There was a time when hatchbacks were thought to be cheap, and anybody could buy one as sedans were considered expensive ones. These two hatchbacks in the article cost more than many sedans and SUVs in the market. That’s evident that the premium hatchback of today is not just about the price and fuel economy, but rather it’s more about style, features, and performance.
The i20 is well above the Rs 10 lakh price range. On the other side, Customers can purchase the top variant of Altroz in the same price bar. These are stylish, elegant, and fun to drive cars, and hence the comparison has to be important since we have to look beyond conventional factors frequently seen in hatchbacks.
Which one looks better?
It can be a competitive contest when it comes to good looks among these models. Both these cars possess a sense of style never seen before in this segment.
The new-gen i20 is clean-cut and sophisticated; the turbo version has a dual-tone color scheme that looks sporty. The small details like the tail-lamps to the strong lines on the side, the wide stance is all attractive. Even the 16-inch alloys are nicely done. Hence, the i20 looks big, and that is because it is considered longer than the Altroz.
In comparison, the Altroz is even more radical with the slim headlamps connected to the grille and the unique line on top that connects. The strong window line along red/black dual-tone looks perfect; the rear with its generous black detailing ends up looking more extrovert.
You really cannot fault these two for looking bland, and both get a sizeable amount of attention.
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How do interiors look?
Step inside, and you forget that you are in a hatchback- especially the i20. The i20 interior looks plush and actually more premium than the Verna or the Venue! The interior is all black with this turbo version, but some tasteful red accents all over and sportier pedals. The steering wheel looks and feels high quality, while the digital cluster looks futuristic.
The best part is the huge 10.25-inch screen same as seen in the Creta. The big screen makes the cabin more expensive in design. It is also classy and very restrained though handsome.
Whereas the Altroz has a smaller touch screen compared to the i20, and its instrument cluster is also partly digital. The dual-tone cabin makes it lighter; the lines going throughout and overall design are very nice.
Space is where the i20 wins, though, since it has a longer wheelbase and the rear seat actually is better than some SUVs! You can accommodate three passengers here with outstanding legroom and headroom. The Altroz, despite having less room than the i20, has a decent amount of space, but the width is a bit lacking. That said, it has the bigger boot over the i20.
What about the features?
When you spend this much, you expect many features with the vehicle, and trust me; you won’t be disappointed. Touch screen, infotainment system, rearview camera, rear-ac vents, connected car technology, climate control, and more. The top-end variant of the i20 steals the show due to its extra features like sunroof, air purifier, and wireless chargingg. It has a bigger and better touch screen with clearer graphics.
The Altroz’s music system matches with the Bose audio of the i20, though. Safety-wise, these cars are the best in standard and offer a high amount of equipment. The Altroz, with its 5-star NCAP rating, is also considered one of the safest cars in Indai.
What about driving?
Both cars are turbo petrol along with standard 1.2l engines while there is diesel also. However, the Altroz is limited to manual gearboxes, while the i20 has a manual, iMT, and DCT automatic with turbo petrol.
Both cars with their standard 1.2l petrol engine offer just about the good performance and are perfect for city use. But if you need performance, you need to check out the turbo petrol variants.
The i20 with the turbo petrol makes 120 bhp and 172 Nm- figures that make it the most powerful hatchback currently on offer. The Altroz with the turbo petrol is a bit down on power when compared to the i20 which offers 110 bhp and 140 Nm. You also get a manual gearbox only. In terms of performance, the i20 is fast with its slick DCT gearbox and it gets too fast on-road easily. The handling, grip, steering, and over performance is a massive change over the earlier i20.
The Altroz is not as quick but has a punchy power delivery nevertheless. It felt more with a manual while it also feels nice to drive when driven aggressively. You will enjoy driving both cars, no doubt.
That said do not expect more than 10/11kmpl in real-world city use for these cars.
Which one to buy?
The power, features, and overall premium feel of the new i20 starts from Rs 6.8 lakh and go to 11.3 lakh for the DCT, as seen here. That makes it the most expensive hatchback in India. The Altroz is cheaper than, with its price range being Rs 5.7 lakh to Rs 9.5 lakh.
The i20 is expensive; the turbo version has everything you want with a lot of power, space, and a huge list of features. It does make sense to pay this much for a hatch, trust us.
However, if your budget does not extend this much, then the Altroz turbo is also a good buy with its smashing looks, good blend of features, and performance. In short, it all depends on your budget. Hatchbacks have grown and are possibly now the most desirable class of cars for those who like performance and style.