The Hyundai i30 is a spacious, comfortable family car with a big boot but it’s slightly let down by some cheap-feeling interior trims – especially in entry-level models
The Hyundai i30 is a practical small family car that looks smart and comes with some frugal diesel engines. It’s a roomy alternative to the likes of the Vauxhall Astra, VW Golf and Ford Focus and is also available as the even bigger Hyundai i30 Estate, which is reviewed separately.
It might look similar to the Astra and Golf on the outside but the Hyundai i30’s interior is pretty lacklustre. It still looks reasonably smart and all but entry-level S models come with an infotainment screen as standard but it certainly lags behind the Vauxhall and VW in the style stakes.
Thankfully, you get plenty of seat adjustment across the range and all but S models come with electrically adjustable lumbar support to help prevent back ache on long journeys.
It’s not just the Hyundai i30’s front seats that are spacious – there’s enough room in the back for tall passengers to stretch out too. They’ll be treated to more knee room than you get in a Vauxhall Astra and there’s almost as much headroom as in a VW Golf. Carrying three abreast will be a little cosy thanks to the small central seat and fairly cramped footwells, but three kids will have more than enough space to get comfy.
It’s not just passengers that it can carry with ease – the Hyundai i30’s practical cabin comes with plenty of handy cubby holes. All four door bins can hold a 1.5-litre bottle, the glovebox is huge and you get a handy storage bin under the central armrest.
This theme continues with the Hyundai i30’s boot. With five seats in place, its 395-litre capacity puts it comfortably ahead of the Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf and you get plenty of tether points and shopping hooks for holding your luggage securely in place.
With the seats folded (which you can do in a handy 60:40 two-way split to carry long items and a rear passenger at once) it can swallow 1,301 litres of luggage. That’s even big enough to fit a bike – if you remove one of its wheels first.
The i30’s drab cabin and rather sedate handling do little to excite – maybe that’s why it comes with a safety system to make sure you don’t fall asleep at the wheel…
The Hyundai i30 isn’t just practical, it’s fairly frugal too. Pick a 1.0-litre model for pottering around town (it’ll return around 35mpg in real-world conditions) or a 1.4-litre model if you do a broader mix of town and motorway journeys. The 1.6-litre diesel is only really suitable for very high-mileage drivers, however.
Driving the Hyundai i30 over rough roads is pretty comfortable, thanks to its reasonably soft suspension, but it leans quite a lot in tight corners. Both the Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus inspire a touch more confidence on a twisty country lane.
On a brighter note, the Hyundai i30 received an impressive five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in its tough 2017 crash tests. This makes it one of the safest cars on sale and well worth considering if you’re looking for a solid and practical family car that won’t break the bank.