There’s lots of talk of the i30 at the moment. With the recent launch of the hot version, the i30 N, Hyundai are making a bold statement in a crowded market that they mean business and are up to competing with a frankly vast host of rivals.
The i30 came delivered to me in 1.0 T-GDI Nav form. This uses a three pot power plant that many say can keep up with some of the best in the business, and is enough to power what at first seems quite a big machine. It’s got a fairly modest power output but on the first drive, the results are impressive. The car certainly won’t leave you wanting for ability in the engine department.There’s a 1.4 petrol and a 1.6 diesel, as well as this 1.0 petrol to choose from, which on first drive seems the best of the bunch.
The looks of the i30 have grown up and matured, and although perhaps they can’t quite claim excitement, they’re striking enough to be different from the Golf and Astras of the world and they certainly suit the hot N version being released as I type. There’s an easy and practical element to the styling, which in many ways assists the spacious feel inside and frankly very useful 395 of boot space. Definitely enough to keep even demanding families at bay.
The S starts the lineup with a pretty mediocre package, without a touchscreen which is a shame. It does come with good standard tech we’ve come to expect from the Korean manufacturers, though. It improves in the SE and it’s recommended that this is the one to go for – the Nav and infotainment system is good with all the connectivity you’d need as well as an excellent DAB radio. The 17in wheels look good on the SE, and there’s 15 and 16 versions too.
In terms of what it feels like behind the wheel, I must admit that I found the Vauxhall Astra to steal it in this capacity, but it definitely gives the similiarly priced Golf a run for its money. The Hyundai does competency very well and can be appluaded for its spritly feel and engaging nature, thanks to the lightweight little engine with added turbo power. In fact, acceleration feels brisk and it feels almost nippy, something you couldn’t quite say for the Astra, Golf or Seat Leon.
The ride quality is excellent and provides a generally refined feel. Twinned with the quiet engine note, which to be honest on the T-GDI 1.0 is virtually impercievable, the cabin feels almost cocoon like and is a nice place to be. The dash appears slightly plasticy compared to rivals, and doesn’t have any of the soft-touch features we’ve come to expect from cars in the sector, but it certainly isn’t doing anything wrong paricularly. It’s well built and gives the impression of being able to withstand quite a lot of use. The seats are comfortable and with the car being a well refined package in terms of the way it drives, cruising is also a pleasure.
The i30 is the right kind of car for this market and proves to be a match for the mainstays of the sector. The petrol engine I drove is impressive – it feels quick and able and not as rough as some competitors. The refined cabin and quiet, serene atmoshpere inside certainly helps with this and I definitely think that the i30 is better to drive than any previous version, and perhaps any Hyundai out there at the moment. Entry level models have a decent spec (lane assist as standard – cruise control, speed limited, air con….) but I would have liked to have seen a touchscreen throughout the range. If you want the works, plus a more premium interior and a panoramic sunroof, there are a couple of higher options that the SE Nav, however it’s unlikely they’ll sell as well as my test car. Engine wise, having looked at the 1.4 petrol it certainly looks great on paper too, and the 1.6 diesel would be a good bet for lots of miles, given the weight of the car and therefore assumed economy.
Visit http://www.hyundai.co.uk or more or visit they’re i30 page here – there are always some intriguing deals around – especially as scrappage options are now worth considering again.