Hyundai i20

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Hyundai i20 1.4 CRDi Comfort 3dr

Road Test

Hyundai i20 1.4 CRDi Comfort 3dr

Driven July 2009

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The budget diesel supermini sector is hardly renowned for producing searingly quick cars, but even among such modest company, the Hyundai i20 diesel is truly, heroically slow.

Powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel, the three-door i20 takes over 16 seconds to lumber to 60mph. That's the sort of acceleration considered slow by continental shelves: comparably powered rivals from Ford, Skoda and even Citroen will manage it in comfortably under 15 seconds (OK, so it's not a quick sector).

The i20 is at least cheap - this mid-spec version sneaks in under 10 grand with a fair amount of kit on board, including aircon and a proper iPod socket. But the budget approach is apparent: the dash materials are scratchy and plasticky, and the whole package lacks the all-round feeling of solidity that you get from a Fiesta. Same story with the ride which, though pleasantly firm, has none of the sophistication of the Ford. I'd love to tell you how it handles at speed, but there isn't enough road in the south of England to find out.

If you're hell-bent on that five year warranty, far better to opt for the fizzier, cheaper, and very-nearly-as-frugal 1.2-litre petrol i20. There's a higher-powered, 89bhp version of the i20 diesel... but the extra  two grand outlay propels that car right into Fiesta/Clio/Jazz territory: the sort of cars you might buy with heart as well as head. 

Sam Philip

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