Face Off: 2015 Honda Jazz vs Hyundai Elite i20

honda jazz front

Japanese automotive heavyweight Honda has finally made its big comeback into the premium hatchback segment here in India. Honda hits the hatchback market with its eagerly awaited next gen Jazz. The first generation Jazz performed quite poorly in India thanks to its exorbitant price tag and the lack of a diesel engine. This time however, Honda has increased localization levels and introduced its all new i-DTEC EarthDreams diesel engine that is already in use in the Amaze, Mobilio and City.

We take a look at how the new Japanese hatch fares against one of the biggest selling cars in India – the Hyundai Elite i20.

Design:

Honda Jazz:

The new Honda Jazz sports an interesting design. While Hyundai has adopted a restrained and sophisticated exterior for the Elite i20, the 2016 Honda Jazz gives the impression of being the life of a party. The laid-back design, zany color options and the name itself produces an aura of vivacity around the Japanese hatchback. Unlike the Mobilio, City and Brio, Honda has opted to drop the unnecessary all chrome grille and replaced it with a simple black plastic unit that is complemented by a simple silver line that runs from end to end, a welcome change in design. The overall silhouette of the Jazz is a cross between a large hatchback and a compact MPV. The body style has allowed for Honda to pack in oodles of interior space.

honda jazz front three quarter
The Honda Jazz’s smart layout allows for maximum interior space

Hyundai Elite i20:

Hyundai’s Elite i20 is graced with the South Korean car maker’s all new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design philosophy. While the design language’s first iteration focused on striking looks, version 2.0 seeks to polish itself to add a touch of refinement and class to Hyundai’s range. The hexagonal grille, headlight design and beautiful rear end all meld together to form a shell that appeals to both the executive class as well as the youth.

2014 red Hyundai Elite i20
The 2014 Hyundai Elite i20

The design of both cars can only be described as outstanding and it all boils down to a matter of preference.

Winner: Draw

 

Interior:

Honda Jazz:

Honda’s high levels of localization has allowed the manufacturer to cram as many features as possible without bumping the price up. Similar to the City, the new Jazz features a fully loaded touch screen infotainment system with satellite navigation and standard connectivity options such as Bluetooth, AUX and USB input. Similar to the The dashboard features the typical asymmetric Honda design that is driver-centric allowing for the driver to easily reach the necessary buttons and knobs.

Hyundai Elite i20:

Similar to its exterior, the Hyundai Elite i20’s interior is uncluttered and classy. Unlike the previous model that featured an all black cabin, the new Elite i20 features a combination of beige and black to provide a less claustrophobic cabin. However, with its main competition migrating from a conventional music system to a fully loaded touchscreen infotainment system, the Hyundai may feel slightly dated to some.

Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20
The Elite i20 makes use of a combination of beige and black plastics to provide an airy feel to the cabin

Winner: Honda Jazz

 

Engine:

Honda Jazz:

Although Honda cars may not be as popular as they once were back in the early 2000’s, the manufacturer’s engineering prowess has not diminished. The 2015 Honda Jazz’s engine lineup is a testament to that statement. Powering the petrol variants of the Japanese hatch is the manufacturer’s 1.2 l i-VTEC engine that churns out 90 PS and 110 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual or CVT gearbox.

maroon honda jazz
The 2015 Honda Jazz offers both petrol and diesel this time

The Honda Jazz’s diesel engine may be one its most interesting selling points. The Japanese car maker has fitted the hatch with the very same oil burner found on the City, Mobilio and Amaze without any changes to the performance numbers. As a result, the Jazz provides a whopping 100 PS and 200 Nm of torque, the best in its segment. The 1.5 l i-DTEC engine is mated to a six speed manual and manages an impressive fuel economy of 27.3 km/l.

Hyundai Elite i20:

Hyundai has not made any mechanical changes to the new i20. As such, the South Korean hatchback is still powered by the 1.2 l petrol and the 1.4 l CRDI diesel engines. The 1.2 l petrol mill produces 82 hp @ 6000 RPM and 115 Nm of torque. The CRDI unit churns out 89 hp and 220 Nm of torque.

drive new 2014 i20
The Elite i20 could use a more poweful engine

Winner: Honda Jazz

 

Verdict:

The second gen Honda Jazz has been eagerly awaited by car fans. The peppy styling, powerful engine and feature loaded interior will make the Jazz one of the hottest selling cars in this segment. Honda’s revival in the Indian market has begun full swing.

honda jazz front
The Honda Jazz is the winner

Faceoff: Volkswagen Polo vs Hyundai Elite i20

2013 volkswagen polo

The Volkswagen Polo is a model that has cut its teeth in a cut-throat segment for years now. The car has proved its mettle and lived up to the reputation of the stable it comes from. With the latest facelift, the Polo has proved that even small tweaks can make a car a whole lot more of  luring prospect.

But what happens when the segment is overtaken by a callow competitor making its entry for the first time? The Hyundai Elite i20 may be new but it has managed to validate itself in a very short time by garnering a whopping 15,000 bookings in a month following its launch. So how do these two rivals fare when put head-to-head? Let’s find out.

2014 red Hyundai Elite i20
The 2014 Hyundai Elite i20 Seen Here in Red

EXTERIOR

The Hyundai Elite i20’s new “Fluidic 2.0” design looks very smart. The wide swept back headlamps, alloy wheels, and chrome finish door handles lend the car a bold and elegant appearance. One also gets to see electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors which come with integrated turn indicators in front. The beautifully designed tail lamp combination gives the Hyundai Elite an aggressive look from the side profile.

Although the Volkswagen Polo does not come with much transformation in its latest form, it still holds a strong command over its visual appeal, which makes it a very strong contender in its segment. Few distinctive changes which can be seen are- artistic dual beam headlights covered with a posh black layer, 16inch alloy wheels, a beautifully designed front grille and tail lights. The rear hasn’t been tampered with much and it’s quite a task to tell the new Polo apart from its predecessors on this aspect.

But at the end of the day, the Elite i20 is a model that comes of looking better thanks to a fresh design which dares to defy what’s worked for it in the past.

Hyundai Elite i20: 4.5

Volkswagen Polo: 3.5

Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20
Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20

INTERIORS

The Volkswagen Polo’s interior changes are next to nil. The minor modifications that have been made include the additional SD card reader, silver trimmed dashboard, and the newly designed steering wheel, which contributes to the ambiance of the cabin. The major drawback of the Polo is the lack of space in the rear seat due to scooped off front seats as it comes with a 13 mm longer wheel base. There is also insufficient room for knee and shoulder at the rear .

The new Hyundai Elite i20 simply seems to be unbeatable in this segment in terms of the features and equipment it packs in. A chilled glove box, two 12V power outlets, telescope adjusted steering, 1GB inbuilt memory and a rear view parking camera are just some of the many entries on the model’s list of features. It also screams ahead in terms of rear seat comfort, as it is more spacious and provides more comfort than the Polo.

Once again, it is the youthful Elite i20 that edges past. Its interiors are welcoming and comfortable. For those who like to have a lot of bells and whistles to play with as part of the drive experience, the Elite i20 offers features up in spades.

Hyundai Elite i20: 4.5

Volkswagen Polo: 4

2014 Volkswagen polo

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The major change to be seen in the new Volkswagen Polo is their upgraded engine. It now comes with a 1.5 litre diesel powerplant that puts out 90PS of power and 230Nm of torque. It comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox.  It attains a three digit speed with an ease and tends to be very smooth. The tactile feedback is intuitive and reactions measured and brisk. It also turns out to be an absolute comfort to push to higher speeds on open roads.

On the other hand, the Hyundai Elite i20 comes with a 1.4 liter CRDi engine as the previous versions. It also puts out 90PS of power but offers a torque of 220Nm, slightly less compared to the Polo. But this one comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox, which makes it a slight challenge for the driver to maintain rectilinear motion when pushing the car.

While the Elite i20 may have a slight edge in the cosmetic departments, it is the Polo that impresses with its reliable performance and ability to ride the torque curve. Add to this its well sprung suspension and comfortable cockpit, and the Polo trumps the Elite i20 in this department.

Hyundai Elite i20: 4

Volkswagen Polo: 4.5

 Volkswagen polo signal light left

FUEL EFFICIENCY AND PRICE

When it comes to one of the most essential parameters of comparison, that is the mileage, the Elite i20 is slightly ahead. The new Volkswagen Polo offers a mileage of 20.1 kmpl.  The new Elite i20 is slightly more economical in its use of fuel, yielding a mileage of 21.9 kilometers per liter.

The new Hyundai Elite i20 diesel variant starts at 7.66 lakhs, while Volkswagen Polo diesel variant is around Rs.30,000 rupees cheaper.

Hyundai Elite i20: 4.5

Volkswagen Polo: 4.5

VERDICT

This face-off has proved to be an interesting one given that these cars each have their individual strengths and weaknesses in different departments. With the Polo, Volkswagen has managed to stick to their trend ie. manufacturing powerful engines. The Hyundai Elite i20 has a done a phenomenal job in its styling, space and equipment. If you want to enjoy your drive, Volkswagen’s Polo best suits you. But if you tend to hunt for a value package which best suits you and your family standards, then the Hyundai Elite i20 is the way to go.

Faceoff: Hyundai Elite i20 vs Fiat Punto Evo

punto flyout new

Hatchbacks are undeniably India’s favorite class of cars. While the demand for them is revelatory of this fact, manufacturers’ preoccupation with keeping the hatchbacks in their portfolio fresh also shows how important they are in the market. In 2014, the competition has heated up with the launch of two updated models- Hyundai Elite i20 and Fiat Punto Evo. Let’s take a spin showing you all the features and specifications of these newly launched Hyundai and Fiat hatches.

elite i20 red review

EXTERIOR

The new Hyundai Elite i20 comes with bold and aggressive front, sleek swept back headlamps, sporty alloy wheels on the side and dynamic signs running along the sides, which gives the side profile of the car an interesting appearance. The outside door handles are finished in chrome while the electrically-adjustable rear-view mirrors come  with integrated turn indicators. The side swept tail lamps visible from the side profile are quite chunky. The classy looking tail lamp combination gives a very attractive look to the rear of the car. On the other hand, the new Fiat Punto Evo bears a very elegant look due to the rounded elements which comply with its Italian roots. The side profile of the Evo has not changed much and bears similar appearance to previous models. They have retained the flaring wheel arches, one of the more edgy features of the car’s exterior. The rear of the car has completely redesigned tail lamps and also a newly designed bumper.

This round score:

Fiat Punto Evo        : 4

Hyundai Elite i20  : 4

 Fiat Punto Evo review compare

INTERIORS

The Hyundai Elite i20 and Fiat Punto Evo share many attributes in terms of features on the interiors- with climate control, 2-DIN music system (BT+USB+AUX) and steering mounted audio and multimedia controls being common between the two. You also find rear air conditioning vents in top of the line variants in both the cars. But it seems like the Hyundai Elite i20 grabs the edge in the interiors as it holds some exclusive features like- chilled glove box, two 12V power outlets, telescope adjustment for the steering, 1GB internal memory, and rear view parking camera. These are some niceties that the Punto Evo does not boast.  In terms of upholstery, the Fiat Punto Evo gets a complete black nourishment in its interiors whereas the Hyundai Elite i20 uses dual tone beige and black interiors. the new Punto Evo is spacious enough to accommodate five passengers comfortably. However, the Elite i20 takes the cake as being one of the most premium-looking cars in terms of how the cabin feels.

This round score:

Fiat Punto Evo        : 4

Hyundai Elite i20: 4.5

interiors new punto evo

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The Elite i20 continues to gain power from the 1.2 litre Kappa VTVT petrol engine. The diesel version of the car houses a 1.4 litre U2CRDi engine. The 1.2 litre Kappa mill  delivers  a peak power of 82bhp at 6000 rpm and an upper torque figure of 115 Nm at 4000rpm. The 1.4 litre diesel unit develops 89bhp at 4000rpm and 220Nm of torque at 2750rpm.The hatchback is available in two petrol and one diesel engine variants. The 1.2 litre petrol engine pumps out peak output of 67bhp, and the 1.4 litre diesel unit churns out  90bhp. Fiat’s 1.3 litre Multi-jet diesel engine comes with two power output options – 75bhp and 92bhp. The 92bhp version of the Punto Evo is the most powerful engine in its league.

Performance is where the Punto Evo tends to lose ground against the Hyundai Elite i20. It is more powerful on paper but the drive is quite sluggish and the car feels slow out of the blocks. The engine aboard the Elite i20 feels a lot more refined. The electronically-controlled throttle control ensures that the power-delivery is consistent with the amount of load that is being placed on the car.

This round score:

Fiat Punto Evo       : 3.5

Hyundai Elite i20 : 4

 New Hyundai i20 review

PRICE

Hyundai Elite i20: 6.09-7.66 lakhs

Fiat Punto Evo : 5.27-7.2 lakhs

In terms of value for money, the Punto Evo tends to take a hit for its slightly lesser fuel efficiency. This has to do with the fact that the car has a mileage of 20.5kmpl, which falls short of the approximately 22.5 liters to the kilometer that diesel variants of the Elite i20 deliver . The higher pricing of the Hyundai hatch can be explained by the fact that it offers a lot more feature and better comfort. These factors even out playing field in terms of price and value for money.

This round score:

Fiat Punto Evo       : 4

Hyundai Elite i20  : 4

 fiat punto evo review compare

VERDICT

After looking at the specifications of both the cars it can be said that Hyundai Motor India Limited has best of the package in the form of Elite i20. It delivers well on accounts of power, torque and wheel base. But the only department where the Fiat Punto Evo has an edge over Elite i20 is in the availability of more engine options. But in comparison with Fiat, Hyundai has a larger service network, by which the parts can be obtained faster and cheaper, which certainly favours the South Korean manufacturer.