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Very Hy standards; The latest Hyundai i20 should have a broader appeal with better looks, upgraded interior and a fine 1.2-litre petrol engine, argues IAN JOHNSON.

Byline: IAN JOHNSON

FROM whatever angle you look at it, Hyundai's latest i20 makes a lot of sense.

The example I drove, a 1.2-litre petrol, proved conclusively that petrol power is back in small cars like this.

This compact five-door oozed practicality, but featured a four-cylinder engine that can hit 104mph if required and zoom to 62mph in just 12.7 seconds.

Economy is a major factor, too, with nearly 58mpg being possible.

And it is extremely pleasant to drive, which is a plus point because this car is aimed at a sector that is highly competitive and there is a wide choice.

But Hyundai, in their own way, have produced more than a makeover of the old i20, underpinned by its five-year/ unlimited mileage warranty.

Prices for the i20 start at PS9995 on the road for the three-door 1.2 petrol Classic model while, at the other end of the spectrum, the rangetopping 90ps 1.4 CRDi Style model costs PS14,295.

This car was the 1.2 Active model, which sits in the middle of the range at PS11,595. Hyundai have given the i20 more visual appeal, with new wheel designs, plus a hexagonal front grille that is in keeping with their current "fluidic" looks.

More rounded front wings and a reshaped bonnet and headlights, plus a redesigned rear bumper and tail lights complete the picture of Hyundai's new approach to small car motoring.

g Inside are some new materials, including soft-touch plastics, a revised and classier centre console, along with updated seat trims.

The new i20 is available in three main trim levels beginning with Classic, moving up to Active and followed by Style.

The Active's extra trim includes 15in alloy wheels, Bluetooth with voice recognition, electric/heated door mirrors, front fog lights, leather steering wheel and gear knob and electric rear windows (five-door bodystyle) when compared with the Classic.

Hyundai's aim is to maintain the appeal of the i20 with its existing customers and broaden it out to the world of younger drivers, may not have considered Hyundai in the past.

The popular 1.2-litre petrol engine is cleaner, more efficient and more powerful the model it has replaced emissions are cut from 119g/km CO2 to 114g/km.

worl who a Hy Th engin effic than and 119g Dr ever it w th fr Kdc Driving this car, which does everything that is claimed of with ease, calls to mind the rapid rise of Hyundai from a cheap and cheerful Korean fringe import decades ago to one of the country's mainstreamers.

KEVAN Swindell, Arnold Clark Hyundai franchise manager, said: "One of the main reasons for the i20's success is its incredible value for money. Couple this with the consistent subtle tweaks that have been made over time to improve the Hyundai's looks and you have a stylish yet affordable supermini."

Factfile: Model: Hyundai i20 1.2 Active Engine: 1.2-litre petrol Power: 84bhp Top speed: 104mph 0-62mph: 12.7 seconds Average mpg: 57.6 CO2 emissions: 114g/km Warranty: Five years/unlimited mileage Price: PS11,595

CAPTION(S):

SLICKER n Bodywork is reshaped

CLASSIER J i20's new interiors
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 9, 2013
Words:525
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