Starting as a repair business it has become one of the most significant players in the industry.
Hyundai was established in 1967, came to the UK in 1982, the i20 was launched in the UK in 2009 before being revised in 2012 and a new generation is being readied for 2015.
It means there are some very good deals to be had with the current series and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the best selling 1.2 Style.
This offers a bit more than the Active and Style model is equipped with16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rain sensing front wipers, climate control along with an automatic dimming rear view mirror with an integrated reversing camera – the first standard application of this technology in the segment.
It is an ideal car for commuting, the school run, shopping and so long as you are not in a real hurry, longer journeys.
The boot expands from a nominal 300 litres to over 1,000 litres with the rear seat folded and while there is a lot of room infront the legroom is tight for even a tall teenager.
The willing 1.2 litre engine spins easily and pulls reasonably well even if you have to encourage it along with the gears, but that’s no hardship with a light clutch and very direct change-action. It turns and stops with agility and confidence.
Noise levels are not very hight, the most noticeable being road rumbles unless the engine is really revved through the gears.
The instruments are fairly basic but clear and there is no issue with them and the usual warning lights come up brightly.
Air conditioning is standard and the system is straightforward and works well with good output, direction and temperature control, backed up by front and rear electric windows, but a sunroof is not available.
Visibility is good with low waistline and little overhang either end, good wipers and fairly bright lights.
Access is good and there is a lot of room in the front seats, which also adjust over a good range, and headroom is generous throughout.
Bad bumps will be felt inside, but generally the Hyundai i20 coped well with most surfaces, it rolled a bit on tight corners and its handling mean to liked to run wide on some bends, but easing off the throttle immediately brought it back on line without any drama.
Driven within sensible limits for the engine and making the most of the gearing we passed 50mpg overall, which was impressive and surprisingly close to the official combined figure, which is unusual even in economy cars.
The long warranty is particularly attractive now that the series is reaching the end of its run and with some negotiation the package could be a no-brainer.
You are unlikely to be disappointed with the Hyundai i20, but will be probably be very delighted.
|Hyundai i20 Style 5 door||Price: £12,580|
|Insurance group: 5 E||Mechanical: 84hp 4cyl 1248cc petrol engine, 5sp|
|Max speed: 112 mph||0-62mph: 12.7 sec|
|Combined mpg: 57.6 mpg (51mpg on test)||CO2 emissions: 114 gkm|
|Warranty: 5yrs/ 100,000 miles|