£18,895 - £25,295 Price range
42 - 72 MPG
You only have to go back around ten years to find critics advising you to avoid a Korean family estate car at all costs, but now cars like Hyundai’s i30 Tourer are a legitimate choice against the toughest of competition – backed up by the car’s positive reviews.
The i30 Tourer is rated highly for practicality, running costs and interior space, everything the average estate buyer is looking for.
Badge snobbery shouldn’t really be an issue with Hyundai any more thanks to a much improved range of cars on offer, but if you are still wary of the badge, most reviewers are saying that it’s well worth a look even if you are considering the more up-market Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf estates.
Check out our handy Hyundai i30 Tourer colour guide too to get an idea of what shades are on offer.
Cheapest to buy: 1.6-litre S petrol
Cheapest to run: 1.6-litre Blue Drive S diesel
Fastest model: 1.6-litre 136hp DCT diesel
Most popular: 1.6-litre Blue Drive SE diesel
Starting with the important bit, the boot, the i30 Tourer’s 528 litres of loading space with the seats up and luggage cover in place is huge, and this expands to a whopping 1,642 litres with the rear seats dropped.
It’s more than a match for most rivals, and this is important in a sector where most buyers will be prioritising boot space over other factors – in fact it features in our Top 10 Biggest Estate Car Boots.
The rest of the cabin is equally large, capable of seating four adults in comfort – although some testers felt the front seats were a little oddly shaped.
It’s not quite as stylish inside as the Kia Cee’d Sportswagon, built on the same platform, but enough to impress anyone new to the brand and shows Hyundai’s determination to keep on improving the quality of its interiors.
One area in which Hyundai has always struggled to match the European makes is in ride and handling balance – the i30 Tourer was designed in Europe for European roads by a largely European team of engineers to try and address this.
The result is that, according to testers, it rides quite nicely – the suspension soaks up even larger road imperfections quietly and without much fuss.
Opinions are mixed on handling though, and the car may be complemented for good levels of grip, but it doesn’t feel as composed in the turns as some rivals, and all testers agree that the steering is oddly weighted, imprecise and has no feel to it.
The Focus and Golf are better in this regard, but as some reviews point out, it depends how much importance you place on handling over comfort and the car’s other positives.
The engine choices for the i30 Tourer continue the sensible family estate theme with devotion – all are 1.6-litres in capacity, one is petrol, two are diesel.
The petrol develops 118hp, takes just over 11 seconds to hit 62mph, and returns an average of 42.8 mpg when you’re not testing the 0-60 times – not bad for a petrol.
The diesels are a better bet and have been tested considerably by the experts, who generally recommend the 108hp Blue Drive model that returns around 67 mpg, costs £20 per annum to tax, and yet performs more or less in line with the petrol model. The more powerful 128hp diesel improves performance a little bit and can still do over 64 mpg.
The diesels are refined, only making noise when worked too hard, and are smoothest and quietest in the middle of the rev range, and most flexible here too. Just avoid the automatic gearbox, which saps performance and economy quite significantly.
Both are pretty much on-par for the class standard, and both are rated well by the experts. There have been more reviews of the lower-power unit so far, but the bottom line is an engine that performs and uses fuel to the same levels as most rivals. The 108-hp model reaches 62 mph in 11.8 seconds, while both return 64.2 mpg on the combined cycle.
Refinement is good, one tester saying the engine "spun willingly and sounded quite sporty", another noting it's at its smoothest in the middle of the rev range. It can be a bit "clattery" under hard acceleration and feels a little flat below its torque peak, but generally it's a willing unit with few complaints.
The i30 Tourer attained a five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests, which is reassuring, and it also has many safety gadgets available to make it even safer.
The list of standard tech isn’t huge – all models get airbags, stability and anti-lock braking systems – but the optional extras are impressive.
Such optional extras include brake lights and hazard lights that make it obvious to following motorists that you are engaging in an emergency stop, and a hill-start assist system that prevents the car from rolling backwards.
The i30 Tourers cost more than £1,000 more than the equivalent hatchback model, which is already quite spacious, so your first priority is deciding whether you genuinely need the extra space.
After that, it’s still a car that undercuts most main rivals and offers more standard equipment too – though the price gap to more established class leaders is no longer as high as it once was.
This isn’t too surprising, though, when you consider the leaps and bounds Hyundai has made in improving the quality of the interior fixtures and fittings – a very weak point in earlier models they made.
Economy isn’t quite up to the standard of some either, particularly when Volkswagen’s Bluemotion Golf Estate is waiting in the wings. What Volkswagen can’t do is match Hyundai’s five-year warranty – the only rival able to do this is the Kia C’eed SW.
There’s plenty to recommend the i30 Tourer – the cavernous boot makes a strong case by itself – but it isn’t quite a class leader in every respect, even if it does come close in some areas.
Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen have moved the ride and handling game on, and Hyundai’s partner Kia offers an arguably better looking vehicle with a longer warranty for the same price.
You shouldn’t be put off owning an i30 Tourer if you need a value-packed family estate, but there are slightly better options out there, including the Hyundai i40 Tourer if you want slightly more space wrapped in a better performing and better looking body.