The previous iteration of the i30 represented a turning point for Hyundai as it was able to take on the mainstream European models and emerge with its head held high. Hyundai hasn't looked back since so we have high expectations of the new model.
First impressions are good. The design department has worked hard to get more style and character into the new model and to our eyes they have succeeded. The interior lacks a bit of design flair but it is logically laid out and the material quality is top notch. It is also spacious with both occupant and boot space impressing.
One of the biggest surprises with the original i30 was the adoption of a sophisticated (expensive) fully independent rear suspension system. We are glad to report that Hyundai has stuck with it and the benefits are clear to see. The i30 soaks up bumps with aplomb but also feels keen in the twisty stuff. It is a combination that few in this class can manage.
The i30 also has excellent fuel consumption thanks to its 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine. Power and performance is in keeping with direct rivals with 192 lb.ft of torque available from 1,900-2,750rpm providing useful thrust.
The Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi Classic Blue Drive is stylish, well built and well specified. It is also good to drive, spacious and refined. That's a combination that is rare enough, but when you also consider that you get a seven year warranty and excellent standard specification, it also represents great value. The i30 is a genuine contender, don't let badge snobbery stop you from taking a test drive.