Attending a car launch within a hair’s breath of Christmas is always going to be a tough call but Hyundai wanted to get us behind the wheel of their new i20 Cross as soon as it landed and although the timing wasn’t the best, it did give us all an excuse to combine a launch with some festive celebrations.
Having nothing ‘new’ to add to the NZ market, it’s was inevitably going to be an interesting and challenging year for the brand, however 14 years of growth is a testament to how strong the brand is and all signs are pointing to them adding another year to their successful run.
Despite having a broad range of offerings and indeed a strong representation in the large and medium SUV world, The i20 Cross is a way for Hyundai to tap into the (still lucrative) light passenger/small SUV segments.
Hyundai have invested a lot of energy into the i20 model, it’s undergone extensive testing at the Nurburgring and it has been doing exceptionally well on the Rally field with Hayden Paddon behind the wheel (I was lucky enough to ride shotgun with him recently – yes I am bragging a little). But to move it into the ‘Cross’ area they have had to revisit the drawing board.
The design team have made the Cross more fluid both inside and out. It has a wider stance and by glossing the C pillar the roof appears to float. Round fog lamps and a three dimensional grille and nudge bar moves towards the outdoors. They have revised the powertrain to a 1.4L Kappa engine connected to a 4 speed auto box (but I feel it still lacks in this area), refined the suspension (it handles well both in and out of the city) and upped the NVH (it’s actually quiet and smooth on the road). I should be getting an up close view and review of the i20 Cross soon so I won’t give it all away now but suffice to say it’s slots into the marketplace well.
2017 and beyond promises much more activity from the Hyundai camp. N sport will tap into those that look for power and excitement, Genesis offers upmarket luxury and IONIQ (released early next year) will keep the greenies more than happy.
The new i20 Cross is Hyundai’s way of ticking all the model boxes,crossing the i’s and dotting the T’s so to speak (or is it the other way around). Either way, it’s a welcomed addition to the family.
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