2017 Hyundai i30 SR Quick Review

By John Carey, 24 Feb 2017 Car Reviews

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2017 Hyundai i30 SR

Good-looking and surprisingly quick, the SR model will be the stand-out in the new Hyundai i30 range set to launch in Australia in April.

Tell me about this car

The third edition of the Korean car maker’s very popular small hatch is scheduled to launch in Australia in late April this year. The mostly new ‘PD’ Hyundai i30 and is slightly longer and wider than its ‘FD’ predecessor, but fractionally lower.
The range-topping, sporty SR variant is powered by a nifty 1.6-litre turbo engine and will have superior handling than the rest of the range due its independent rear suspension
Depending on transmission and equipment, SR pricing should be in the $28,000-$34,000 range.

Strengths

1. Exterior design – Hyundai wanted an exterior look for the new i30 that would appeal to style-conscious European customers and used the Volkswagen Golf for inspiration. The result is a very good looking small hatchback that’s well proportioned and cleanly detailed. With its big wheels, the SR is the best of the bunch.

2. Interior space grows incrementally, including the cargo compartment, and the interior is also a fresh design.

2017 Hyundai i30 SR

3. The attractive instrument panel features a floating, tablet-style centre screen, a new steering wheel and easy-to-read instruments.

4. The SR’s 150kW/265Nm 1.6T GDi engine delivers very strong acceleration without making a noisy fuss. Transmission options include a six-speed manual and very good seven-speed double-clutch auto.

5. Handling – the SR will be the only Australian model equipped with the sophisticated independent rear suspension that’s standard in all versions of the i30 made in Europe. WhichCar hasn’t had a chance to try the car with the specific Australia-market suspension, but the handling of an SR-equivalent in Korea hinted that it will be good through curves and reasonably smooth over road bumps.

6. Steering is more direct than before and makes the i30 feel more agile.

7. Infotainment – the new i30 also brings a major upgrade in connectivity and driver aid systems. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation will be available

8. Safety-boosting technology includes autonomous emergency braking, and driver attention, blind-spot, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

9. The stronger body is made from fewer panels, many stamped from tough types of steel. Hyundai engineers say the stiffer structure is the basis for better handling, lower noise levels and improved crash safety.

 2017 Hyundai i30 SR interior

Weaknesses

1. Tyre noise – on rough-surfaced roads in Korea, where WhichCar sampled the new i30, tyre-generated road racket was a problem. Australia-market export cars may be the same.

2. Interior quality perception – while the design of the i30’s cabin is generally attractive, especially the instrument panel, the overall effect isn’t a match for the best in the small-car class. There’s less of a quality feel to both in-your-face and out-of-the-way plastics in the Hyundai.

Any rivals I should consider?

The speedy and sporty feel of the i30 SR makes the Mazda 3 SP25 its most obvious rival. The Hyundai’s turbo engine is definitely stronger, but the Japanese car’s interior is classier. Looking at the i30 as a range, the Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf line-ups provide the most obvious competitors.