High quality diesel engines that give great fuel consumption. They somehow manage to be pretty powerful too.
Spacious interior that actually looks to have a touch of class.
High specification, especially when it comes to electronic toys in the cabin.
The steering really feels quite limp and lifeless.
Changing gear is not the effortlessly smooth experience it should be.
The automatic transmission models significantly increase fuel consumption.
A lot of road noise is present, regardless of speed.
The Hyundai i30 is the latest small offering from the innovative Korean manufacturer. Released in 2007 the smooth styling and budget price has seen a positive reception and good sales on the global market proving particularly popular in Australia. It was actually rated in the UK as "the most satisfying car to own" by the annual Driver Power survey in 2010.
Featuring a good choice of both petrol and diesel powerplants the i30 has a range designed to satisfy all tastes. The petrol varieties come in 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 litre form whilst the diesels are offered in various 1.6 and 2.0 litre variants. The diesels have proven to be good sellers and whilst the 1.4 is underpowered the 1.6 is positively punchy whilst returning an astounding 86 miles per gallon. With large petrol tanks as standard the range of a fully fueled 1.6 diesel i30 is huge and this could be why it's so popular in Australia, regardless, this makes it a great cross-country tourer. Indeed, there is even the Hyundai i30 Tourer model, which is just the estate version of the regular models. It's impossible to sing the praises of the i30's diesel options, they are just as quick as the petrol but give twice as good fuel economy... it really is a no-brainer when choosing between the two.
Equipment levels come with generosity as standard, even the lowest spec models come with built in fog lights for example. The trim is easily arranged within the range with classic, active, style and style nav to choose from. They all come with air con as standard and increasing trim levels see perks such as leather seats, keyless entry and toys like the flex steering system.
Whilst the Hyundai i30 does have a great selection of diesel engines to choose from, that's not enough to build the entire range around. The fact remains that in Europe, where handling is a prized asset for any car, the rolling and wallowing nature of the i30 simply doesn't cut it. Yet, aside from that... Hyundai have a winner here. The stylish high quality interior combined with the excellent engines and good reliability have seen many owners swear by them. In conclusion, the i30 is good but the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Korean rival Kia cee'd are all great.