Hyundai i30 (2017-present)

It still has a five-year warranty but the Hyundai i30 is no longer a budget family hatchback

Hyundai’s five-year warranty and reputation for reliability has earned it plenty of loyal buyers, but it's not the most exciting sales pitch win new customers when the alternatives range from the new Ford Focus, an updated Volkswagen Golf, the Renault Megane and the excellent-value Vauxhall Astra.

The latest i30 is designed to take them on. Unlike the bargain prices charged for previous version of the car, this i30 is pushing upmarket, with better interior materialsand a higher price. There's a choice of efficient engines and excellent safety performance. The i30 scored the full five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP.

New car prices start at £17,000 but, as with most of the i30’s competitors, quickly rise to £19,000 to £21,000 for mid-rnage modles with a more powerful petrol engine. New car discounts are readily available, and previous ofers have brought the price of some models down by £4,000. There are also excellent savings to be made on nearly new models, which start at £13,999 or from £217 per month on finance.

Most expensive of all is the raucous and racy Hyundai i30 N hot hatchback, which has a list price of just under £26,000. Compared with rivals such as the VW Golf GTI Performance, it's a bargain, but it will lose value faster than the Golf, so finance payments may not be particularly different.

On paper the i30 looks competitive but in the metal and on the road its case begins to falter. Although the model’s 1.0T-GDI petrol engine is smooth and powerful, rival models such as the Seat Leon and Vauxhall Astra are more responsive. The larger 1.4T-GDi is more powerful on paper but its advantage over the 1.0T-GDi is less noticeable on the road. The tax-efficient 1.6 CRDi diesel is a spirited performer and a good motorway cruiser.

Elsewhere, it's simply average. The steering is light but this means tat you have very little sense of how much the wheels are turnng, so you;re constantly adjusting the steering wheel in corners, and inching through narrow gaps. Over broken roads the car’s ride quality lags behind competitors. On particularly rough roads, you can fel the i30 swaying and bobbing up and down. On smooth roads the i30 is more comfortable and settled.

The i30 is not as bold and distinctive-looking as the Renault Megane or even the Seat Leon but with its large, gaping grille and bold LED lights it tries harder than the rather safe VW Golf and Ford Focus. The dashboard is a busy but attractive affair let down in places by some scratchy plastics. SE Nav trim and upwards features an attractive, eight-inch touchscreen that is quick to respond.

There’s a good array of storage solutions in the cabin. Front seat space is good with plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment, and ample head room. It’s in the back that things get a little cramped. Legroom and headroom are both in short supply. If you have large passengers, a Skoda Octavia is much more suitable. The boot is reasonably large and all i30s have a split-fold rear seat.

Last Updated 

Friday, August 31, 2018 - 21:15

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