Hatch a pre­mium of­fer in Hyundai i30

Geraldton Guardian - - Motoring - Vani Naidoo

The new Hyundai i30 has al­ready been ruf­fling a few feath­ers. The South Korean gi­ant has po­si­tioned the small hatch as a pre­mium of­fer­ing that is stylish, bet­ter equipped and the most tech­no­log­i­cally savvy i30 yet.

Hyundai i30 is al­ready a firm favourite in Aus­tralia with 30 per cent of all i30s man­u­fac­tured glob­ally be­ing sold here. It fights well along­side the Toy­ota Corolla, Mazda 3, Volk­swa­gen Golf and other, smaller, play­ers.

Po­ten­tial buy­ers will be spoilt for choice. The new i30 is of­fered in four vari­ants, with two trans­mis­sions and with petrol or diesel power.

A longer sleeker bon­net, a newlook grille and a de­fined shoul­der line makes clear Hyundai’s in­ten­tion to give the i30 a more pre­mium look.

The ma­tu­rity in de­sign is there to see in the in­te­rior as well. There are bet­ter qual­ity plas­tics and tex­tures. Ap­par­ently sim­ple things like the rep­e­ti­tion of shapes in the air vents, door han­dles, wheel con­trols and even the side mir­rors add a feel­ing of co­he­sion.

While we may not be talk­ing allin lux­ury here, such is the in­tent that I had to stop and check that it was in fact the en­try-level Ac­tive. As well as 16-inch al­loys, dig­i­tal ra­dio, and re­vers­ing cam­era, this i30 also has auto wipers and head­lights, tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor and LED day­time run­ning lights.

The in­stru­ments are sim­ple but

ef­fec­tive, the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem perched front and cen­tre is easy to use and stor­age op­tions about par for the course.

There are drinkhold­ers front and rear, a cen­tre con­sole box with a lid and an open space at the bot­tom of the con­sole that has a USB in­put and two 12V sock­ets. The door pock­ets are deep and seg­mented but in the front at least the pro­trud­ing speaker cov­ers pre­vents you from car­ry­ing taller wa­ter bot­tles at your side.

All in all it is a nice place to be ex­cept per­haps for the space hold­ing but­tons around the gear stick which of­fer a hint of what you may be miss­ing by not springing for the higher-specced vari­ants. No air vents back there in the en­try-level model though … oh, well.

At 395-litres, the boot is there­abouts with com­peti­tors, and grows to a very use­ful 1300L when the 60:40 split seats are low­ered.

An 8.0-inch colour touch­screen sur­rounded by one-touch menu but­tons and perched in the mid­dle of the con­sole can be found across the i30 range.

It is easy to nav­i­gate, has an ex­cel­lent re­sponse time and up-to­date graph­ics. You also get Blue­tooth ca­pa­bil­ity, sat nav, Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto con­nec­tiv­ity.

The 2.0-litre di­rect-in­jec­tion four-cylin­der petrol en­gine re­places the old 1.8-litre of­fer­ing and de­liv­ers 120kW of power and 203Nm of torque.

It is paired with ei­ther a sev­en­speed dual-clutch au­to­mated man­ual, as our test car was, or a six-speed man­ual.

You also have the choice of the 1.6-litre four-cylin­der turbo-diesel that shares the same trans­mis­sion choices as the auto but is good for 100kW and a lusty 300Nm.

Like the rest of the i30 the Ac­tive comes with five-star ANCAP thanks to tight safety pack­age that in­cludes airbags, front, side and back.

On the ac­tive side, there’s sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol, ABS with EBD, re­verse cam­era with dy­namic guide­lines and re­verse park­ing sen­sors.

Hyundai’s SmartSense, avail­able in mid and top-range mod­els, in­cludes blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, driver fa­tigue de­tec­tion, lane change as­sist, au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, rear cross traf­fic alert and smart cruise con­trol. That pack­age is likely to be avail­able for the i30 Ac­tive later this year.

There are IsoFix points in the out­board seats, and top teth­ers.

Space is al­ways at a pre­mium in smaller cars, par­tic­u­larly hatches, but this i30 is longer and wider than be­fore, of­fer­ing more com­fort where it counts.

Seats in the Ac­tive fea­ture fab­ric trim but are nicely cush­ioned and sup­port­ive. A tad more side bol­ster­ing wouldn’t go astray and they could be wider at the shoul­ders.

While Hyundai i30 can ably ac­com­mo­date a cou­ple of adults in the back, it is bet­ter suited to kid­dies es­pe­cially for longer trips.

The driv­ing po­si­tion is com­fort­able and all-round vi­sion is ex­cel­lent.

That this car’s sus­pen­sion and steer­ing have been tuned for Aus­tralian con­di­tions is in­stantly no­tice­able, with the i30 of­fer­ing a re­laxed, cush­ioned ride over all but the most chal­leng­ing of sur­faces. It is con­fi­dent in its abil­ity, poised through cor­ners and is slow to star­tle even with­out ad­vance warn­ing of quick changes of di­rec­tion. Brak­ing is pro­gres­sive.

Tyre noise can be in­tru­sive at times, par­tic­u­larly on coarse-chip.

The elec­tric steer­ing is much im­proved over the pre­vi­ous model.

In the city and sub­urbs where it will do most of its work, the i30 is nim­ble and self-as­sured and eas­ily ma­noeu­vred into tight spa­ces.

It could do with an added boost of power or a bit more grunt at midrange. Claimed fuel con­sump­tion is 7.4 litre/100km for the au­to­matic. Our fig­ures of more than a litre over this are a bit steep for a small car.

War­ranty is five years un­lim­ited kilo­me­tres with the first ser­vice free (1500km) and free 12 months road­side as­sist.

Pic­tures: Mark Bram­ley

The new Hyundai i30 sports a new look and im­proved ca­pa­bil­ity.

Sus­pen­sion and steer­ing have been tuned for Aus­tralian con­di­tions.

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