All-new Hyundai i20 revealed: sharp suit for 2020

  • Hyundai’s Ford Fiesta rival has been unveiled
  • Petrol-only engines on offer with mild-hybrid technology
  • Promises lots of kit and impressive efficiency

The outgoing i20 has been on sale since 2015 – a relatively short life – but Hyundai is pushing forwards with a wide range of new models this year, that kicked off with the latest i10 city car.

Replacing a model that could best be described as sensible – dare we say it, boring – but worthy of recommendation for ease of use and interior space, this new i20 looks set to make things more interesting, if the exterior styling is anything to go by.

We've driven a prototype already - head over here to find out what it's like to drive

Hyundai calls the styling Sensuous Sportiness

What this means is that it looks athletic, slicker and 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 without looking simply like like a larger version of it. A gaping grille, sharp LED lights and contrasting roof colours help it to stand out, with a wide range of hues 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 - the distance between the front and rear wheels - to slightly to boost interior space. It’s noticeably lower than the old car though, helping to create that sporty profile. At 351 litres the boot has grown as well, and is now on a par with the SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo.

Sportier N Line trim confirmed

With 17-inch wheels, tweaked front and rear bumper designs and a set of side skirts, the i20 N Line comes with a slightly more aggressive appearance.

Hyundai i20 N Line rear

The front grille pattern is chequered and comes with its own N Line badge, while the rear comes with a centre-mounted triangular foglight and a pair of twin exhaust pipes. You can choose the N Line in black, grey white and brass, as well as a black roof option pictured here.

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.

2020 Hyundai i20 N Line interior

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.

The N Line interior you see above comes with sports seats and red highlights dotted around the cabin, along with metal pedals and an N gearknob.

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 the latter – a 1.0-litre T-GDI turbo with mild-hybrid technology to help boost efficiency.

Two power outputs of 100hp and 120hp are expected to be available, although performance figures are yet to be revealed. There will be 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 photos).

The limited engine options will limit its appeal compared with something like a Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo, which both feature much more comprehensive choices, but the 100hp with mild-hybrid efficiency-boosting technology should make for a popular choice anyway.

Orders for the i20 are expected to be available by the end of 2020, while the N Line will be available from spring 2021. We’ll update this page once we know full UK specifications and prices.

Further reading: 

>> Best cars for young drivers 

>> Best small automatic cars 

>> Best small cars to buy now

2020 Hyundai i20 rear view