Comfortable, safe and easy to use - but no real flair
Driving position is high, but the i20 is comfortable
Safety is a strong point
There shouldn't be any surprises
Plenty of room for four and their luggage, but not class leading
You couldn't ask for more equipment - as standard - for this price
Even the cheapest, lowest powered engine is competent, so we'd stick with the 1.2 petrol which is lively around town, will keep up on the motorway and goes about its work quietly. Other choices include a 1.4 petrol and diesels of either 1.1- or 1.4 litres, but these make less financial sense for most buyers.
The i20 is an easy car to drive the light steering makes it easy to park, the ride is always comfortable and the handling won't throw up any nasty surprises. That's perfect if you hate surprises, but if you're after a responsive, engaging or in any way exciting drive, look elsewhere.
The high seating position should suit most drivers, while the seat and wheel adjust to help you find a good driving position and the large windows offer a good view out. The dashboard is a triumph of function over style: it couldn't be easier to use or duller to look at.
Four adults will fit into an i20, although rear legroom isn't great. The boot is the same size as that in a Ford Fiesta, and a little larger than the VW Polo's. The rear seats split and fold to extend the load space. A family with two small children should find it roomy enough for daily use, if not extended holidays.
Bargain hunters will rub their hands with glee over the kit list: all except the 'Blue' eco-model get air-con and electric front windows as standard, while mid-range Active trim adds loads more goodies.
The i20's mechanical reliability was only considered to be average by respondents from the most recent JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, but Hyundai offers a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty with the i20. That confidence is very encouraging.
Safety is excellent; the i20 achieved 88% for adult safety and 83% for child safety in the NCAP crash test programme. That's one of the highest scores in its class.
It comes with six airbags, stability control to stop you skidding and active headrests to minimise whiplash. Childproof rear door locks and Isofix child seat fittings are also fitted across the range.
Value for money is where the i20 really shines. The list price is cheap compared with rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, and resale values are no worse, helped no doubt by the extra two years' warranty. Running costs are low too, thanks to good fuel economy - 57mpg in the 1.2 petrol - and low emissions.