2022 HYUNDAI i20N

The i20 N is Hyundai’s first light hot hatch. We are assured it can run with its N
stablemates, “delivering its speed and performance with a fun personality that turns every
trip into a Special Stage” according to Hyundai.

(Note that ‘light’ means ‘small’ in this category of vehicles.)

At this stage the i20 N is offered in a single grade, we have queried the Australian importer
about other grades, but were told that’s all they will divulge at this time. In any case the
single grade is well specified and the major emphasis is on high performance – which is
exactly what lovers of hot cars are looking for.

Important features include Launch Control, an auto rev-matching function for the manual
transmission, and a three-mode stability control system as is used in other Hyundai N
cars.

By the way the ‘N’ designation indicates both Hyundai’s Namyang Research and
Development Center in South Korea. It was also the famed Nurburgring in Germany where
many cars are unofficially tested to their limit in a wide variety of road conditions.

Note that the Nurburgring is a public road so if you happen to be in Germany you may care
to have a fang there. Just keep an eye on your mirrors in case something very quick
suddenly come up behind you…

STYLING
Hyundai i20 is a neat looking small car even in its standard format. Changes to upgrade it
to the N include a different grille inspired by the WRC models, a rear spoiler, built-in rear
diffuser and a large single exhaust. The lower areas are finished in red. The 18-inch alloys
are in grey matte with N-branded centre caps.

The i20 N is offered in a range of ten colours including two shades of red.

INTERIOR
Performance Blue highlights throughout the cabin make a statement. The interior plastics
and surfaces are rather hard to the touch, but keep in mind this isn’t a luxury car. A variety
of textures visually make it look more a little further upmarket.

A leather/cloth combination upholstery that’s of a reasonable quality. Keep in mind that this
is a budget priced car. But may we suggest you check this for yourself when doing your
checks on which car you’re considering buying.

A cubby under the centre stack is big enough for to hold a large phone. There are
cupholders between the front seats and a small cubby under the front-centre armrest.
There are bottle holders in the front and rear doors.

INFOTAINMENT
There are twin 10.25 inch displays, one for instruments, the other for the infotainment
touchscreen. The displays are excellent and can be read with a minimum of distraction for
the driver.

As seems to happen all too often, the DAB+ digital radio drops out more often than not.
To the extent I found myself saying f### off and giving up. Instead listening to the Bose
seven-speaker sound system which produces decent sound. More speakers would be
welcome, but I guess this is a car built down to a relatively low price.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired) and satellite navigation are standard. There’s a Qi
wireless charger.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The Hyundai i20 N is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol. Power is 150kW
between 5500 and 6000rpm. Peak torque is 275Nm from 1750 to 4500rpm. An overboost
function increases maximum torque to 304Nm under full throttle between 2000 and
4000rpm.

The only transmission is a six-speed manual transmission – Yippee it’s set up for real
drivers! It powers the front wheels by way of a sporting Torsen mechanical limited-slip diff.

Upgrades to handle the extra power and torque of the ‘N’ include a reinforced clutch,
improved friction materials and redesigned synchros.

SAFETY
As we went to press the latest Hyundai i20 range hadn’t been crash tested by either
ANCAP or Euro NCAP.

Standard safety equipment includes:
Front, front-side and curtain airbags
Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
Driver inattention monitoring
Lane-keep assist
Lane following assist
Blind-spot monitoring
Rear cross-traffic alert
Automatic high-beam Assist
Rear occupant alert
Speed sign recognition
Intelligent speed limit assist

DRIVING
It’s all about fun, and plenty of it. Though based on a standard city and suburban car the
guys and gals at Namyang and at Hyundai Australia have done an excellent job of giving
the i20 N a genuinely sporting flair.

The firmer ride and tyre noise on coarse-chip roads are certainly what you expect in a
sporting car, which is fine for the driver but may not appeal to passenger, especially during
long trips.

The six-speed manual is easy to use. In our test car the clutch didn’t start to engage till the
pedal was almost all the way up. After a while this was no longer an irritation.

Gearing is low and at 110km/h in sixth in top gear the engine is at nearly 3000rpm. It
doesn’t sound overly busy – even though it is.

On typical European motorway speeds of 140 to 160km/h it’s going to sound very busy.
And if you’re lucky enough to be driving on unrestricted sections of German autobahnen
the engine is going to spend a lot of time at 6000rpm. Don’t know if that would be doing
the fuel consumption at lot of good. But who cares, smile and enjoy the ride!

The i20 N’s powertrain is Euro 6-certified and has fuel-saving idle stop/start technology.
Fuel use is quoted as 6.9L/100km on the combined cycle. During our test period covering
over 450 kilometres we used nine to eleven litres per hundred around town, dropping to
six to seven litres on the open road.

The 2022 Hyundai i20 N is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Servicing
is required every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever comes first.

SUMMING UP
You get a lot of sporting driving in this highly modified Hyundai i20 N and those who
need/want a family car with plenty of get up and go at a relatively modest price should
certainly add it to their shopping list.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
Hyundai i20 N: $32,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Hyundai dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Hyundai i20 N 1.6-litre turbo-petrol five-door hatch)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.598 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 150 kW 5500 @ rpm
Maximum Torque: 275 Nm @ 1750 rpm
Fuel Type: 91 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.9 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 157 g/km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed manual

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4075 mm
Wheelbase: 2580 mm
Width: 1775 mm
Height: 1440 mm
Turning Circle: 10.5 metres
Kerb Mass: 1210 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 40 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres

RATINGS
Looks: 8/10
Performance: 10/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst : 7/10
Practicality: 7/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 7.9/10

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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