Hyundai i30 Review & Prices
The Hyundai i30 has always been a dependable hatchback, but you’d never describe it as desirable. It’s quite stylish and quite spacious but there are other cars that can do those things and more
What's not so good
Find out more about the Hyundai i30
The Hyundai i30 is a reliable, if unexciting, alternative to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus hatchbacks. Think of it a little bit like a McDonald’s cheeseburger. It’s great value for money and it’ll leave you fulfilled, but it’s not the most exciting choice on the menu.
Like a tweak to the recipe, the i30 has been updated since this car first appeared. Upfront, a large slotted grille gives the i30 a bit more visual impact than before, the smarter look backed up by LED lights fitted as standard to all but entry-level cars. At the back, the styling is largely unchanged but, again, LED lights are now standard on all but the cheapest versions. The sleeker i30 Fastback and capacious i30 Tourer estate that sit alongside the five-door hatchback have had similar styling tweaks, too.
The interior of the i30 has had a refresh too, with a new 10.3-inch infotainment system, a part-digital instrument display, plus optional, more premium grey trim. Otherwise, the layout of the dashboard and interior are largely the same as since this generation of car arrived in 2017.
Mind you, that’s not a bad thing. Sure, the i30 is a little dull inside but the quality is pretty decent, there’s some nice soft-touch materials and everything feels robustly made.
Finding a comfy driving position is a breeze in the i30 thanks to fantastic seat and steering wheel adjustment, with plenty of headroom spare too. In the back, even the tallest passengers won’t struggle to get in and decent knee room should allow them to get comfortable as well.
It's a good all-rounder, but the Hyundai i30 doesn't offer anything special to set it apart
Getting kids in is also a breeze. The rear doors open wide to allow easy access and once a child’s seat is in there’s so much room that you won’t have to sacrifice comfort upfront by moving the seats forward.
Boot space is par for the course within the small family hatchback class at 395 litres – that’s 15 more than the Volkswagen Golf and 20 more than the Ford Focus. If sheer boot space is your priority though, the Skoda Octavia’s monstrous 600-litre boot beats all-comers.
Two petrol engines are available in the i30, both featuring 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. This tech gives a bit of battery boost to the engine when pulling away to improve efficiency. The bigger, more powerful 1.5-litre engine is a great all-rounder, providing a good mix of performance and economy.
Around town, the i30 is pretty capable. Light steering and a good turning circle makes manoeuvring easy, while the suspension comfortably soaks up bumps in the road. The clutch on manual cars is soft with a high bite point, which can be irritating when pulling away from junctions, and in stop-start traffic. The optional seven-speed automatic isn’t the smoothest such gearbox, but it’s responsive enough and takes the strain off your left leg.
The i30 is reasonably good to drive on twistier roads too, but not as fun as some of its alternatives like the Ford Focus. Unless you go for the brilliant i30 N hot hatch, which is one of the best small performance cars you can get.
All things considered, the Hyundai i30 is still very much like your run-of-the-mill cheeseburger. There’s a lot to like but there’s not much in the way to get your heart racing. Check out our latest Hyundai i30 deals – or for something more exciting to drive, take a look at the Ford Focus or if it’s a high-class cabin you’re after, the Volkswagen Golf.
The Hyundai i30 has a RRP range of £22,700 to £27,855. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,945. Prices start at £20,528 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £216. The price of a used Hyundai i30 on Carwow starts at £15,621.
Our most popular versions of the Hyundai i30 are:
|Carwow price from
|1.0T GDi SE Connect 5dr
We’re only covering the i30 hatchback here. There’s also the sleeker, coupe-like i30 Fastback, practical i30 Tourer estate and the brilliant i30N hot hatch.
The i30 hatchback is available in three different trim levels – entry-point SE Connect, upmarket Premium and sporty-looking N-Line. There’s a choice of two turbocharged petrol engines – a 1.0-litre with 120hp or a 1.5-litre with 159hp. Both are available with a manual or automatic gearbox.
The most affordable version of the i30 costs less than the equivalent in every alternative. It’s better equipped than many of them, too, so it’s great value.
The Hyundai is easy and comfortable on any road, although the i30’s clutch can make it a touch tricky to drive manual cars smoothly
The i30 is a compact size and there’s a good view out from the driver’s seat, so nipping around town is easy enough. The view out of the back isn’t as good because the window is quite small. However, every model has rear parking sensors and a reversing camera, so slotting into a parking space presents no issues. The suspension does a decent job of soaking up potholes and speed humps, so you don’t get bounced around on ruined urban roads.
Most people should be able to find a comfy driving position – there’s a wide range of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel. Curiously, the clutch pedal in cars with a manual gearbox is kind of jerky, which can make driving in stop-start traffic rather unpleasant. At least the gear change itself is nice and slick. But, if you mostly drive in town, the automatic models will be easier and more pleasant to drive. Go for the 1.0-litre engine – it’s less powerful but more efficient at town speeds.
On the motorway
Stamp on the throttle pedal and the 1.0-litre engine gets the i30 up to motorway speeds quickly enough and stays there comfortably. But it struggles with a full load of passengers and/or luggage. The more powerful 1.5-litre engine (only available in N Line trim) is the better bet for those circumstances. And it feels like it’s making less of an effort generally, so the i30 is more relaxing to drive with it. Again, the clutch can be tricky when accelerating hard so the automatic gives a smoother drive.
Which fits nicely with other aspects of the i30 driving experience. The ride is comfy, the interior is quiet enough, standard-fit cruise control eases your workload and the lane departure system helps keep you on the straight and narrow. Spend a full day in the i30 and you’ll get out feeling relatively fresh.
If you do a lot of motorway miles, you’ll probably still want the better fuel economy of one of the diesel alternatives. But, for the odd long journey, the i30 petrol acquits itself very well.
On a twisty road
The high performance Hyundai i30N is one of the best hot hatchbacks you can get – it’s an absolute riot to drive. The regular i30 models we’re discussing here aren’t in the same league for driving fun, but there are similarities.
The steering is accurate and precise, pointing the car exactly where you want it to go. The suspension absorbs lumps and bumps. The body stays upright and stable. You can make swift progress on a winding road but, even in Sport mode, it’s not an especially engaging experience – the Ford Focus and SEAT Leon lead the way on that front.
Better, then, to adopt a more relaxed pace in the i30, which is better for enjoying the comfort and quiet, anyway.
The Hyundai i30 has more than enough space for family life, but the ISOFIX mounts could be easier to use
The i30 has more space than you might expect of a relatively compact car. Only the very tallest of people will find space in the front seats lacking – there’s very generous leg and headroom. The seats are nice and comfy, too. They’re not especially low down, either, so you shouldn’t have to duck down too much to get in.
For storage, there’s huge door bins, a small cubby hole under the centre armrest, a pair of cupholders and a phone slot in the centre console, a decent glovebox and another cubby in front of the gearstick that doubles as a wireless phone charging pad in Premium and N Line models.
Space in the back seats
There’s enough head and legroom in the back of the i30 for a six-footer to be comfortable for a few hours. So there’s more than enough room for a couple of kids. The car’s too narrow to get three adults in the back for anything more than a very short trip, but three kids should be fine.
There are two sets of ISOFIX mounts that are quite fiddly to find. But the back doors open wide and the front seats don’t get in the way, so you’ve got room to work in. You’ll probably have to bend down a bit to install a child in the seat.
Storage amounts to biggish door bins, a pair of cupholders in the armrest and nets on the back of the front seats.
With a capacity of 395 litres, the i30 has quite a large boot by compact family hatchback standards. The loading lip is a little high, but the boot itself is a good, square shape, so packing stuff in is easy enough. Do so carefully and all the clobber you need for a week-long family holiday should go in. There are useful extra storage compartments to the side of the boot and under the floor. And the back seats fold down if you need to carry anything really big and bulky.
The Skoda Octavia is the most practical hatchback of this type, with space to lounge in the back and a vast, 600-litre boot. But the i30 still has enough space to cover most people’s needs. If you need greater practicality and the Hyundai appeals, check out the i30 Tourer estate.
The whole cabin feels solid and offers plenty of decent-quality materials, but only the higher trims get the bigger touchscreen
The i30’s interior isn’t the most interesting to look at but its clear, simple layout is easy to use. Fortunately, Hyundai has resisted the temptation to replace buttons and knobs with touch-sensitive controls – unlike Volkswagen, which has resulted in the latest Golf having a rather irritating interior. The colour scheme is a touch dark but the windows let in lots of light. Everything you touch regularly has a feeling of real quality and you have to look hard for cheap and scratchy plastics. It all feels very solidly put together, too, and overall, the i30 is a very pleasant car to spend time in.
SE Connect models have an 8.0-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system, which has DAB radio and Bluetooth, and gives access to the car’s various settings. Premium and N Line models have a 10.3-inch display with built-in sat nav. The display is clear and responsive, and the system is easy to use. But you may prefer to connect your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
SE Connect models also have air con, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. Premium specification adds dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, wireless charging pad and a digital driver’s display. N Line gets most of the Premium’s features, doing without heated seats and steering wheel, but getting front parking sensors.
According to official figures, the 1.0-litre i30 has an average fuel economy of 54mpg with a manual gearbox, or 52mpg with an automatic. Premium models do a couple of MPG less because they have bigger wheels. The 1.5-litre engine in N Line models can do 44mpg with a manual gearbox, or 46mpg with an automatic. Those numbers are competitive against petrol-powered alternatives, but some way behind diesels.
It’s worth noting that both engines have a mild hybrid system which helps improve fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.
Those emissions range from 118-144g/km, depending on model. That means vehicle excise duty costs £165 per year once the car turns one year old. Company car drivers will be better off with a plug-in hybrid alternative, something Hyundai is yet to offer on the i30, whose much lower emissions translate to low benefit-in-kind rates.
Car safety experts Euro NCAP awarded the i30 a full five-star rating. It scored well for protecting adult and child occupants, and it’s fitted with a large quantity of safety features. They include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning and an emergency call system.
Hyundai has a fine reputation for building dependable cars that are satisfying to own, and we have no reason to doubt the i30 fits that mould. We’re not aware of any particular issues with it and there have been no recalls so far, which is reassuring. Hyundai provides a generous five-year/unlimited mileage warranty as standard.
Configure your own i30 on Carwow
Save on average £1,945 off RRP
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.