No, wait, we’ve not gone crazy. Sure, one of the cars that you see here is a hatchback and the other an SUV. So why are they in this comparo? Because despite the difference in body type, both have a few things in common. First is size. Both are just about four metres long.
Even with that, the i20’s cabin is a bit cramped and the high window line makes the rear passengers feel claustrophobic. As for boot space, the i20’s measures 295 litres while the EcoSport can take in 346 litres of luggage.
While the i20 loses out on space, it has the upper hand when it comes to creature comforts. Both these cars get Bluetooth connectivity, parking sensors, keyless entry, steering-mounted controls and climate control, among other features, but the i20 also gets a reversing camera and a cooled glove compartment.
Like the EcoSport, the i20 rides well over bad roads, but the EcoSport’s 200mm of ground clearance means it’ll not scrape its underside while going over those bad roads.
In the handling department, the i20 is no star. The steering is light, which helps in city driving, but lacks any kind of feel at high speeds. The soft suspension setup results in a lot of pitching and rolling.
Like the EcoSport, the i20 gets lots of engine and gearbox options. For now, the 1.4-litre oil burner is pegged against the EcoSport. This engine churns out a good 89bhp and 220Nm of spin. The figures are not the problem here. The problem is the way it puts this power down to the road. The blower comes into play only at 2,000rpm and the power band ends at 4,000 revs. After which there’s only noise and no power.
To make sure you stay in the meaty end of the power band, you need to keep shifting through the six-speed manual gearbox. Luckily, the shifts are smooth and precise. If you shift right, the i20 can be quite quick – as proven by the 11.91sec that it takes to 100kph. And it’s efficient too. It goes 13.3kpl in the city and 16.2kpl on the highway. But even with that, it’s half a kilometre less than the EcoSport.
Secondly, what’s also common between the two cars is the pricing – the i20 diesel starts at Rs 8.09 lakh, and if you go for all the features, it’ll cost you Rs 9.31 lakh (all prices on-road, Mumbai).
With such similar pricing and size, you may want to look at the EcoSport before you go to the Hyundai dealership. And as you work on your decision, you’ll find the EcoSport makes more sense, with its higher ground clearance and extra space adding to practicality, despite lacking a couple of features, which you wouldn’t mind.
Hyundai i20 CRDi
Price: Rs 9.31 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Engine: 1,396cc, 4cyl, turbo-diesel
Mileage: 14.7 (overall)
TopGear Rating: 6/10
Ford EcoSport 1.5 diesel
Price: Rs 11.12 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Engine: 1,498cc, 4cyl, turbo-diesel
Mileage: 15.1 kpl (overall)
TopGear Rating: 8/10