Hyundai’s sales turnover in the UK has topped the billion pound mark. Not surprising, if the new and very sprightly i20 is anything to go by, writes Ian Strachan.

This is a smart, well specified, nicely-performing little car with all the extras you’d expect on something much bigger. and it starts at not much over £14,000.

This Hyundai looks good, with a crisp, character-full  profile, and performs well. I test drove the one litre 100 bhp petrol version in SE spec  and it’s brisk, peppy, and reasonably quiet, although it can get a bit raucous when worked hard. Linked to a five-speed gearbox the engine responds extremely well, never really feeling as if it needs that sixth cog.

If you want an i20 with a bit more oomph there are 1.2 and 1.4 litre petrol engines and a 1.4 diesel. The one-litre version gives you great economy though, delivering almost 59 miles to the gallon in mixed driving.

The i20 handles nicely and feels exceptionally sure footed. In fact the overall ride and handling of this vehicle is very impressive indeed, with comfortably soft suspension.

You get plenty of extras on the i20 in SE spec that most manufacturers would charge you extra for, including all round electric windows, air conditioning, and cruise control. You also get smart alloys, rear parking sensors and a good DAB radio with steering wheel mounted controls.

The interior is high quality for a small car, with  comfortable seats and plenty of leg and head room. The boot is respectable with 326 litres of capacity which can be increased to 1042 litres by folding the rear seats..

The whole car has a solid, quality feel with high body rigidity and good use of materials. You don’t always get this with Korean car, but this Hyundai is an honourable exception

My 1.0 SE 100bhp i20 came with an on the road price of £14,025.

This is a very impressive small car that will certainly give more established  cars in its sector a run for their money, particularly among drivers who are not marque-obsessed. And there’s a five year warranty to go with it..

Motoring Reviews are bought to you courtesy of Midlands Business News and its Motoring Editor Ian Strachan of Ian Strachan Communications