New Hyundai i20 revealed with sharp new look

  • Hyundai’s Ford Fiesta rival has been unveiled
  • Due to make its debut at Geneva motor show
  • Promises lots of tech and impressive efficiency

Hyundai has revealed a new version of the i20 supermini ahead of its debut at the 2020 Geneva motor show in March. The outgoing model has been on sale since 2015 – a relatively short life – but Hyundai’s pushing forwards with a wide range of new models this year, that kicked off with the new i10 city car.

The previous model could be argued as a little sensible – dare we say it, boring – but worthy of recommendation for ease of use and interior space, but this new model looks set to make things more interesting, if the exterior styling is anything to go by.

Hyundai calls it Sensuous Sportiness

What this meansis that it looks a bit sportier, a bit slicker and a bit more desirable than it used to. It’s the first car from Hyundai's engineering team in Europe to feature this new design language.

It certainly looks a lot more appealing than the outgoing i20, and follows on nicely from the i10 and doesn’t just look like a bigger version of it. A large grille, sharp LED lights and contrasting roof options help it to stand out, with a wide range of colours available for the main body – it’s nice to see you’ll still be able to get more than the usual shades of white, grey and silver.

At the back of the car, big, eye-catching lights dominate, while a Skoda-esque portion of black tailgate perched above a full-width light bar (that doesn’t look like it actually illuminates) keeps things interesting.

New 2020 Hyundai i20 side profile

Bigger outside means bigger inside

The new i20 has grown in length and width compared with the old car, with an increase in the wheelbase slightly to boost interior space. It’s noticeably lower than the old car though, helping to create that sporty image. At 351 litres the boot has grown as well, and is now on a par with the SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo.

Top-spec models set to be very techy

Hyundai’s making some bold claims about the interior of the new i20, at least regarding the infotainment setup and digital displays.

Top models get two 10.25-inch displays – one for the instruments and one for the main infotainment display (that competes with a Mercedes A-Class for size), while lower-spec cars make do with a more traditional analogue setup and smaller 8.0-inch infotainment screen.

New to Hyundai (and still rare on many other more expensive cars), the i20 will come with the option of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a wireless charging pad.

New 2020 Hyundai i20 rear view

It’ll also come with Hyundai’s Bluelink functionality, something already found on the Kona Electric and Ioniq, which comes with online functions to help you see things like traffic and fuel prices along your route, as well as the ability to send sat-nav instructions to your car from an app on your smartphone, and check that it’s locked and alarmed. We expect this will only be on higher-spec models with the larger screens.

This all sits in what’s expected to be a big step on from the old i20 in terms of interior look and feel. We haven’t seen production images yet, but the sketch we have seen certainly looks appealing.

The large touchscreen sits proud of the dash which should be easy to view from the driver’s seat, while a neat steering wheel design and a flashes of colour could make it a little more interesting than your standard greys and blacks. Finally, a full-width feature incorporating the air vents looks distinctive, but we’ll wait to see whether it’s an effective piece of design when we see the real thing.

Interior sketch of the 2020 Hyundai i20

Plenty of safety kit

Full specifications are yet to be confirmed, but the i20 is set to come with a large selection of safety and driver assistance technologies – certainly more so than the car it’s replacing.

Standard fit on all i20s will be lane-keep assist, a driver attention warning system and automatic high-beam, while other features (likely to be found higher up the range) will include blindspot monitoring with collision avoidance, autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic parking and a system that warns you if the car in front has moved off in traffic and you haven’t done the same.

What’s under the bonnet?

In other markets, existing 1.2-litre and 1.0-litre turbocharged petrols will be available, but the UK is expected to get just one – a 1.0-litre T-GDI turbo with 100hp and mild-hybrid technology to help boost efficiency. No performance figures have been revealed yet, but there’s a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions for this engine.

2020 Hyundai i20 front grille and LED lights

What this means for you

The i20 has been something of an also-ran in the supermini segment in recent years. That’s not to damn it with faint praise as it’s a very sensible, practical and reliable small car. The new i20 should still have all those traits, it’s just that it’s now wrapped up in a more appealing body and much more appealing interior (at least based on the sketch).

The fact there’s only one engine option does limit its appeal compared with something like a Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo which both feature much more comprehensive choices, but 100hp, and mild-hybrid efficiency-boosting technology suggest it might be a good choice anyway.

We’ll update this page once we know full UK specifications and prices, and once we’ve had a chance to see the interior in full when it’s revealed at the 2020 Geneva motor show in March.

Further reading: 

>> Best cars for young drivers 

>> Best small automatic cars 

>> Best small cars to buy now

2020 Hyundai i20 rear view