The interiors of the Elite i20 are good and feel is also decent. The beige and black combination might not impress all, but the car comes loaded with various bells and whistles that aren’t available on all the cars in this segment.
The Elite i20 gets black and beige interiors with an instrument panel inspired by the recently launched Grand i10. The quality of plastics is good and we like the blue backlit interiors. The features list is long and this includes the rear AC vents, reverse parking camera, 1 GB of hard disk in the music system, and this system also gets Bluetooth, aux and USB connectivity.
The seats of the Elite i20 are flat and didn’t feel like they were bolstered enough in the right places. There is immense legroom in the front row, which will comfortably seat six-footers. The rear gets cramped when tall people are seated comfortably in the front seats. Rear seat occupants will also feel a little claustrophobic due to the small, tapering rear windows and thick C pillars. The boot too is sufficient for weekend trips.
Era: It is a base variant of Hyundai i20, which is powered by the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engines with five-speed manual transmission and six-speed manual gearbox respectively. It has features like AC, motor driven electronic power steering, front power windows, centre lock, two speakers with two tweeters, engine immobilizer, battery saver, etc.
Magna: The Magna version has some additional features as compared to Era that are body coloured ORVMs, fabric upholstery, rear parcel tray, glove box cooling, foldable key, luggage lamp, all power windows with auto down for driver side window, reverse sensors and driver seat belt reminder. This version also gets 1 GB hard drive.
Sportz : Along with features of Magna Optional, it boasts features like alloy wheels, driver side airbag, 60:40 rear folding seat, steering controls for audio and Bluetooth, ABS, front fog lamps, Driver and passenger seat belt pre tensioners, tilt and telescopic steering and rain sensing wipers.
Asta: The Asta version gets more bells and whistles than the 2 airbags, height adjustable driver’s seat, rear wiper and washer, smart key with button start, rear spoiler with high mounted stop lamp, front seat arm rest, supervision cluster are the additional features apart from standard features present in i20 Sportz.
The interiors of the Polo are well designed and even the bells and whistles now on offer are good in the segment. It is only the rear seat space that is a bit of an issue.
The Polo might be the smallest of all Volkswagens, but the German manufacturer has ensured their current smallest hatch also has high quality interiors. The fit and finish of the plastic is amazing and even the look and feel of the materials of the good too. The Polo now even offers most of the features that other B+ segment hatchbacks offer. It has a new music system with SD card reader, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux connection too. The Polo also has steering-mounted audio controls too.
The front row seats are large and feel comfortable just like any other big German car. These seats are good enough for a long drives and one won’t feel tired either. The second row of interiors isn’t that spacious as the first row as the knee room is a bit too tight for tall occupants. The boot isn’t that large also.
All the engines on the offering by Hyundai are good in fuel efficiency. So depending on the amount of your daily running, choose the engine. You may not worry about the reliability of the product.
1.2-litre petrol MT:
The 1.2-litre petrol engine on the i20 is the Kappa2 engine, which has the variable valve timing. It is a highly refined engine, which produces a maximum power of 83bhp at 6000rpm and a torque of 112Nm at 4000rpm. Refinement levels are high.
With the i20 weighing a little more a ton, on paper the car feels underpowered, but once the engine crosses 3000rpm, it means serious business. At low engine speeds, the motor does feel sluggish. The true power of the car is unveiled. The performance isn’t staggering, but is definitely one of the best in its class. What we appreciate in the i20 is the fuel efficiency of this mill, as it easily returns 12-14km/l in city driving.
1.4-litre diesel MT:
The 1.4-litre common rail engine used in the i20 is a highly refined CRDi engine. The 16-valve 89bhp 1396cc engine produces a maximum of 220Nm of torque giving the car a head start. There is a lot of turbo lag and the engine feels sluggish, which can be quite annoying in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
The i20’s CRDi engine is noisy and the strong turbo kick at about 1800rpm will make you smile. For overtaking, one needs to downshift. The six-speed manual transmission is as slick as the same five-speed manual. The throws are short and positive, and this is the only diesel in this segment to get a six-speed box.
The power produced by the Polo engines is good, but the petrol and diesel have some drivability issues, especially when you consider the gearing that seem to be designed for European market.
A new Volkswagen engine has been used on the Polo. It has the new 1.5-litre diesel engine that replaces the 1.2-litre and even produces 90bhp instead of 75bhp. This mill has a strong mid-range and high end. There is a lot of turbo lag and the engine needs to be revved above 2000rpm to reach the power band. The power produced by most of the competition including the Swift is a lot more linear than the Polo. Volkswagen has upgraded the engine for more power and soon the GT TDI will be available with the same engine but 103bhp of power.
The five-speed manual transmission has short throws and the box is slick. It doesn’t feel even a bit rubbery. The ratios are good for highway driving, while in the city one has to work out his way to extract some good performance. The fuel efficiency of this mill is good as the 1.5-litre mill from Volkswagen is extremely frugal.
1.2-litre turbo petrol:
This is the new 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine and it is different from the regular 1.2-litre petrol as that is a three-pot mill. This engine produces 104bhp of power, which is equivalent to the 1.6-litre petrol engine that once powered the Polo. The NVH levels are fairly low, except for cold starts when the engine is noisy. The engine screams as it revs above 4000rpm. Blip the throttle, and the transmission responds immediately, and at the time it shifts smoothly while cruising. This is an all-aluminium engine and it has been turbocharged as well. Even though the power produced by this engine as same as the 1.6-litre, it is the torque spread that is much better on this new engine. As even the engine is lighter and has a lower displacement, it is more fuel-efficient. With this engine, Volkswagen gets the duty-cut as the displacement is under 1.2-litre.
Another segment first is that it is a seven-speed direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG). The gear ratios on this box are tailored as per the Indian driving cycle for maximum utilisation of power. There is also tiptronic transmission, if you like to make those manual shifts. We sorely missed the paddles shifts. From what we learn, Volkswagen could introduce the paddle shifts at a later stage.
1.2-litre petrol engine:
The 1.2-litre petrol engine on the Polo has the same displacement like the diesel engine. This is also a three-pot mill that produces about 75bhp of power. This engine has good power and even the low-end torque is good. The mid range is strong and the power increases with the rise in engine speed. We aren’t impressed with the NVH levels as the engine is louder than one would have liked.
The five-speed manual transmission has short throws and the box is slick. It doesn’t feel even a bit rubbery. The ratios are good for highway driving, while in the city one has to work out his way to extract some good performance. But it is the fuel efficiency that hasn’t impressed us, as it returns about 9-10km/l in normal city driving.
The driving dynamics of the Elite i20 is good and the ride quality has been improved and so has the handling characteristics.
The ride on the Elite i20 is good and the handling has been improved when compared to its outgoing model. The handling has improved by several notches and even the steering feel is much better. The steering wheel does feel slack around a corner.
The ride on the i20 is good at low speeds, however it does get a bit jittery at high speeds. On smooth surfaces the ride is pliant and this remains constant even on rough surfaces, the overall ride quality is fairly decent. The rear is a tad soft than the front.
The ride and handling of the Polo has been tweaked for a perfect combination of both. The handling of the Polo is very nimble and even the ride is sorted, though it is wee bit stiff.
The Polo chassis has been designed for Polo Cup Racing and hence this design can take a lot more engine power and torque than what it is currently being sold with. The Polo chassis is extremely agile and the hatchback does handle well. The Polo is as good as any other Volkswagen vehicle when it comes to handling.
The ride of the Volkswagen Polo is also well sorted. The McPherson struts on the Polo are well sorted and ride is supple. The springs absorb most of the jolts and undulations the ride a lot more comfortable for occupants. The light steering wheel ensures convenient driving in the city and also tire-free long trips.