Reviewed for you: Hyundai i30
The third-generation Hyundai i30 was a major step ahead of its predecessor. It sits on a new, stronger platform, a roomier body, and gets active safety and locally-tuned steering, ride and handling. Late last year, the top-spec, sporty i30 SR was replaced by the i30 N-Line which borrows styling cues from the hot hatch i30 N, and now there’s an i30 N Fastback in the range. With the i30, there is literally a variant to suit all tastes and budgets.
What’s the price and what do you get?
The Hyundai i30 is available with both petrol and diesel engines with various outputs to choose from. Besides the i30 N Fastback, you can only get the i30 as a hatchback.
Pricing starts at $19,990+ORC for the entry-level GO which is available with either a petrol or diesel engine. Essentially, it’s intended to be a pricing attention grabber. From there, you move to the Active which is priced from $21,090+ORC with a petrol engine or $26,090+ORC with a diesel engine. Both GO and Active can access the cost-option active safety SmartSense pack for $1,750.
Replacing the SR is the N-Line variants of which there are two, and these are only available with a petrol engine. Pricing runs from $26,490+ORC to $34,990+ORC for the N-Line Premium. The Elite and Premium are available with petrol or diesel engines, and priced from $27,790+ORC through to $35,490+ORC.
Right at the top of the tree are the performance-oriented i30 N and i30 N Fastback. Both are priced within $1,000 of one another, $40,490+ORC for the i30 N and $41,990+ORC for the Fastback.
In terms of standard features, depending on the variant, you get things like an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with native sat-nav and Apple and Android connectivity, dual-zone climate control, sunroof, leather interior, active safety, rain-sensing wipers and much more.
What’s interior like?
No matter which i30 you choose they all feel very familiar with lots of quality soft-touch materials. As you move through the range, there are subtle changes like contrast trims and leather seats with contrast stitching, but all the basic controls and switch gear remain the same. There’s excellent storage around the cabin, with cup holders, bins for storing your phone and more besides. Some variants get directional rear air vents and those that don’t have ventilation pipes under the front seats to channel air into the back of the car. In terms of where the i30 sits against key competitors, the interior offers one of the segment’s best layouts with quality materials and fit and finish to rival anything from Europe.
What’s the passenger space like?
The front seats, be they cloth or leather, are comfortable and supportive with good adjustment. Obviously, the performance-oriented variants get a sportier seat with more side bolstering. Over in the back, there’s plenty of room for two adults with good leg and headroom; you could carry three adults in a pinch but the middle seat in the back is perch-like with the centre console eating into legroom.
What’s the boot like?
Depending on the variant the boot space runs from 395 litres through to an impressive 1301 litres when the back seats are folded forwards. Some variants get a full-size spare beneath the boot floor and some get a space saver spare. And this is to do with the fact the regular variants are based on a torsion beam rear end while the N-line and N variants feature a multi-link rear which robs some storage space from the boot.
What’s the performance like?
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine makes 120kW at 6,200rpm and 203Nm of torque at 4700rpm. The 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine for the N-Line variants makes 150kW at 6,000rpm and 265Nm of torque from 1,500-4,500rpm, and the 1.6-litre turbocharged diesel makes 100kW at 4,000rpm and 280Nm of torque from 1,500-3,000rpm (manual) and 300Nm from 1,750-2,500rpm for the DCT. The i30 N and N Fastback get a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine making 202kW at 6,000rpm and 353Nm from 1,400-4,700rpm.
The engines available across the i30 range each offer good usable power for running around town, overtaking or flattening hills whether you’re on your own or have the family on-board. But it’s the engine in the i30 N and N Fastback that are particularly tasty.
What’s it like on the road?
Hyundai is well known for its local steering, ride and handling program and the i30 shows just how good the local engineering team is. No matter which variant you drive, be it with a torsion beam rear or a more sophisticated multi-link set-up, the i30 displays excellent body control through corners, good turn-in grip through the front-end and the ability to absorb mid-corner bumps without jolting through the cabin. Move up to the i30 N and everything is turned up to 11, with so much cornering grip that it feels like your internal organs are sloshing around.
In all, no matter which i30 you choose, the ride and handling stands out as amongst the best in the segment; this is a comfortable and fun car to drive.
Anything else I should know?
When working through the suspension tune for the i30, the local engineering team experimented with 208 different damper settings, 13 different spring sets and seven anti-roll bars to achieve a ride and handling package it felt best suited Australian roads and our driving tastes. The steering was also made faster, down from three turns lock-to-lock in the i30 sold in other markets like Europe and the US, to 2.57 turns lock-to-lock.
What safety features does it get?
The i30 range gets a five-star ANCAP rating and while Hyundai’s SmartSense active safety suite isn’t standard across the range, it is at least available as a cost-optional package. The pack is worth $1,750 and includes autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection, driver attention alert, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert and smart cruise control. Beyond this, standard across the range are reversing camera with dynamic guidelines, tyre-pressure monitors, rear parking sensors, seven airbags with curtain bags reaching into the back seats, ISOFIX mounts and seatbelt reminders.
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