The Hyundai i20 Active is more than a hatchback with some plastic cladding slapped on it to make it look like an SUV and neither is it a thoroughly re-engineered crossover that can actually tackle off-road conditions. It falls somewhere in between the two ends of the spectrum in an attempt to capitalize on the ongoing SUV craze in India. The i20 Active is essentially a standard i20 with mildly revised exteriors, an increased ride height and minor technical tweaks. But, have these changes given the crossover a new identity? Or is it just another wannabe SUV which is no different from a hatchback? We pit it against the already very good standard i20 hatchback to answer these questions. Check out our Hyundai i20 Active vs Hyundai Elite i20 spec sheet comparo below for all the details-
The exteriors of the Hyundai i20 Active, though largely similar to the Elite i20, get a few significant alterations in order to differentiate it from the standard car. The front bumper is completely new featuring an inverted version of the i20’s honeycomb grille with horizontal slats instead. Along with that there are new round fog lamps and a faux scuff plate finished in silver at the bottom to give it a rugged look. The headlamps are borrowed from the Euro-spec i20 and feature projector units and LED daytime running lights. The black plastic cladding goes around the car to the back where, like the front, there is silver finished faux skid plate and a re-profiled bumper with round reflectors. Other changes include new alloy wheels and roof rails which round off the whole crossover look.
On the inside the biggest change is the switch from a black-beige combo to all black for the interiors. Hyundai has also given orange or blue highlights, depending on the exterior paint shade, on the centre console, A/C vents, gear knob and seat upholstery which liven things up a bit. The basic design remains unchanged and you get essentially the same spacious and comfortable cabin as the standard car.
No changes have been made in terms of features which isn’t a problem at all because the Elite i20 is already a feature packed vehicle. So the top level trim, now called the SX unlike the Asta in the standard i20’s case, gets an integrated audio system with bluetooth and 1GB onboard memory, push button start, keyless entry, cooled glovebox, etc. You also get rear parking sensors with a camera and a rear A/C vent, features which are uncommon on hatchbacks. A few additional features which are not available on the Elite i20 are projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights.
Ride & Handling
A 20mm increase in ride height to around 190mm has affected the ride and handling characteristics of the i20 Active, but only slightly. The crossover still offers a comfortable ride devouring potholes and bumps with ease. The steering feels as light as it does on the standard i20, which means the car is not a whole lot fun to drove and does not feel confident around bends.
Engine & Transmission
|Displacement||1.2 litre||1.4 litre|
|Transmission||5-speed manual||6-speed manual|
The engine and transmission options available on the Hyundai i20 Active are identical to the Elite i20 albeit with a slight change in gear ratios leading to a 6% and 11% increase in performance of the petrol and diesel motors respectively. Fuel economy has been compromised as a result, but only slightly with a drop of around 1kmpl. The i20 Active feels a little sprightlier than its hatchback cousin.
|Elite i20||i20 Active||Elite i20||i20 Active|
|Magna||INR 5.77 lakh||Base||INR 6.39 lakh||Magna||INR 6.90 lakh||Base||INR 7.63 lakh|
|Sportz||INR 6.27 lakh||S||INR 7.10 lakh||Sportz||INR 7.44 lakh||S||INR 8.34 lakh|
|Asta||INR 7.99 lakh||SX||INR 8.89 lakh|
Spec for spec the i20 Active costs around INR 70-90,000 more than the standard i20 hatchback which seems like a fair amount to pay for the changes made to the crossover. However, it should be noted that the Elite i20 is available in five trims while the i20 Active gets only three and we have compared the most closely matched variants based on features offered.
Hyundai has done a decent job with the i20 Active in turning it into a crossover, but most changes are merely cosmetic. Some might find the pseudo-SUV look alluring, while the others might prefer the sleeker, sportier looking i20 hatchback. Finally, it all comes down to personal choice and figuring out if the extra cost of the i20 Active is worth it or not. Go for the i20 Active if the rugged crossover look is your thing, otherwise save some money and stick to the standard hatchback because, after all, that’s what it was meant to be.
Do you think Hyundai has done a good job with the i20 Active? Is it worth the extra money? Also, what do you think of our Hyundai i20 Active vs Hyundai Elite i20 comparo here? Do let us know in the comments section below.