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Hyundai HB20 1.0 turbo: First Impressions

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Hyundai HB20 1.0 turbo: First Impressions

Those who risk less risk less, but end up being forgotten by history. Hyundai has decided to dare – and much – to promote the first major update of the HB20 family.

Launched in 2012, it fell in love with the Brazilian and the hatch version became the second best selling car in the country. In 2015, the HB20 got a slight visual slap. Now, the South Korean manufacturer has carried a hand and the result, first seen in studio photos released by the brand itself, caused more faces than smiles (see poll).

  • From $ 46,490 to $ 77,990: ALL PRICES FOR HB20

The good news is that live, the new look is less shocking. The bad is the price come close to $ 80 thousand. Other (good) news is in the list of equipment (but mainly in the most expensive configuration) and the adoption of 1.0 turbo engine (also restricted to top versions).

The brand has only made the top-end version Diamond Plus available for testing so far.

5 Things Only Haters Know:

  • an old bug has been fixed: the HB20 no longer gives the feeling of “jumping” when passing on uneven floors;
  • the 1.0 turbo engine set and 6-speed transmission is intertwined; responses are slight, and transmission does not hesitate to make reductions when necessary;
  • the interior – at least of this more expensive version – has been completely refurbished and feels like a more sophisticated car;
  • Power steering was finally adopted – before, only the HB20X had this option – and is standard. It makes driving more enjoyable, even though the responses are somewhat anesthetized.

See some of the main competitors of the new HB20 - Photo: G1

See some of the main competitors of the new HB20 – Photo: G1

After all, will you beat Onix?

A new round will start for both cars: days before Hyundai launched the 2020 line, GM introduced the second generation Chevrolet Onix. But the hatch only hits stores in November – it's not even available for testing yet.

The price difference is reasonable: the most expensive Onix announced so far (Premier) costs from $ 70,000 to $ 73,000 versus the nearly $ 78,000 of the top HB20.

Look of the new HB20 aroused controversy - Foto: DivulgaçãoLook of the new HB20 aroused controversy - Foto: Divulgação

Look of the new HB20 aroused controversy – Foto: Divulgação

Another question also speaks loudly: With new field rivals and evolved Onix, will the South Korean hatchle keep quiet on the podium?

The fact is that the HB20 has not necessarily gained a new generation: it still uses the 2012 platform, which has undergone some evolutions. Even so, there are many news.

See below about the new face of the HB20 and the details of first impressions while driving.

The G1 met the new HB20 at the launch event on Comandatuba Island, Bahia, last Tuesday (17).

Seen from a few angles, the 2020 line's design appears to have exaggerated lines, especially the downward-facing front with a fairly wide grille and speckled headlights.

Hyundai HB20 2020 line: similarity in the rear with the Fiesta - Photo: Press ReleaseHyundai HB20 2020 line: similarity in the rear with the Fiesta - Photo: Press Release

Hyundai HB20 2020 line: similarity in the rear with the Fiesta – Photo: Press Release

As many readers have commented, the bumper closely resembles that of the recently out-of-line Ford Fiesta. For the hatch and adventurous versions (HB20X), the rear has the creased trunk lid and boomerang-shaped lanterns – perhaps bigger than they should be.

The sedan owns the most balanced look of the three. With some pretense of being a coupe, it has a smoother ceiling drop with sleek lanterns. To disguise the size of the trunk lid, Hyundai used a plastic appliqué on the back of the glass.

What did you think of the look of the new HB20?

What did you think of the look of the new HB20?What did you think of the look of the new HB20?

Untidy design, it should be noted that the HB20 has received several other changes besides the visual. And, unlike the controversial design, they should appeal to much of the public.

The cabin has been completely refurbished – at least in the more expensive version, the only one available at the launch event. The interior gives the impression of being in a higher value car.

HB20 2020 Diamond Plus interior - Photo: Press ReleaseHB20 2020 Diamond Plus interior - Photo: Press Release

HB20 2020 Diamond Plus interior – Photo: Press Release

It is interesting to note that Hyundai used a partially digital but not configurable or color screen instrument cluster. The solution was adopted by Onix, but eventually abandoned in the new generation of the model.

New HB20 instrument panel reminiscent of first generation Onix - Photo: Press ReleaseNew HB20 instrument panel reminiscent of first generation Onix - Photo: Press Release

New HB20 instrument panel reminiscent of first generation Onix – Photo: Press Release

The HB20 continues to be offered with 3 engines: 1.0 and 1.6 aspirated and 1.0 turbo. The latter is the highlight.

Hyundai used the old 105-horsepower Kappa 1.0 turbo as its base. It has gained direct injection and other improvements, and now delivers 120 horsepower and 17.5 kgfm of torque. It is with him that the South Korean manufacturer expects to compete at the highest level in the segment.

Turbo engine is new in the more expensive versions of HB20 - Photo:Turbo engine is new in the more expensive versions of HB20 - Photo:

Turbo engine is new in the more expensive versions of HB20 – Photo:

Turbocharged engines also have news. The familiar 4-cylinder 1.6 now features a cold-start system that eliminates the outdated six pack.

The power has also been increased, and it reaches good 130 hp. It's more than 1.0 turbo, but the torque is smaller – 16.5 kgfm.

Input options follow with the 1.0 3-cylinder 80 hp and 10.2 kgfm. It also starts cold, but its power and torque numbers have not changed.

With the exception of the inlet engine, the other two options (1.6 aspirated and 1.0 turbo) sound conflicting as they deliver very similar numbers. This does not seem to be a problem for the brand.

“We see that the market is increasingly accepting the turbo. But there are still customers who think a bigger engine is better. So we thought getting rid of 1.6 now wouldn't be the right time, ”said Rodolfo Stopa, general product manager for Hyundai Motor Brasil.

Hyundai did not detail but said it made changes to the suspension.

During the approximately 50 km test drive, most of them by single-lane highways and bad asphalt, it was possible to realize that an old model failure was resolved. The HB20 no longer gives the feeling of jumping when passing on uneven floors.

At the same time, the adoption of electric steering (previously only the HB20X had this option) made driving more enjoyable, even though the responses are somewhat anesthetized.

The set formed by the 1.0 turbo engine and the 6-speed gearbox is intertwined. Responses are slight, and the transmission does not hesitate to make reductions when necessary.

And the wide maximum torque range of 1,500 to 3,500 rpm is suitable for pickups, especially above 80 km / h.

You will need to know the vehicle better to talk about 3-cylinder rattle. In quick contact he was a little more vibrant than some rivals, like the Ford Ka, for example. At least the soundproofing left a good impression, filtering well the sound coming from the front compartment.

Brake alone but charge dear

The flagship version, called Diamond Plus, delivers everything you can get in an HB20. But it charges high for this: $ 77,990.

The list includes cruise control, leather seats and steering wheel, rear camera, 8-inch multimedia center, headlight auto-turn, 4 airbags, traction and stability controls, face-to-face access and start, and air conditioning with digital dials (unlike other models, which use automatic temperature regulation).

New HB20 8-inch multimedia center, which also offers reverse camera in more expensive versions - Photo:New HB20 8-inch multimedia center, which also offers reverse camera in more expensive versions - Photo:

New HB20 8-inch multimedia center, which also offers reverse camera in more expensive versions – Photo:

In addition, there are unpublished items in the segment, such as lane-change alert (no path correction) and automatic emergency braking, which runs between 5 and 50 km / h, and can prevent collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians – but not motorcycles and cyclists.

For $ 72,990, Onix Premier responds with on-board wifi, wireless charger, 6 airbags and automatic parking, for example.

Below the HB20 Diamond, there are several options, starting at $ 46,490 (see all).

The maximum price of almost $ 78,000 hatch causes a reflection on the cost of "popular" cars. Importantly, Hyundai has not gained a completely renewed generation. He kept the platform, which underwent some evolutions.

The model is lighter and more rigid, due to the use of better steels. At the same time, it grew – but less than "should". It is 3.94 m long, 2.53 m wheelbase and 1.72 m wide. Comparing with the previous version, he gained 2 cm, 3 cm and 4 cm respectively.

“The size it is now is sufficient. We would like to have more, but now it serves the model's audience well, ”added Stopa. HB20 got bigger, but new rivals like Polo and Argo are even bigger - Photo: Press ReleaseHB20 got bigger, but new rivals like Polo and Argo are even bigger - Photo: Press Release

HB20 got bigger, but new rivals like Polo and Argo are even bigger – Photo: Press Release

But the HB20 turns out to be far from other rivals who flirt with a more premium footprint. And having values ​​close to $ 80,000 is somewhat dangerous for a vehicle that has not grown enough, despite advances in equipment and driving dynamics.

Near this price range are larger hatches such as Volkswagen Polo (4.05m), Fiat Argo (4m) and Toyota Yaris (4.15m) and even the new Onix, which did not have the measures revealed, but also went through an evolutionary leap.

Speaking of Onix, the HB20 will have a tough battle with the completely revamped Chevrolet. It also features a turbo engine, a number of unique equipment in its class and a slightly more competitive price (see how much each version of Onix costs).

That said, the HB20 no longer seems an obvious option in the market, although it has good credentials. The problem is that…

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