The 2017 Hyundai i30 is a more exciting looking car than its predecessor. Our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, was invited by Hyundai Motor UK for a first drive of the car in Marbella.
The new Hyundai i30 has been given a full re-design and it now looks like the car it should always have been. There was nothing wrong with the last generation, but the South Korean manufacturer wants the i30 to appear less anodyne – and it works. The fresh i30 now shows off a bold nose and cascading grille, and the five-door hatchback’s vibrant LED tail-lamps are particularly eye-catching.
Inside the 2017 Hyundai i30, the cabin centres around a vivid touchscreen. The eight-inch display comes factory-fitted on SE Nav models upwards, while lower spec i30s get a less in-your-face setup. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay tech is built in, allowing straightforward connectivity with your smartphone. What’s more, wireless mobile phone charging is standard on all new i30 models fitted with that eight-inch screen, too. For the most part, the new Hyundai i30 feels sturdily assembled. The only fly in the ointment is the budget plastic panel that runs across the dashboard directly in front of you and your passenger. Fortunately, the plush materials on top of the dashboard and on the doors outweigh this design stumble. The leather-bound steering wheel further adds to the positive points, as do the supportive, relaxing seats.
Beneath the new-for-2017 i30’s metalwork, there is a choice of three engines for British buyers. These include an established 1.6-litre CRDi diesel and a brand-new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol unit. The small engine is an efficient choice if you’re not a heavy motorway commuter, but the oil-burner is the powerplant that Hyundai says will be the fleet favourite. However, it also has great expectations for the 1.4-litre turbo petrol I drove. Joe Public is starting to show more of an interest in peppy petroleum power again, and Hyundai believes this is why the i30 Premium 1.4 T-GDi 140PS will do well.
Behind the wheel, the turbo assisted petrol i30 is swift. Fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox it’ll reach 62mph from a standstill in 8.9 seconds, and the top speed is 130mph. Perhaps more importantly in the real-world, you can expect an average of 50mpg, and carbon dioxide emissions are relatively low at 124g/km. Hit the gas hard and you are pressed back into your seat with enough gusto to make you smile. Indeed, the new i30 pulls like a train, making it good for overtakes or for joining fast flowing motorway traffic. I also found it to be up for a laugh on the more curvaceous sections of the Costa del Sol. I’ve driven cars with sharper steering, however the i30 grips well in corners and doesn’t roll and pitch as much as some rivals. Only the Ford Focus steers and holds corners better.
The ride the new Hyundai i30 gives is satisfactory for hundreds of miles in the saddle. There were a few restless moments on some of Spain’s more scarred back roads, but the i30 liked the Mediterranean motorway I hammered along. Wind and tyre roar are supressed to almost non-existence, making you feel laid-back. There aren’t many cars in this segment that are as refined or as hushed, except perhaps the new Vauxhall Astra.
If you’re after a five-door family hatchback, the 2017 Hyundai i30 is a car you need to seriously consider. Not only is it speedy, silent and stable, it’s safe and spacious too. It’ll seat five-up, (but four will be more contented) and its boot offers 395-litres of room. That’s bigger than the Vauxhall Astra’s 370-litre load space. The new Hyundai i30 also comes stacked with kit, especially in Premium SE trim. In this spec (the one I had) you get dual-zone climate control, heated leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and automatic LED lights. But vitally, the i30 is crammed with safety equipment. In the i30 Premium SE 1.4 T-GDi 140PS this includes: Front Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking, High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Alert.
The new for 2017 Hyundai i30 goes on sale in March. Why not contact Perrys Luton and Dunstable Hyundai to arrange a test-drive?
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Appearance √
- Kit √
- Boot Space √
- Performance √
- Cabin Plastics X
Fast Facts (Premium SE 1.4 T-GDi 140PS)
- Max speed: 130 mph
- 0-62 mph: 8.9 secs
- Combined mpg: 52.3
- Engine layout: 1,353 cc 4-cylinder turbo petrol
- Max. power (PS): 140
- CO2: 124 g/km
- Price: £23,440