Car Reviews, Comparison

Faceoff: Volkswagen Polo vs Hyundai Elite i20

The 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


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


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


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


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


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.

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