While not as popular as a regular hatchback or compact SUV, cross-hatches offer a blend of elements from both sides. They sport a more rugged look than the conventional hatchback and some even ride higher as well — such as this, the i20 Active. Hyundai’s cross-hatch is spacious, comfortable and well-equipped, making it worth considering as a used buy.
Before you go ahead and buy one, though, there are a few things you should know.
The i20 Active was launched in 2015, with its USP being the substantial 190mm ground clearance. The Active has body cladding on the sides, front and rear faux skid plates, along with roof rails, giving it a rugged look.
The Active offered the same engine options as the i20 — a 90hp, 1.4-litre, turbo-diesel engine paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox and an 83hp, 1.2-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine coupled with a 5-speed manual gearbox. Hyundai did not bring in any automatic options to the line-up.
The CRDi diesel motor is smooth and refined in nature. The engine loves to be revved, and it delivers power in a linear manner. The slick, 6-speed manual transmission works well; it is light and lets you cruise at low speeds in high gears without any hesitancy. Fuel efficiency for the diesel is rated at 21.19kpl.
The naturally aspirated petrol engine is refined and mated to the smooth, 5-speed manual gearbox, makes for a nice city runabout. Although the performance of the petrol is peppy, it lacks the punch that the larger diesel engine provides. The 1.2-litre unit has an official fuel economy of 17.19kpl.
The Active does not drive all that differently from the standard i20. The handling is good overall, but the light and inconsistently weighted steering, stops it from being fun to drive. There is some bodyroll too, but it is well contained. The ride is slightly on the softer side, making it feel comfy at low speeds, but the suspension does sound clunky, especially over bumps.
The cabin too, is almost identical to that of the standard i20, though it gets an all-black theme instead of the dual-tone scheme of the standard model. Cars with lighter exterior paint colours get cool blue highlights in the cabin, while darker paint shades come with bright orange accents. Fit and finish of the dashboard and quality of materials used inside are both very good.
The i20 Active was launched in three trim levels — Base, S and SX. Following the 2018 facelift, the model was sold in just S and SX trims. The latter also gets the option of a dual-tone exterior paint scheme. Being a Hyundai, the top-spec i20 Active SX is loaded with kit, such as six airbags, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, automatic climate control, keyless entry, a push-button start/stop system, LED DRLs, cornering lamps and 16-inch alloy wheels.
As with all Hyundais, the i20 Active is reliable and its spare parts are relatively inexpensive too. Furthermore, sourcing most spare parts should not be an issue as it is based on the i20 that is still on sale in India.
What to watch out for
However, there are some issues you should check for before you pick one up. Make sure to check if the clutch feels spongy or is slipping, as this would point towards a worn-out clutch. Replacing the pressure plate can be an expensive fix, especially on the diesel model. Some owners have also reported that the brake pedal becomes difficult to apply at low speeds, so make sure to check for that. Also, keep in mind that the touchscreen on higher variants is prone to freezing as well as lagging, at times.
Multiple owners of petrol-powered i20 Actives have complained about poor fuel-efficiency figures, ranging between 9-12kpl in the city. This is also worth considering before you decide to buy one.
The 1.4-litre diesel with the 6-speed manual gearbox helps you see the i20 Active in its best light. The punchy diesel engine suits its characteristics well, is fuel efficient and nice to drive too.
How much to spend
Used examples can be found on sale for anywhere between ₹ 5-7 lakh, depending on the engine and trim level. Try and find a 2018 facelift, as they are better equipped, with features such as six airbags and wireless charging on the top trims. Demand isn’t very high for used i20 Actives, so you could negotiate to bring the price down.