posted 8 years ago

New Hyundai ix20 Puzzles Motoring Journalist

I'm puzzled. What exactly is the new Hyundai ix20?

I'm puzzled. What exactly is the new Hyundai ix20? Well, the Korean manufacturer describe their latest baby as a 'liberating alternative to the conventional, boxy, compact MPV'. Apparently, the 'fluidic sculpture design language' used to create it means that instead of 'sharp corners' it has 'smooth curves'. Cutting through this marketing hype, we essentially find a small family workhorse that rivals the Nissan Note.

Or does it? Is the new Hyundai ix20 a genuine multi-purpose vehicle? After all, it looks, feels, and handles like a small family car. Hyundai is keen to emphasis the ix20's curves, but MPVs are supposed to be boxy, van-style, load-luggers. That is what makes them more versatile than traditional hatchbacks. That is what makes them MPVs. This vehicle, despite having numerous strengths, feels more like a standard i20 in disguise.

On the plus side this 'tricky to define' vehicle can carry five people, has a wide range of safety features, confident handling, passable acceleration, decent fuel economy, and a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. The boot is practical too, as it can swallow 1,486-litres of luggage when the rear seats are folded flat Into the well-equipped interior. The rear bench also slides forwards and backwards which, granted, is quite 'MPV like'.

Overall, the new Hyundai ix20 is a capable workhorse with very few niggles. That said, a more powerful engine might come in handy as even the high-spec 1.6-litre version takes 12.2 seconds to reach 62mph. My only issue is how the ix20 is actually defined. So, as Shakespeare might have said, 'MPV or not MPV'? 'That is the question.'