Launches & Reviews Review South Africa

Hyundai i20 N Line review: A near-perfect mix of sport and comfort

I recently test drove the Hyundai i20 N Line, a new car that is rarely seen on the road and is often confused with Hyundai's N range of cars. The N Line is essentially a sportier version of the popular i20, but cheaper than the aforementioned Hyundai N lineup. It's therefore a perfect fit for someone looking to get a sporty hatchback without completely breaking the bank.
Hyundai i20 N Line review: A near-perfect mix of sport and comfort

So what does the N Line offer?

On the inside, the N Line has black artificial leather trim with red stitching and insets on the dashboard. It has a special steering wheel and gear lever with the N logo, paddle shift levers at the back of the steering wheel, and sporty aluminium pedals.

Source: QuickPic

On the outside, the N Line distinguishes itself with dual-tone colours, 16-inch wheels, a spoiler on top of the rear hatch, a twin-tip exhaust muffler, and a specially designed front and rear bumper and a grille.

Hyundai i20 N Line review: A near-perfect mix of sport and comfort

The i20 N Line is a turbocharged three-cylinder front-wheel drive that gives an output of 90kW and 172Nm. It's linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which can be used in manual shift with paddles on the steering.

i20 N Line features include:

  • Keyless start button;
  • Sunroof;
  • Rear-view monitor with guidelines displayed on the infotainment system’s screen;
  • Parking sensors;
  • Electric folding mirrors;
  • LED headlights;
  • Air-vents for rear passengers;
  • A USB charging socket and cell phone storage space for rear passengers;
  • A multi-function steering wheel with radio and telephone control buttons; and
  • A cruise-control function on the steering wheel.

High-tech connectivity

The i20 N Line offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a wireless link, which enables it to mirror the functionality of iOS and Android smartphones.

Source: QuickPic

It has a new 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster in front of the driver and a high-resolution eight-inch centre touchscreen for the infotainment system has been visually combined.


The i20’s body is reinforced with 36% advanced high-strength steel. Electronic Stability Control, together with an Anti-lock Braking System, and Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, form part of the active safety features in the i20 N Line.

Passive safety systems in the i20 N Line include six airbags (driver, front passenger and two curtain airbags). The i20 N Line is also equipped with Isofix latches for child seats.

What it's like to drive

The N Line’s gearbox doesn’t offer an immediate pull when putting your foot down on the accelerator pedal, but there’s a thrill once it reaches third gear. It’s here where the N Line performs at its best, but the gearbox still doesn’t deliver a smooth experience due to its slowness in changing gears.

There is a silver lining though: the manual option is much better to use as it gives power to the wheels quicker. I spent most of the time using the automatic option though because I chose to drive more conservatively, despite the power and torque that I had at my disposal. The gearbox was my biggest gripe, other than that the drive quality was superb.

The i20 N line is nippy, surprisingly nippy. It’s agile and light on its feet when it has to manoeuvre itself through light high-way traffic and suburban streets. It's firm on bumpy roads and majestic around corners.

It can be heavy on fuel consumption (8.9l/100km), but it can be light depending on driving behaviour (6.8l/100km). It has a great exhaust note and a sporty look. All in all, the Hyundai i20 N Line is a fun car to drive.


The Hyundai i20 N Line’s retail price is R405,900 and comes with a seven-year/200,000km manufacturer’s warranty. If the vehicle is sold, the warranty is passed on to the next owner.

A four-year/60,000 km service plan and seven-year/150,000km roadside assistance also form part of the standard package.

About Imran Salie

Bizcommunity Editor: Automotive, Entrepreneurship, Education
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