2014 has been very successful for Hyundai India but this year expect some interesting launches as the car-maker will aim to plug the gaps in its product portfolio. The first such launch is the i20 Active which as the name suggests is based on the new Elite i20 premium hatchback. The crossover concept of giving a hatchback a rugged look was first seen in the Volkswagen Cross Polo and then many others joined in. Last year saw the Toyota Etios Cross and Fiat Avventura join in so how does the i20 Active compare, let us discuss the specs of the i20 Active aka the i20 Cross.
The i20 Active has quite a few design changes on the crossover to distinguish it from the hatch. More importantly just like the Avventura there is a slight increase in the ground clearance (190mm). Further increasing the rugged styling theme are skid plates at the front and rear, cladding and the obligatory roof rails. There is a new alloy wheel design as well to go with the character of the i20 Active. Another big change from the Elite i20 is the addition of LED DRLs with projector headlamps and cornering lights.
Now while the Elite i20 is already quite feature loaded there are minor changes in the interior and some sporty colour accents have been added to the mix. What would obviously remain the same is the levels of space in the cabin which promises to be the most spacious in its class. The engine line-up is not changed also and that is no bad thing especially with the 82 bhp 1.2 petrol and 89 bhp 1.4 diesel however there is a slight increase in responsiveness as it has been updated by Hyundai. Both engines have a manual gearbox. Prices for the i20 Active start at Rs 6.38 lakh.
Onto its rivals and here there are quite a few competitors. The toughest one would be the Ford EcoSport and that is easy to say considering of all the cars here, the EcoSport has the pukka SUV look. Also the wide range of options including an automatic gearbox variant means this would be the toughest rival to the i20 Active. While the EcoSport has some advantages namely the obvious SUV styling, petrol engine, auto option and more tech but the i20 Active also strikes back with more space and features like rear ac vents, rear camera. However those who want a proper SUV would pay a slight premium over the i20 Active for the EcoSport. Ford EcoSport starts at Rs 6.75 lakh.
The Avventura from Fiat would offer stiff competition and one look says why. It looks fantastic and turns heads with its spare wheel at the back and also it has got an increase in its ground clearance (205mm, more than the EcoSport also). Interior also looks lovely with its few off-road features and gadgets. The i20 Active also promises striking looks but is a more practical choice with more space at the back and a longer feature list. Plus the engines offer better performance in the i20 Active. It is priced along with the i20 Active and starts at Rs 6.4 lakh.
The last rival would be the Toyota Etios Cross which unlike the Avventura/ i20 Active is a bit like the Polo Cross with no major changes to the height and having more rugged styling being added. However it looks much better than the standard Etios and both engines offer good performance. Still the i20 Active again strikes back with its looks, features and premium cabin. Etios Cross is priced keenly though and starts at Rs 6.2 lakh. Going by what we know it seems the i20 Active would turn out to be another success for Hyundai considering the price and general value quotient. We think while a proper full blown SUV like the EcoSport still holds advantages the i20 Active is easily the best car in its class and we like its combo of typical Hyundai traits like edgy styling, features plus the punchy 1.4 diesel and increased ground clearance which makes it the best buy in its class.
Read our Hyundai i20 Active review with images here