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Active muscles in on SUV market 

HYUNDAI has added more appeal to its i20 range with what I reckon is a super little Active model.

This latest crossover arrived in March and a few days driving it was enough to convince me it can be a big hit.

It’s got rugged looks and has a punchy new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine that is the ideal fit for this model.

The 99bhp Kappa unit is super efficient and can achieve fuel economy figures of 58.9mpg combined, 47.9mpg urban and 68.9mpg extra urban.

The Active shares the same space, comfort and quality of the i20 five-door hatch that arrived in the UK a year ago – but over 50 per cent of the exterior parts are unique to this model.

There isn’t the choice of four-wheel drive as Hyundai sticks to front-wheel drive for its little SUV.

That won’t disappoint most crossover buyers who seldom venture off the tarmac.

The Active looks muscular with its thicker front and rear bumpers with integrated skid plates, bold side skirts, side cladding, robust wheel-arch moun-tings, silver roof rails and rear spoiler.

Also setting it apart from its siblings is the high-gloss black hexagonal grille with chrome surroundings, new-design 17-inch alloy wheels and silver finish fuel cap.

The revised suspension raises the body by 20mm and I liked the raised driver’s seat position that allowed better all-round visibility.

I was also happy with the overall performance of the Active.

It was nippy enough from the off, going from standstill to 62mph in 0.9seconds and a top speed of 109mph allowed it to sit quietly at motorway speeds.

The five-speed manual gearbox allowed smooth changes up and down the gears and mid-range power was also pretty good.

Road grip was impressive during a drive on some winding roads where it also scored high marks for ride comfort on some uneven surfaces.

The Active costs £1,200 more than SE models with its on-the-road price of £15,225.

As with other Hyundai models, it also comes with a high standard spec.

This includes LED running lights, rear parking sensors, projector headlights with front cornering function, cruise control with speed limiter, privacy glass, air conditioning, electric operated door mirrors, Bluetooth and DAB radio.

There isn’t any satnav but there is a smartphone docking station in the middle of the dash.

And it comes with Hyundai’s five-yar unlimited mileage warranty which includes five years of roadside assistance and annual vehicle health checks.

The Active has lots of appeal and should add to the success of the popular i20 range which has achieved more than 94,000 sales in the UK since replacing the Getz in 2008.

Hyundai has also given the i20 range its most powerful engine to date.

This is a 118bhp version of the same new 1.0-litre turbo engine and is available on Premium and Coupe Sport versions and above.

It has a top speed of 111mph, accelerates from zero to 62mph in 10.2 seconds and is capable of 59.9mpg combined.