacy glass and power-folding door mirrors. N Line gets most of this kit with a sporty look.

Top-spec Ultimate boasts a black roof, keyless entry, a Bose sound system, wireless phone charging and blind-spot monitoring.

The standalone i20 N gets 18-inch wheels, lots of red detailing, half-leather sports seats with blue stitching, and a limited-slip differential for better cornering.

Watch out for the Element trim level, a ‘special edition’ that came in the middle of the microchip shortage. While it does get a small touchscreen with phone connectivity, cruise control and a reversing camera, it misses out on the digital dials and emergency braking, among other things. 

Infotainment and audio

Almost every i20 gets a set of deliciously crisp digital dials. They’re not the most configurable but are lovely to look at, and change colour when you change the driving mode. Simple things. The dials also remind you which setting the wipers are on and, on top-spec cars, will remind you not to leave passengers in the back seats.

The touchscreen is quick to respond and pretty easy to use, with shortcut tiles for the main functions and widgets to easily navigate around the menus – although having different colours for the on-screen widgets would make them stand out more at a glance.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are fitted as standard, whether you get the eight-inch screen in lower-spec models or the 10.25-inch big boy that’s fitted in higher-spec models.

Rear seat space

The i20 is a fraction over four metres long, almost exactly matching the Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa. Impressively, the i20 is probably better for rear-seat passengers than those cars – as well as other rivals like the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Micra. There’s enough room in the i20 for a quartet of six-footers, with plenty of headroom and just enough legroom to not make it feel cramped.

If your passengers are smaller, the i20 also offers enough space for child seats, and the Isofix points are easy enough to find. Toddlers should have no problem climbing into their seats by themselves, because the i20 is a low-slung hatchback, not an SUV.

There aren’t many plush materials back there, though. The door cards are large slabs of hollow plastic, although the seats themselves are nicely upholstered. Mid- and high-spec cars get a rear USB socket for charging your devices.

Boot space

Pay attention to whether the i20 you buy has a mild-hybrid engine – if it does, you’ll get much less boot space than if not. Considering the battery is a puny 0.44kWh, it robs almost 100 litres from the i20’s overall luggage space. Cars with the 48V mild-hybrid system offer 262 litres of boot space – less than the majority of rivals – but cars without the electrification offer 352 litres in total. That’s likely to include the underfloor storage area but, even so, that’s a lot closer to the class leaders.

Flipping the seats down gives you over 1,000 litres to fill if you don’t mind loading to the roof. The opening is fairly wide and tall, so you should be able to load most large items into the i20’s boot.

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