Hatching a wagon win
Hyundai’s i30cw follows a top seller, writes NEILMcDONALD
THE hatch was the carsGuide car of the year in 2007. Now Hyundai is following up the success of its best-selling Euro-styled i30 hatch with a familyfriendly wagon, called the i30cw, which stands for crossover wagon.
The newest Hyundai is $1500 more than the hatch, with prices starting at $20,890, and Hyundai is confident it will be a runaway success like the five-door hatch.
Engine choices are a 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder and 1.6-litre fourcylinder CRDi turbodiesel.
Launched this month, the i30cw is based on the hatch but is slightly longer, delivering wagon practicality and flexibility. Two models will be available, the SX and SLX.
And for a short time a launchedition Sportswagon is also on sale.
The auto-only $29,990 Sportswagon uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine and shares its name with the Hyundai Lantra Sportswagon models from the 1990s. Hyundai Australia expects to sell about 500 Sportswagon models and the company’s Australian chief executive, Steve Yeo, says it may become a permanent part of the line-up. ‘‘We’ll see how it goes,’’ he says. The i30 Sportswagon has 17-inch alloys, side repeaters in the outside mirrors, iPod, USB and auxiliary connectivity, six speakers, leather interior, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, six airbags and electronic stability control.
At 4475mm, the i30cw is 230mm longer than the hatch and sits on a 50mm longer wheelbase, which translates into more rear passenger and luggage room. The wagon is also 40mm taller and the luggage area has 415 litres of space with the rear seats up and 1395 litres with them folded.
Hyundai says the cargo area will take a bike or full-size stroller.
As with the hatch, the wagon gets electronic stability control, traction control, anti-skid brakes and active headrests and a five-star crash rating.
The SLX and Sportswagon add driver and front passenger side (thorax) airbags and curtain airbags, which are a $700 option on SX models.
All wagons get a full-size spare with an alloy spare in the SLX and Sportswagon. The i30cw also gains Hyundai’s active locking system, called HALO, which locks all doors when the car reaches 40km/h.
Hyundai sales and marketing director Kevin McCann is confident the wagon will repeat the sales success of the hatch. ‘‘The hatch was the fourth best-selling small hatch in February,’’ he says.
THE i30cw will muscle in on the Holden Viva wagon and Peugeot 308 and 207 wagons, but with the Holden Astra as its nearest rival, it is tipped to be popular with both fleets and private buyers.
The company expects to sell about 100 a month, many to lifestyle buyers who do not want or need an offroader, the company’s general manager of marketing Oliver Mann says.
‘‘Less than 30,000 wagons were sold last year, about 3 per cent of the overall market,’’ he says. ‘‘By comparison, SUVs make up 21 per cent of the market but there are signs this is plateauing.’’
He believes the i30 wagon has the ability to lure disenchanted buyers from larger off-roaders because of its space, practicality and compact size.