This is the reinvented Hyundai i30 hatchback, a smart small car making a play for Volkswagen Golf buyers, with a strong European design influence, loads of equipment and a range of three engines to choose from. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
WHAT STANDS OUT
Hyundai has made a point of including heaps of gear in the i30, even at base level. Every variant comes with a large 8.0-inch touchscreen, digital radio, satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus cruise control, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, auto headlights and alloy wheels. There’s also a five year warranty to back it all up.
Best of all, every i30 model is able to bring a smile to the face of a keen driver, especially the sportier versions which have more sophisticated suspension and a slicker gearbox. It’s a useful car around town, but also fun on an open road.
The Hyundai i30’s look and feel inside depends on how much you’re willing to spend. Cheaper models have cloth seats rather than leather, and are light-on as far as comfort and convenience features. All models get seven airbags as standard, but only the more expensive i30 models get the full measure of active safety features like autonomous emergency braking and lane keeping assistance.
Fully featured i30 Premium models have keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, rear air vents, heated and cooled front seats with electric adjustment, larger alloy wheels, LED headlights, a sunroof and front parking sensors.
In terms of space, this i30 has more rear leg room than the old one, and feels bigger inside than competitors like the Honda Civic and Subaru Impreza. The boot is also slightly bigger, at 395 litres, which is good for a small hatch.
Choosing the right i30 starts with the engine. There is one diesel and two petrol four-cylinders on offer. Outputs range from 120kW and 203Nm for the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol in the i30 Active base model, to 100kW and 300Nm for the 1.6-litre turbo diesel in i30 Active, Elite and Premium models, to 150kW and 265Nm for the 1.6-litre turbo petrol in the sporty SR models.
All diesel and turbo-petrol i30 models are available with a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. The base model i30 Active petrol comes with either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto. You can also choose the manual shift option with the entry level diesel and the sporty i30 SR if you prefer.
We like the performance and driving characteristics of the SR model, and its high level of equipment makes it the most compelling i30 of the range.
Hyundai has done well to ramp up the i30’s kerbside appeal while injecting it with the substance to match. The latest model has a challenge on its hands against keenly priced rivals, but with the quality of its dynamics and its upmarket spec, hatchback buyers should take first-hand look.