$20,990 – $32,590
Good: Stylish exterior; 1.6-litre diesel engine; Impressive list of standard features; Seven airbags across the entire range.
Not so Good: Lack of wagon bodystyle; Gimmicky Flex Steer technology; Space saver on base model.
Design and Engineering
Good : The second generation Hyundai i30 hit Australian shores in May 2012. The new Hyundai i30 features a more refined and stylish European exterior design. The Koreans like to call it ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ styling which comes from their German design house in Rüsselsheim. All we know is it looks bloody fantastic!
From the front the i30 has a large hexagon shaped opening that makes up the front grille and lower air vent. The front headlights are raked sharply; starting from the front bumper they make their way up across the side of the vehicle and end on the front quarter panel, this gives the i30 a more aerodynamic look. The bonnet also looks aerodynamic with two fold lines that start from the bottom of the A-pillars and make their way down to the front grille.
From the side the i30 has a crease line that rounds the front wheel arch and makes its way down the side of the car and into the rear tail lights. The crease line gives the car a feeling of forward motion whilst standing still.
Depending on grade – Active, Elite and Premium the new i30 comes fitted with 16-inch steels for the Active, 16-inch alloys for the Elite and the fantastic looking 17-inch alloys for the Premium.
Making our way to the rear of the vehicle, the i30 features an angular rear bumper and boot. The shoulder line continues around the rear of the car and right across the boot forming a belt. The rear bumper features a smiley shaped face that houses the number plate.
Overall the exterior styling of the new i30 is quite a step up from the previous generation.
Not so good : Hyundai designers have been clever in that they have hidden their reverse camera behind the Hyundai badge (Elite and Premium). However, some people may mistake the flip down badge as a boot release or boot handle.
Interior and Styling
Good : Stepping in side you’re greeted with a modern interior. You instantly notice the level of upmarket materials that look good and feel great.
Sitting in the centre of the dash is a 5-inch touch screen audio system that features ‘media ripping’ and storage capabilities plus album art display for Active models. Meanwhile, Elite and Premium models get a 7-inch touch screen with satellite navigation and SUNA live traffic updates.
There is also a whole host of storage compartments and cup holders throughout the cabin to keep passengers happy.
The Hyundai i30 has grown in size since the previous generation; the overall length and width of the vehicle have increased to benefit cabin and cargo space.
Boot capacity has been increased by up to 38-litres for a total of 378-litre, while the glove box has grown by 2.2-litres to 8-litres.
The comfortable seats are covered in quality fabrics for Active and Elite models while the Premium gets leather/ leatherette seats. Premium models also get power adjustable seats with electric lumbar support.
The multifunction steering wheel can be adjusted for both rake (up & down) and reach (in & out) so drivers shouldn’t have any trouble finding a comfortable driving position.
Not so good : Hyundai haven’t done anything wrong in terms of the interior fit and finish or choice of materials used. But, in saying that there isn’t anything here that has a true ‘WOW’ factor.
Good : The Hyundai i30 range comes with the choice of two engines, petrol and diesel.
To kick things off the 1.8-litre in-line four cylinder petrol engine produces 110kW of power and 178Nm of torque.
Next up is the 1.6-litre in-line four cylinder turbo diesel that produces 94kW of power and 260Nm of torque.
Both engines come fitted with a 6-speed manual as standard while the 6-speed automatic is an option.
The turbo diesel auto is definitely our pick of the two power plants, offering up plenty of torque to tackle countryside hills and highway overtaking.
Not so good : The 1.8-litre petrol engine feels a little bit underpowered especially when you start to load the car up with passengers and have the air conditioner on.
Ride and Handling
Good : The engineers over at Hyundai tell us that the new i30 has undergone extensive local testing to ensure that the i30 delivers optimum performance for Australia’s unique road surfaces. And they didn’t lie; the i30 performs great over potted and broken roads with the suspension absorbing almost anything thrown its way.
The newest addition to the i30 range is ‘Flex Steer’ this new feature offers three driver-selected steering calibrations.
‘Normal’ mode provides a balance between steering effort and driver feedback. The ‘Comfort’ setting further reduces the weight of the steering and allows for effortless manoeuvring, making it ideal for drivers who prefer a more relaxed driving experience. Finally, the ‘Sport’ setting increases steering weight and driver feedback for maximum driver involvement.
Not so good: Flex Steer is a good inclusion however it does come across as a little gimmicky. Instead of offering it as a driver-selected option why not just make the steering sharpen or relax automatically depending on what speed you are travelling. Other than that small criticism the new i30’s ride and handling is right on the money.
Buying and Owning
Good : Hyundai’s i30 is a great overall package no matter what grade you choose. All models come equipped as standard with seven airbags, Bluetooth handsfree with audio streaming, cruise control, keyless entry and fog lamps.
Not so good : There is no denying that the i30 is a great package, but Hyundai have some pretty stiff competition in the way of Ford Focus, Mazda3 and Volkswagen Golf.