Tushar BurmanSeptember 13, 2021 10:42:52 IST
“I think it’s too expensive” is the most common reaction to the price of the new Hyundai i20 N line, and for that matter, all range topping hatchbacks that far exceed the price of the attractive base model. With the i20 N line up to Rs 11.75 (in front of the showroom), you might be wondering if you need an additional 30% damping on your ride if you can use the Mahindra XUV700 for about the same amount. However, the more it is, the better it is. It’s not that simple. If so, our market will be an incredibly cheap and efficient market for tempo travelers. Hyundai believes it has the right combination of premium and sporty features to warm the market for a bright future with a new warm hatch.
The Hyundai i20 N line is a really sporty i20
At a recent press drive event on the N-Line, Hyundai took care to ease expectations for a premium hatch. Marketing exaggerations were subdued, few big claims were made, and specific details about the changes were shared. As a reader, you also need to calm down in this review. Yes, Hyundai participated in the World Rally Championship on the i20, and yes, if you squint hard, it’s a bit like that rally car, but this is still an economic hatch as far as the world is concerned. The Korean carmaker has a 1.0-liter turbo 3-cylinder petrol engine that works on a regular i20 and is in the same tuned state: 118 hp, 172 Nm. This is enough for a small petrol engine, so we don’t consider it negative.
Hyundai counts 27 changes over the regular i20 on the N line, but it’s the disc brakes on all four wheels that really make a significant difference in driving feel and dynamics (less i20 has drums at the rear). There is), suspension, a stiffer steering feel, and a fruity exhaust note with twin tips. Models with a dual clutch transmission also have a paddle shifter that is not available on the standard i20. Then there’s a myriad of cosmetic touches, including dark leather seats, contrast stitching, red bumper and skirt accents, spoilers, and red calipers. They all look amazingly handsome looking cars without looking extra.
The new N-line is available in three trims with either a clutchless manual transmission (iMT) or a full-on dual clutch automatic (DCT). Prices range from 9.84 rupees to 11.75 rupees (in front of the showroom).
A word about technology
Hyundai deserves some recognition because of its technology stack. Bluelink connected cars and infotainment packages haven’t received half the coverage of the more vocal peers, but in reality, voice commands work well and UX may not be pretty, but it works. I found out that. The companion app is also simple and has the usual features such as live location tracking, remote climate control, start / stop, lock / unlock, driving statistics, travel logs and more.
The 10.25-inch touch screen on the N8 range topping model looks beautiful and is easy to read in all situations. However, the UI layout may be better. For example, if you connect to an Apple smartphone via a cable (wireless CarPlay is not available), the CarPlay interface occupies only a small part of the huge screen and the rest is used for other notifications and system information. It is really a pity. If you choose to use native navigation, you can use it. The test was responsive. In general, onboard navigation systems are no excuse for maps. Hyundai is better, but I’m having trouble tracking GPS locations live.
The music is provided by seven top-spec Bose speakers, and there are few complaints about entering the sales cycle.
Interior: Familiar, practical and pop like the i20
As expected, the i20 N-line is the same as the standard i20 in terms of internal volume, but takes into account a boy racer with a dark theme, N-line branded leatherette seats, red dash accents and a unique leather wrap. Gear shifter for both iMT and DCT variations. The seats are pretty nice and the leatherette fits and finishes great. The i20 is a large hatchback for traveling all the time, and this also applies to the N line. The rear feet are wide and the three rows of seats are possible without much discomfort. 311 liter boots are also practical.
The quality of the plastic is fine and the texture is light and complements the hollow feel. This seems to be a standard trick for most manufacturers. There is no touch of fabric to make up. It’s all plastic, but the red accents provide a visual break. The mainstream center console is a large, wide 10.25-inch touch screen. Driver Vinacle’s standard multifunction display feels like it missed the opportunity for a TFT screen, but it sounds like a fairly expensive feature, so this MFD in favor of the dynamic bit that Hyundai added to the car. Live with. In general, the cabin feels higher than that of a typical hatchback and has a premium feel.
On the go: soft and comfortable, with more feel
In my experience, Hyundai cars have always had luxurious suspension and featherlight steering, which is just not suitable for enthusiastic driving. In essence, this is what the N line is trying to improve. The engine was already accepted in this type of vehicle and price range, but the N-line has taken driving dynamics to the next level with changes in suspension, brakes, steering and transmission. These are the only 27 changes claimed, which will have a significant impact on what the car feels like driving.
Starting with suspension, a 30 percent increase in damping is the claim we can’t test. Do you feel stiff? Yes, but only a few. The high speed sweeper saw the car roll a little, contrary to my expectations. The average Volkswagen Polo feels stiffer. It handles well and doesn’t panic. Probably the trade-off it was made. Still soft and comfortable, but the twist is flatter. There was no screaming or shaking in the rough areas of the road. This is great.
The four-wheel disc brakes were reassuring and worked well in our tests. The highways in Rajasthan were full of cows and stray dogs, and I had to brake from time to time. I don’t feel enough, but there is no drama to stop by. Brakes are progressive and get the job done.
Perhaps my favorite feature of the new N-line is the steering feel. The typical Hyundai little finger rotation ability has been eliminated and replaced by this solid and stiff steering feel. Curiously, there are a lot of “dead” motions near the center of the wheel position, but the car is pretty confident around the winding road. On the contrary, if you hold high speed in the corners, this provides great confidence. I will take over this steering more than any other steering in the Hyundai India lineup.
The DCT transmission is a bit of a mistake for me. While the dual clutch unit is stagnant or worse, the torque converter’s automatic feels like it’s coming a long way. Hyundai’s DCT on the N line is slow and lagging around town. Clearly tuned for comfort and commuting. If you really step on the gas and keep it in “sports” mode, it tends to hold the spin longer, but that’s all about. Shifts, whether automatic or via a dedicated paddle shifter, are slow and generally don’t feel very sporty. I didn’t have a chance to try the iMT clutchless manual transmission, but I was told that I could operate it more enthusiastically. Probably next time.
Verdict: Moderate premium and modest differentiation
The Hyundai i20N line is available in three trims: N6 iMT, N8 iMT and N8 DCT. All variations have a wide range of safety and convenience features, so no matter what you choose, one will not change in a short period of time. Is it a “hot hatch”? No, it’s warm at best, but much warmer than its competitors, who have few valuables. Fiat Punto Abalt was a strong candidate, but unfortunately the brand bowed, like many other brands in India. The N-Line is a fun car to drive, elegantly decorated and premium enough to drive without problems for work or events hosting more swish wheels.
With a premium of Rs50,000 above the top of the standard i20 range, Dynamic AIDS makes the N line worth the money. But we are still talking about nearly 14 rupees on the road for the hatchback. This may sound like ridiculous money, but at some point the market needs to exceed a hatchback of Rs 50,000 with a minimal feature set. Hyundai seems to be betting its money on a strategy that goes beyond the sub 4m hatchback category. If you’ve seen the i30 or similar large premium hatchbacks in the country, you should be accustomed to paying for them.
— to ohionewstime.com