The Hyundai i30 is one of Australia's favourite cars, and the SR is its sportiest version.
Sharp driveaway pricing and strong showroom appeal make a compelling case, and recent updates have added further driver appeal to the popular Korean hatch.
- Suspension. Hyundai Australia developed a unique suspension tune for i30s sold locally and it's the standout element of the car. It rides well and offers good road holding when driven quickly. It feels well put together.
- Fun. That sorted suspension and a lively engine come together to make a car that is enjoyable to drive. The automatic i30 now has paddle shifters on the steering wheel which adds driver involvement and improves the experience.
- Interior. The SR has one of the most upmarket cabins in the i30 range. It features black and red leather sports seats, contrasting red stitching, metallic grey panels rather than silver, black headlining and cloth covered A-pillars.
- Exclusivity. It's hard to stand out in a car as popular as the i30 but the SR's unique alloy wheels and the availability of a unique colour called Phoenix Orange will help separate it from the crowd.
- Warranty. The Hyundai i30 has a generous five year unlimited kilometre warranty, which is one of the best warranties of any new car on sale today.
- Pricing. The Hyundai i30 SR is cheaper than its main competitors. It costs $26,550 for a manual version, and $28,850 for an auto.
- Steering. Perhaps the biggest weakness of the i30 is its electrically assisted steering. It has three different modes to adjust the steering weight but none of them are spot on. A single, well-judged setting would be better for driving quickly. Still, in day-to-day driving this isn’t a major concern.
- Safety. Advanced safety technology like auto emergency braking and blind spot monitoring are not available in the i30 SR or any versions in the i30 range. It does have a reasonable suite of safety features, but more advanced systems are becoming more common in the i30's competitor set.
- Power. At the last mechanical update of i30 SR in 2015 its 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol engine dropped 5kW and 8Nm to 124kW and 201Nm. Hyundai sacrificed a little grunt to make the car better to drive by delivering torque earlier in the rev range, however its overall outputs are a fair bit below its main rivals.
- Age. There will be a brand new i30 in Hyundai car dealerships sometime next year, and that new car is likely to address most of the flaws of the current car.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER
The Mazda 3 SP25 is another excellent option. It is also fun to drive and has stronger performance figures of 138kW and 250Nm. It can also be fitted with current-generation safety equipment. The Holden Cruze SRi is another noteworthy rival as it too has higher outputs of 132kW and 230Nm, though it's not quite as good to drive as the Mazda 3 SP25.
Click here to read the full review on the Hyundai i30 range.