Cartrade Comparison Test
The only two premium hatchbacks, which are extremely popular, that all want to buy in India are Hyundai Elite i20 and Volkswagen Polo. Both have their own selling propositions to pull the prospective client towards itself. The best in German engineering with performance, ride and handling like none, Volkswagen believes that the Polo is by far the best thing on road to make its driver experience fun and thrill at the same time. Not many would term it as exaggeration as indeed Volkswagen Polo is the ultimate benchmark among its peers for performance.
Then there are those who aren’t too bothered about high speed cornering, acceleration and handling as much as they think of features and design and that is where the Hyundai Elite i20 starts making loads of sense. It is also not a white elephant like the Polo as it is extremely practical and sensible for everyday use. So which among these makes it to the top, our spec-feature compare is here.
Exterior and Interior Design: Hyundai Elite i20 Vs Volkswagen Polo
The Hyundai i20 was a decent looker, even though it didn’t have anything grand about its design. This perception changed drastically and amazingly when the Elite i20 was launched. Hyundai made use of their European design centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany to design the most impressive looking hatchback to be sold in the country. The Elite i20 gets wrap around headlamps and their positioning gives a wider stance. It gets a sketch line on top giving an impression of DRLs as seen on the flagship Santa Fe. There is a slim profile between the bonnet lip and the front bumper.
Sitting quietly with a stiff upper lip and superb snob value, Volkswagen Polo is for those who don’t like too much bling on the exterior. The sophisticated and elegant design of the Polo makes it look modern without feeling dated, as the overall design has been retained except for minor tweaks on the front and rear bumper. There is a neat chrome strip which runs along the width of the bumper engulfing the lower half of the fog lamps. It gets a triple blade radiator grille with the lowest one done in chrome unlike in the earlier version where the top two blades were in chrome.
Hyundai knows exactly how to pamper Indian audiences and they do it by adding lots and lots of features. There is a 2 DIN Audio with 1GB on board memory which also happens to be a segment first. Giving an onboard memory is an impressive feature especially if you are like me who loves hearing music on the move. It offers AUX and USB ports. The 8 speaker music system sadly doesn’t score much when it comes to music output. The speakers lack the finesse of a high end music system.
In the New Volkswagen Polo, the central console now gets a brushed aluminium surround around the 2-DIN music system as well as around the AC controls. One can stream music via Bluetooth in this. There are USB and Aux-in connectivity options too in addition to the memory card slots. It gets four speakers
Rest of the layout remains similar except for the minor addition in space in the rear. It has freed some more breathing area but remains tight on space. Beige fabric seats are seen on both rows.
Performance: Hyundai Elite i20 Vs Volkswagen Polo
The 1.4L U2 CRDi engine in the Hyundai Elite i20 has been tweaked to improve power and torque delivery and bring down the vibrations. This 1396cc diesel engine produces 90Hp of power and 22.4kgm of torque between 1500 to 2750rpm. The new Polo’s refined 1.5L diesel engine which is a descendant of its bigger 1.6L engine produces 90PS at 4200 rpm and 230Nm at 1500 – 2500 rpm. So the good news is, numbers have gone up and thus performance has increased but then the mileage has got a tinge down.
Conclusion: Hyundai Elite i20 Vs Volkswagen Polo
Compared to its primary competition, the Swift, the Elite i20 feels far more a superior product in terms on overall design and packaging. Hyundai’s vast spread dealership network also reduces ownership hassles. But if you aren’t much worried about number of dealers and want a quick car to carve unique lines on tarmac, the Polo is a strong recommendation.