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- Stylish looks
- Good value
- Impressively refined
- Not the best to drive
- Compromised rear visibility
- Some weak engines
Compared with the last-gen i30, the cabin of the new car is a huge leap forward in terms of quality – there are still a few cheap plastics here and there, but overall it’s well screwed together and built out of high grade materials for the class standard. Critics say that all the main controls are laid out logically and are easy to use.
Practicality is also quite good – there are plenty of storage spaces up front, there’s more than adequate leg and head room all round and the boot is one of the largest you’ll find in this type of car. However, some taller passengers may feel a bit cramped if equally lofty people are sitting up front, and head room is restricted slightly if you opt for the panoramic sunroof.
The Hyundai i30 has been engineered with comfort and refinement as a primary concern, so it’s not going to worry a Ford Focus for outright fun behind the wheel – some testers reckon there’s a bit of understeer, even at sensible speeds. That being said, it’s still a decent car to drive, and the light controls means it’s fairly easy to drive in town.
Where the i30 excels, though, is in refinement – most critics said that the ride is quite comfortable, if a tad fidgety on rough roads, and the noise levels are well suppressed even at higher speeds, so the i30 makes a decent motorway cruiser.
That being said, there are some downside. A few testers commented on a lack of rear visibility, and some weren’t fully convinced with the ‘Flex Steer’ system, which adds or decreases the weight of the steering, depending on which mode you select – some thought that ‘Comfort’ was too light, whilst others reckoned ‘Sport’ was too vague.
There’s a fairly broad range of engines on offer in the i30 range – you have the choice of either a pair of petrols or a trio of diesels. Though they aren’t the most powerful engines in their class, most offer a decent slug of performance, and all should be smooth, refined, and fairly affordable to run.
Only the 1.6 diesel engines have been reviewed so far, and both appear to be very good. There are some complaints of a narrow power band, but overall they’re quite quiet for oil burners, yet are also very cheap to run – both return over 70 mpg on the combined cycle and are, thanks to their low CO2 emissions, exempt from road tax.
However, the diesels are the pricier engine choices in the range, so it may be worth waiting for the rest of the i30 line-up to be tested first before choosing which model to go for.
Value for money
As you’d expect from a Hyundai, the i30 is good value for money – though more expensive than the car it replaces, it’s still quite an affordable car to buy and run, the standard equipment is generous across the range (all cars, for instance, come with air-conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity) and, of course, there’s Hyundai’s five year unlimited mileage warranty to take into account.
However, the top spec i30 models are quite pricey by Hyundai standards, and a few aren’t that far off the asking price of some of its mainstream rivals, such as the VW Golf and Ford Focus.
On some models, there is a six-speed automatic gearbox option over the six-speed manual that comes as standard across the range. Quite a few critics liked how the auto ‘box was smooth and easy to use, but it’s worth pointing out that it does dramatically affect the fuel consumption and emission figures.
Overall, the new Hyundai i30 is a great overall car that has plenty of positive attributes. It’s certainly more upmarket and is better to drive than the previous car, yet is also refined, practical and, in some cases, very good value for money.
The bold styling may be to an acquired taste, and it’s not quite the best overall car in its class, but the i30 is still a very impressive all-rounder, and is definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for such a car.
- Price range:
- £14,000 - £22,925
- 41 - 76
- Safety rating (NCAP):
- Date released:
Really great review of the new Hyundai i30, it's safe to say they like it! Useful to watch to show how much space there is inside.