Hyundai i20 N-Line: Expert Review

Hyundai i20 N-Line: Expert Review

Hyundai’s first N-Line product has created quite a buzz in the market. We drive the hot hatch to determine what the vehicle is all about and understand if it is worth the extra buck.


          .  Fun to drive

          .  Best handling

          .  Premium and spacious cabin

          .  Loaded with technology


          .  Mixed engine performance (sluggish at the low end)

          .  Lacks front-seat comfort (lack of lumbar support)

          .  Skips ventilated front seats

          .  Misses a proper manual transmission

For a long time, India has lacked a proper hot hatch. While we did get the Abarth Punto and the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS, their stay in the country was brief. The Polo GT has been the only long-lasting fun to drive hatch in the country. But Hyundai Motor India has changed the game with its new i20 N-Line. A proper premium hatch with the best handling characteristics it offers enthusiasts the sweet sound of crackles from its dual exhaust. Being an N-Line model, it gets an updated suspension and steering along with specific cosmetic changes. Here is a quick look at the new hot hatch.

Hyundai’s first N-Line

Hyundai i20 N-Line Exterior and Interior Updates:

Trying to showcase its sporty attitude, the i20 N-Line gets a blacked-out front grille with a chequered flag design and a reprofiled front bumper with aero elements. The new design for the 16-inch alloy wheels and N-Line badging are the highlights of its side profile. While the rear is dominated by the more pronounced diffuser and a roof-mounted spoiler with side wings. Red highlight accents on the front skid plate and side sill garnish add spunk to the hatch design. Also unique to the four-wheeler is its Thunder Blue paint colour.

Hyundai i20 N-Line Exterior

On the inside, the sporty theme continues with an all-black cabin that includes black leatherette seats with contrast red stitching and a black headliner. One can also find the contrast red stitching on the new leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel and shifter boot cover. Carrying forward the N-Line theme, Hyundai has integrated the N logo and the chequered flag design into the front seat backrest, along with red highlights for AC vents and the temperature controller. Except for these updates, the cabin looks and feels like a standard i20’s cabin with the large 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, digital instrument cluster, cooled glovebox, rear AC vents, wireless smartphone charging and other amenities.

Hyundai i20 N-Line Interior

Being an N-Line model, the car gets a few significant mechanical changes under the skin. These include a stiffer suspension that plays well with the chassis, a re-engineered steering system that offers more heft for a connected drive and the addition of rear disc brakes. Another mechanical update is the presence of a twin-tip exhaust that produces the much-required sporty sound.

Hyundai i20 N-Line Interior Updates

Hyundai i20 N-Line Powertrain and Performance:

Available in only two trim levels, the Hyundai i20 N-Line comes powered by a 1.0-litre GDi turbo petrol engine that produces a maximum power output of 120 bhp with 172 Nm of peak torque. Despite being a hot hatch, the car misses out on a proper manual gearbox with options only for a 6-speed iMT and a 7-speed DCT. While the iMT mimics the feel of a manual gearbox, the DCT offers convenience with paddle shifters.

Hyundai i20 N-Line Powertrain and Performance

As you get behind the wheel of this hatch, an expansive glass area welcomes you providing an excellent view out. As you step on the gas, the responsive steering and the suspension will surprise you the most. The extra heft has made the steering more direct and connected to the road making the car more predictable. On the other hand, the stiffer springs with a soft cushion offers a comfortable ride at low speeds absorbing bumps and potholes while also providing stability at high speeds and through corners. The capable chassis with this suspension and steering combo offers the i20 N-Line a proper hooligan characteristic when driven at anger. 

While the suspension offers a relaxed ride, the front seats take away from the comfort factor. The lack of lumbar support makes spending extended time in them a task. Hyundai car cabins are known for their superior NVH levels, and the N-Line is no different. The smooth-revving turbo GDi unit contains its noise at the lower end, making the cabin a comfortable place. 


Talking about the negatives of the vehicle, there are only two things that stand out. The first is its sluggish low-end power delivery and the second is its fuel economy. The N-Line’s engine likes to be revved and kept above the 2,000-rpm mark. Anything below that, the car struggles to move, making drives in the city a bit difficult. Due to the constant high revs, the car returns an average fuel economy of 8-9 kmpl in the city. But once crossed the 2,000 rpm, the motor picks up speed quickly and crosses 100 kmph in no time, making highway cruising a breeze.

Hyundai i20 N-Line Verdict:

Hyundai i20 N-Line Verdict

After spending a comfortable amount of time behind the wheel of this sports hatch, I can confidently tell you that this is one of the best Hyundai cars ever made. The excellent chassis paired with stiffer suspension and reworked steering makes driving an enjoyable experience. While the expensive fuel bill could be an issue, the i20 N-Line’s performance will have you encapsulated to set aside its low fuel economy. In addition, the extra buck spent gives you everything that the standard i20 lacks, making it a better choice. 

So, if you are in the market for a hatchback that functions as your daily driver and as your race car during the weekends, I think the i20 N-Line is a potent option for you.

the i20 N-Line’s performance

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