Hyundai Elite i20 vs Honda Amaze vs Ford EcoSport Diesel Comparison Review

  • by , Photography : eshan shetty   |
  • October 30, 2014
  • 109642

The king of our hatchback shootout takes the battle to the larger Honda Amaze and the brawny Ford EcoSport

 

Hyundai Elite i20, Ford EcoSport and Honda Amaze

 

 

Excise duty benefits for cars under 4 metres in length have changed the game in the Indian automotive scene. The concessions that manufacturers receive in this regard, ultimately benefit the buyer in the form of lower cost. And that is exactly the reason why sedans, a few SUVs as well as hatchbacks are priced somewhat similarly. While it has made ‘larger’ cars pocket friendly, it has also spoilt the buyer for choice. The question then remains, in which of the body styles should you invest your money? 

 

To find the answer, we put our king of the hatchback shootout (Also Read: Hyundai Elite i20 vs Volkswagen Polo 1.5: Diesel Comparison Review), Hyundai Elite i20 in the ring against the already established Honda Amaze and the Ford EcoSport. 

 

 

Ford EcoSport, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Elite i20 rear

 

 

Exterior Styling

Yes, the Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Amaze as well as the Ford EcoSport all come from different segments, and each one looks fantastic in its own regard, but out of the lot it’s the Korean that takes the top prize in this aspect. The Elite i20 with its swept back headlights, large honeycomb grille and those funky looking taillights looks gorgeous. Ford has done a fantastic job in making the EcoSport small yet muscular. Full credit to the designers for managing to make it look compact yet proportionate. As for the Honda Amaze, while it does rank right up there in its class, when pitched against the Elite i20 and the EcoSport it fails to stand out as much. 

 

Hyundai Elite i20 – 4.5

Ford EcoSport – 4 

Honda Amaze – 3.5

 

 

Hyundai Elite i20 interiors

 

 

Interior and Space

Now this one is interesting. By virtue of them all being pretty much the same in length, it all boils down to how well the space is managed on the inside. And Honda has managed to do that just right with the Amaze. The dashboard on the Amaze is a lot smaller than the other two, effectively making more space on the inside. To add to that the scooped up front seats also make that extra bit of knee and leg room for the rear passengers. 

 

 

Ford EcoSport Interiors

 

 

Despite being a hatchback, the Hyundai Elite i20 has the largest wheelbase of them all and it shows. It makes just a little less space on the inside than the Amaze. The Ford EcoSport just isn’t spacious on the inside as the other two. Funnily, despite it being the widest of the lot, it isn’t the most comfortable with three abreast at the back either. 

 

 

Honda Amaze interiors

 

 

What the EcoSport loses in space, it makes up in interior design. Sharp cuts on the dashboard that smartly flow into the instrument cluster and the centre console give it an aggressive look on the inside. The Hyundai Elite i20’s dash on the other hand, although premium looking, doesn't have the same flare. The Honda’s dash is all function no form. It falls short in terms of quality when compared to the other two. 

 

Hyundai Elite i20 – 4

Ford EcoSport – 3

Honda Amaze – 3

 

 

Hyundai Elite i20 centre console

 

 

Features and Equipment

In terms of features the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Ford EcoSport get them all, but the Honda Amaze has the complete absence of it. All three cars get two airbags up front, Anti-lock Braking System and steering mounted controls, and that is where the common features end. 

 

 

Ford EcoSport centre console

 

 

The Ford EcoSport as well as the Hyundai Elite i20 gets keyless entry, Bluetooth telephony and button start features. The elite i20 gets reverse camera while the EcoSport makes do with parking sensors. Over and above the aforementioned, the Elite i20 also gets rear AC vents, cooled glove box, auto headlights and a tilt and telescopically adjustable steering wheel. Moreover, the Elite i20’s multi-media interface is a lot more user friendly than on the EcoSport.

 

Hyundai Elite i20 – 4

Ford EcoSport – 3.5

Honda Amaze – 2.5

 

 

Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Elite i20 and Honda Amaze in action

 

 

Ride and Ease of Driving

Easy to drive cars are easy to live with. And in this respect, all three cars fair equally well or just as badly. Visibility from behind the wheel on the Amaze is spot on. The gear ratios are well sorted to suit city driving conditions too. But thanks to the stiffly sprung suspension, undulations on the road do not go unnoticed. The Ford EcoSport on the other hand is in fact a mirror image. The ride quality is simply brilliant and will absorb all sorts of bumps and potholes. Visibility though isn’t great thanks to an A-pillar that can almost hide a full-sized truck. Although the visibility on the Elite i20 isn’t as bad as the EcoSport, the tall gear ratios mean that much more effort while driving in the city. 

 

Hyundai Elite i20 – 3

Ford EcoSport - 3

Honda Amaze – 3

 

 

Honda Amaze, Ford EcoSport and Hyundai Elite i20 engine

 

 

Engine 

Ever since it was introduced, the Honda’s 1.5-litre diesel mill has amazed us. The four-cylinder i-DTEC mill that packs 100PS (highest among the three) and 200Nm is as energetic as a kid in the park. Ample of torque lower down the rev range makes overtaking on highways a piece of cake. The 5-speed gearbox, although a little notchy, is precise. That said, to keep the efficiency in check, Honda has limited the top speed to 140kmph. 

 

 

Hyundai Elite i20 in action

 

 

The EcoSport and the Elite i20 are equally placed in the matter of the heart. The 1.5-litre mill of the EcoSport makes as much power as Hyundai’s 1.4-litre mill but at 220Nm the latter pumps a slightly more torque as opposed to the Ford’s 204Nm. That said the Elite i20’s engine is a lot smoother and silent than the EcoSport. Our only grouse with the Korean offering is that it needs to be pushed a little harder to gain maximum potential. While it does seem a little sluggish at lower engine speeds, once in its peak power band it feels pretty quick. The Elite i20’s 6-speed gearbox is slick as opposed to the 5-speed ‘box on the EcoSport.

 

Hyundai Elite i20 – 3.5

Ford EcoSport – 3 

Honda Amaze – 4.5

 

 

 

Honda Amaze in action

 

 

Handling and Braking

In terms of fun to drive factor, the Honda Amaze takes top honours. The steering wheel is precise and the suspension rightly setup to inspire utmost confidence while cornering. Braking is pretty sharp too. We wish Honda had installed better tyres on the Amaze though. 

 

 

Honda Amaze, Hyundai Elite i20 and Ford EcoSport in action

 

 

The Ford EcoSport’s steering is a little vague in comparison to the Amaze but it does have better feel than the Elite i20. The independent McPherson strut up front and the semi-independent twist beam shocks at the back work well but thanks to the tall height it just doesn't feel as positive. 

 

The longer wheelbase of the Hyundai Elite i20 does make for decent handling dynamics but the artificial steering wheel just doesn't do justice to it. Having said that, the chassis is a lot more communicative than the EcoSport.

 

Hyundai Elite i20 – 3.5

Ford EcoSport – 3

Honda Amaze – 4

 

 

Elite i20, EcoSport and Amaze

 

 

Fuel Efficiency and Price

At 25.8kmpl the Honda Amaze is the most efficient of the lot, followed by the Ford EcoSport in second with 22.7kmpl. Hyundai claims an efficiency of 22.5kmpl for the Elite i20. In terms of pricing too, the Honda Amaze comes cheapest at Rs 7.50 lakh but keep in mind that it is also the least equipped of the lot. The Hyundai Elite i20 costs Rs 7.67 lakh while the Ford EcoSport is the most expensive at Rs 9.71 lakh. All prices ex-showroom Delhi. 

 

Hyundai Elite i20 – 4

Ford EcoSport – 3

Honda Amaze – 3.5

 

 

Hyundai Elite i20 rear

 

 

Verdict

Short listing one among the lot as difficult as choosing one flavour of ice cream from vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. To say in the simplest, there is something for everyone. While the Ford EcoSport offers the much loved bullish looks of an SUV, it doesn't quite top the charts in any one aspect. It’s like the jack of all trades master of none. The Honda Amaze ranks second in this comparison purely for a fantastic engine and the fun to drive factor that it brings to the table. The Hyundai Elite i20’s fabulous looks, features, decent handling and a fairly refined engine, makes it the winner of this comparison. So, if you want a wholesome package the Elite i20 is the one you should bet your money on. 

 

Hyundai Elite i20 – 4

Ford EcoSport – 3

Honda Amaze – 3.5


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