The Hyundai i30 SR Premium adds some sporty spark to the popular hatch. The 2.0-litre engine coupled with 17 inch alloy wheels and locally-tuned suspension provides perky performance for an admittedly expensive price range ($31,250 for the manual and $33,550 for the auto).
- The suspension, fine-tuned in Australia, is impressive. The SR Premium cruises over speed bumps and road lumps without much fuss.
- The SR Premium is a smart city car, accelerating smoothly and weaving in and out of traffic with ease.
- Its compact dimensions make it a breeze to park during school drop-off mayhem, and reversing is a synch with its colour rear view camera displayed in the 7-inch touchscreen at the centre of the dashboard.
- Other functions controlled via the 7-inch touchscreen such as the satellite navigation system and Bluetooth/iPod/USB connectivity, even the quaint CD player, are intuitive and easy to use.
- The front bucket seats are sporty yet supportive. The side bolstering keeps butts planted when cornering. The electrically adjusted driver’s pew means you can get your position spot on. It’s a welcome luxury having heated front seats.
- The boot has modest capacity for hatchback of 378 litres capacity which extends to 1,316 litres when the rear seats are folded.
- The panoramic roof really adds to the interior ambience. It comes standard with the SR Premium but can be added to the SR for $2000.
- Hyundai’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty is generous.
- The SR Premium will be replaced with the 2017 edition sometime next year. Negotiate hard for a bargain on this year’s model.
- The SR Premium feels floaty on the freeway.
- The black and red leather interior is a classy touch. Until it’s revealed “leather finishes” may contain traces of polyurethane leather/ leather substitute/ pleather. A little disappointing.
- The i30 SR Premium is like the Tardis - small on the outside but surprisingly roomy on the inside. Calling it a “five seater” is a stretch though. The middle rear seat is not adult friendly.
- The gear lever feels cheap. Why make the effort to have a chunky, easy-to-grip, leather encased, adjustable steering wheel yet let the interior down with a plasticky shift?
- Adjusting the instrument backlight proved tricky.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?
There is a reason the i30 was the number one selling car in the country for four consecutive months earlier this year. It’s a terrific little car. A main contender to the SR is the Mazda 3 SP25 which has a bigger 2.5-litre engine and a cheaper price tag. Also worth a look are the Holden Cruze SRi-V, Ford Focus and Kia Cerato Si.