Hatch­ing a wagon win

Hyundai’s i30cw fol­lows a top seller, writes NEILMcDONALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

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.

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