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HYUNDAI I20 FACELIFT & ACTIVE IN SOUTH AFRICA SOON

Hyundai’s top-selling i20 compact hatchback has been smartly updated and the refreshed range will be introduced in South Africa in May 2018, replete with a new flagship Active crossover derivative.
The Hyundai i20 is a popular choice in the B-segment hatchback market and the South Korean carmaker has given the i20 a makeover to ensure that it can effectively compete against rivals such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Kia Rio, Mazda2, to name a few.

Key changes
Exterior and interior styling

Hyundai’s top-selling i20 compact hatchback has been smartly updated and the refreshed range will be introduced in South Africa in May 2018, replete with a new flagship Active crossover derivative.

The most prominent styling change can be seen up front with a redesigned front bumper and cascading grille. The rear bumper has also been reworked and combination taillights complement the new look. The tailgate integrates the license plate and top-spec i20 derivatives will ride on either newly designed 16-inch alloy wheels (it remains to be seen if this design will be offered on the local market, however) or 17-inch items.

As for the cabin, the major improvements in terms of the interior concern the introduction of smarter-looking, soft-touch plastics, updated upholstery patterns and a locally-sourced Bluetooth-enabled touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation and a smartphone mirroring function.

On Fluid derivatives you can expect features such as electric windows all round (with 1-touch function for the driver), a multifunction steering wheel, electric folding and heated side mirrors, single-zone climate control, a cooled glovebox, remote boot unlock and rear parking sensors.

Engine Line-Up

Whereas the i20 line-up in the European market will feature a 1.0-litre turbopetrol engine and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT), the local market will continue with the 61 kW 1.2- and 74 kW 1.4-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engines, mated with 5- and 6-speed manual gearboxes respectively, although the latter powerplant will also be available in conjunction with a 4-speed automatic transmission.

In terms of safety equipment, dual front airbags (with passenger deactivation function), plus ABS and EBD will be standard, as will crash-sensing door unlock function, follow-me-home lighting, alarm and immobiliser.

Although we expect that the Sport derivative, fitted with a performance-enhancing chip (which boosts the 1.4-litre engine’s performance to 85 kW and 160 Nm), a stainless steel CAT back exhaust system, sporty rear spoiler and 17-inch wheels, will remain available in the refreshed i20’s line-up, the flagship position of the Korean marque’s compact hatchback range will transfer to the new crossover-flavoured Active derivative.

Although we expect the standard specification of the Active version to be similar to that of the 1.4 Fluid, its eye-catching exterior execution includes restyled bumpers fore and aft, black side cladding and door mouldings, plus satin chrome roof rails. Inside, the newcomer may feature a 2-tone interior scheme, or, at the very least, sporty contrast-stitching. Although the Active derivative does not feature all-wheel-drive capability, its ride height is 20 mm higher than a standard i20’s, which means that it should cope better with light off-roading, including dirt-road driving conditions.

We will keep you updated as soon as full local specification and pricing details become available, but we expect that the current 7-year/200 000 km drivetrain and 5-year/150 000 km vehicle warranties and 3-year/60 000 km service plan will remain standard.
Gero Lilleike / Cars.co.za

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