Hyundai Elite i20: Stepping in the BS-VI era as a petrol-only model?

There’s no denying the fact that the firstgeneration of the Hyundai i20 was a huge seller for the brand. First launched in 2008, the i20 proved to be a stepping stone for the middle-class to enter the premium space. 12 years later, it still excels at this task.

The i20 also helped the Korean brand build a reputation for making premium vehicles – that too, loaded with features – at a very affordable price. A trick that still works well in the Indian market. While the first-generation i20 was a fairly conservative model, the Elite i20 – which made its debut in 2014 and still goes on sale in the country as of this day – pushed the ante further, as the design and styling of the Elite i20 alone made it much more desirable than any other hatchback in the country. So much so, it even forced Maruti Suzuki to work on a hatchback, which was later launched as Baleno in the Indian market.

Ever since the Hyundai entered this segment, it opened up as a gateway for other hatchbacks to follow suit. Case in point – apart from the Baleno, the Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo were the most capable contenders for a very long time. Tata, too, entered this space with the Altroz, which was launched early this year.

Despite being on sale for almost 6 years, the Hyundai Elite i20 still looks modern and contemporary. Sure, a minor facelift and aesthetic revisions over the years have helped the premium hatch, but it simply falls short on nothing even after being on sale for all these years. As the BS-VI emission standards are enforced now, Hyundai decided to axe the 1.4-litre diesel and petrol-CVT variants of the Elite i20, which only means now it is available with just a petrol-manual combination.

For those of you who may not be aware, the Elite i20 is expected to get a major upgrade this year, as we reported at autoX a few weeks ago. So, while the diesel and automatic derivates of the i20 are only expected to make a comeback with the new model, here’s how the i20 appeals as a petrol-only model.


The i20 has always been lauded for the way it looks, especially since the Elite iteration of the i20 came on sale back in 2014. As for its specifications, the Elite i20 easily fits in the sub 4m space with a length of 3,985mm, with an overall width of 1,734mm and an overall height of 1,505mm. Moreover, it has a wheelbase of 2,570mm and a ground clearance of 170mm. The premium hatchback has a boot space capacity of 285-litres and a fuel tank capacity of 40-litres.

Under the hood, as said earlier, the Hyundai  Elite i20 does away with the 1.4-litre diesel engine, which was good for 89bhp and 220Nm of torque. So, now the only engine at the heart of the matter is the brand’s Kappa 1.2-litre four-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol, which is capable of churning out 82bhp and 115Nm of torque. It only comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, since the CVT automatic derivative of the i20 has been discontinued. On another note, this engine is now compliant with the stringent BS-VI emission standards.

While the diesel engine was a nice option for enthusiasts, the petrol engine is best for those who like to drive in a linear manner. In its BS-VI guise, the 1.2-litre engine is refined than before, but the power delivery seems a bit sapped off in the bottom end. Once past that, there’s an adequate punch in the lowerend of the rev band making it easier to drive this engine in the city.

The engine is free-revving and it shoots up past 6,000rpm quite happily. There is an adequate punch in the middle-band of the rev range, with a power boost that comes as you hit 2,500rpm. Moreover, the Elite i20 remains eager in the top-end, however, the refinement levels drop significantly as you reach the top-end of the rev band.


With the diesel engine gone, the overall efficiency numbers for this hatchback has reduced drastically. For reference, the punchy 1.4-litre diesel was rated at 24.4km/l by ARAI. The petrol-manual derivative of the i20, then, is good for 19.8km/l (again, as per ARAI).


Nice-to-have equipment and some segment-first features helped the Elite i20 in gaining popularity not only amongst the tech-laden but also amongst the youth.

The top-spec Asta (O) variant of the Elite i20 easily dwarfs cars a segment above with its extensive features list. It includes six airbags, ABS with EBD, speed-sensing door locks, reverse parking sensors, speed alert system, and seatbelt reminder for the front two passengers on the safety front.

Moreover, it gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with both Apple Carplay and Android Auto (amongst other things), steering-mounted audio controls, an extremely informative MID, climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, cooled glovebox, rear aircon vents, auto-folding ORVMs with welcome function, wireless smartphone charging pad, automatic headlamps, and much more. On the outside, it gets projector headlamps with LED DRLs and 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.


The Elite i20, as of early-2020, comes in nine shades, out of which there are six standard colours namely, Star Dust, Marina Blue, Polar White, Passion Orange, Fiery Red, and Typhoon Silver, There are dual-tone shades too, touted as Fiery Red with Black Roof, Polar White with Black Roof, and Passion Orange with Black Roof.


All the details regarding the Hyundai Elite i20, namely, the engine, specifications, variant wise equipment, colours, dimensions, interiors, and exterior details are extensively covered in the brochure.

Variants and Prices

As of early-2020, the Hyundai Elite i20 is available in four variants, all in the same petrol-manual configuration.The prices start at Rs. 6.35 lakhs for the Magna Plus 1.2 variant going all the way to Rs. 8.16 lakhs for the Asta 1.2 (O) variant (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi). For the variant-wise on-road prices, visit us at autoX.

For more on the Hyundai Elite i20, be sure to tune in to autoX.  Also, read the latest car comparisons, only at autoX.