The least costly i30, the Go, comes standard with cloth-covered seats, manually controlled air-conditioning, 16-inch steel wheels, the 2.0-litre petrol engine, a manual gearbox, and the features in any i30.
You can spend more for an auto gearbox, in which case you get a conventional auto with its around-town friendliness. Or you could choose instead a Go diesel, with either a manual gearbox or the dual-clutch (DCT) auto
Spend more on the i30 Active and you gain satellite navigation that doesn’t depend on your phone, digital radio (DAB+)
, auto-folding door mirrors, rear parking sensors, rear-seat centre arm rest, and 16-inch alloy wheels that look nicer than steel wheels and don’t need plastic trim.
For about $1750, the i30 Go and Active are also available with Hyundai’s SmartSense active safety suite, comprising adaptive cruise control
, autonomous emergency braking
that works at city and highway speeds, lane-keeping assistance, a driver-attention alert, blind-spot detection, and a rear cross-traffic alert. (For more on these systems, please open the Safety section below.)
From here you have two possible paths along which to spend more on an i30. You can have a choice of the 2.0-litre petrol and 1.6-litre turbo diesel and more features, by choosing an i30 Elite or Premium. Or you can have a turbo-petrol engine, a sportier drive and more features, by choosing an i30 N-Line or N-Line Premium, or even more for an i30 N.
Choose an i30 Elite and auto gearboxes are standard with both the petrol and diesel versions. You get a mix of leather and fake leather on the seats and steering wheel, and smart-key entry (which lets you unlock the car and drive away without handling the key). Dual-zone climate control maintains a set cabin temperature, the driver and front passenger have independent controls, and there are vents for rear passengers. Windscreen wipers operate automatically when it rains. Compatible smartphones can be charged wirelessly from a pad on the centre console. And the wheels are an inch bigger at 17 inches, wrapped in wider tyres with a lower profile (for more dry grip and a sportier look).
The i30 Elite also brings you Hyundai’s SmartSense active safety suite as standard equipment.
Paying more for an i30 Premium brings you, in addition, heating and ventilation for both front seats, and a power-adjustable seat for the driver. There is a power-opening glass sunroof, and windows are tinted. Headlights use very bright and long-lived LEDs rather than conventional bulbs. And front parking sensors are added to those at the rear.
Choose the sportier route and go for an i30 N-Line (formerly known as the SR) and you get the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine, with a manual gearbox as standard. The N-Line also comes with yet bigger wheel rims, at 18 inches, wrapped in tyres with a lower profile again. It substitutes a more sophisticated, multi-link, rear suspension for the torsion-beam set-up on other i30s. And its seats are more deeply bolstered on each side, so that they hold you in place more securely around corners.
An i30 N-Line with a manual gearbox costs less than an i30 Elite, and shares most of its features – the key exceptions being the SmartSense active safety suite and the rear air vents. An i30 N-Line with the DCT auto gearbox costs about the same as an i30 Elite, and shares just about all of the Elite’s features – including the SmartSense active safety suite.
The i30 N-Line Premium has the DCT gearbox, costs about the same as an i30 Premium, and shares just about all the i30 Premium’s features, including SmartSense.
The most expensive i30, the N, has most of the features of the standard N-Line with the extra money being spend on performance and handling, including the gutsier 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and six-speed manual gearbox plus enhanced brakes, differential, suspension and steering for true hot-hatch performance and handling.
An active variable exhaust system is also fitted, which can be controlled via Hyundai’s N Mode Drive System that adjusts steering, suspension and engine mapping to suit normal or sports driving conditions. The N Mode system also contains performance timers and a launch control function, while the dash features a row of shift-light LEDs.
The i30 N also has more aggressive exterior trim features such a side skirts and rear-spoiler, and most of the interior features found in the N-Line. If you want more creature comforts you can add the Luxury Pack that brings many of extra the features found in the i30 Premium.
You can also spend a little more on the i30 N Fastback, which has most of the same features as the hatch, but a more coupe-shaped body.