The Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi is a thoroughly competent car and with emissions of just 100g/km CO2 and combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg it’s also efficient.
Hyundai is a Korean company which has only had a presence in the UK for a relatively short time compared to many other well established car brands. Its products were initially seen as cheap and cheerful, but over recent years there has been an onslaught of new models which have positioned Hyundai as a very serious contender in the market, and the new i30 is one of the company’s latest offerings.
Design & Engineering
The design of the Hyundai range has become more sophisticated over the last few years and the new i30 reflects this progress. Whether it’s as aesthetically appealing as a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf is a subjective thing, but the i30 certainly doesn’t stand out for being a substandard design . Perhaps the issue is that it doesn’t stand out as an outstanding design.
The interior is something that we do like very much, as it combines flowing design and good quality materials with large clear buttons, mostly positioned within easy reach, with many controls on the steering wheel. Some other cars in this class have interiors that seem rather fussy and gimmicky; in comparison the i30 feels higher quality. The i30 is spacious, both in the cabin and in the boot.
You’ll be getting the idea by now – there’s not much wrong with the i30’s driving experience . Whether you’re driving around town or up and down motorways, the i30 provides a comfortable means of transport.
The i30 has a fully independent rear suspension system that manages to combine comfort with agility – it has a good ride, soaking up speed bumps well, and respectable handling. The Style model comes with Flex Steer steering which is well-weighted but still light enough to be user-friendly, but it doesn’t have much feeling.
This model is geared more around economy than performance , so there’s not a huge amount of power, but the engine is generally smooth and has decent levels of torque. However it can be noisy when accelerating and some road noise appears at higher speeds; other rivals are more refined. One other issue we found is with the six-speed ‘box, which seemed quite easy to slot into third rather than first gear.
The i30’s 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine emits just 100g/km CO2 and manages an official combined economy figure of 74.3mpg . Relative to its size and performance, this is impressive efficiency. In real life mixed driving over a week we achieved 54.4mpg. Although this is 20mpg short of the official figure, it’s actually one of the better real life economy results from our test cars. The i30’s ‘Intelligent Stop & Go’ (ISG) system helps to keep the official emissions down. The i30 also promises a large range before having to refuel. Running costs will be low, with zero road tax and even exemption from the London Congestion Charge, and it offers a low 14% Benefit in Kind rate for company car drivers.
One of the perceptions about the Hyundai brand is that it offers cars that are good value for money, and the i30 doesn’t disappoint. Although this model is approaching £20,000 (our test car had options of metallic paint – £445, and heated front seats – £120, taking the price to £19,860), it is reasonably well equipped, including in the area of safety kit, and it is a good all-round car for this price. Even the entry-level i30 ‘Classic’ comes with Bluetooth, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, multi-function steering wheel, and electrically-adjustable and heated door mirrors. Active trim adds rear parking sensors and FlexSteer, while Style gets dual-zone climate control, front parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights and electrically folding door mirrors.
There’s also a more economical i30, it has the same 1.6-litre diesel engine but with 109bhp rather than the 126bhp of our test car. This can manage 76.3mpg along with 97g/km CO2. We’d recommend the extra power of the 126bhp version as the emissions and economy differences are only marginal.
The Hyundai i30 seems to have excellent build quality and it should be reliable, but just in case, there’s a seven-year warranty.
The Hyundai i30 shows yet more progress from the Korean car maker and if people had doubts about wanting to own a car with a Hyundai badge , such thoughts should now be a thing of the past. As a rival to the Ford Focus, it does most things pretty well, and with emissions of just 100g/km, and economy of 74.3mpg, it’s also efficient. So it’s a very sensible buy, the only main thing that the i30 lacks is the ability to create a sense of excitement about the ownership proposition. It does a good job of matching cars that are a benchmark in this sector, but it seems to focus on that aim rather than having any sense of outstanding individuality. However because it’s such a highly competent and efficient car overall it scores a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10 .