The most significant aspect of being a shutterbug invested in getting the best visuals for a motoring mag is to have a capable and reliable car to carry me and my equipment on trips into the unknown at godforsaken hours. Till now, I have had the fortune to have had great cars, but they were all petrol sippers. And my wallet’s protests went loud and far. However, since early October this year, I finally got an oil burner, and it was the Hyundai i20 diesel with the top-of-the-line Asta trim pack.
I was dreading the fact that it could be an agricultural motor under the bonnet, but boy was I in for a surprise! The fact that it has a manual transmission was right down my street and the 6-speed gearbox has been a very welcome revelation. It in fact enhances the traditional diesel driveability by working the ’box; forward progress has never been an issue, and the wallet is not drained every now and then. Given that I reside in Pune and make at least two if not three runs out of town for shoots every week, the i20 has delighted me with its fuel efficiency. I have had it deliver 22 kpl on the highway and even with spirited driving while intown in Pune or Mumbai or wherever, it hasn’t dipped below 16.5 kpl! In these days of stratospheric fuel prices, this has been a godsend.
What I don’t like is the absence of the cooled seats from the Verna, my previous long-termer, but that’s a small element that I can live without. Manoeuvrability is great, while the ride and handling are par for the course for a family hatchback. I love the tractability of the diesel motor with tackling some of the fiercest gradients that abound in the hills dotting Pune, and it can make easy work of them even in third gear. Overall, I’m very happy that this oil burner has dispelled my notions about diesel, and it delivers unfailingly.