Car that si­lenced doubters Korean sur­prise

The com­pact Hyundai i30 has won peo­ple over, writes Gra­ham Smith

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars -

THE Hyundai i30 made quite a splash when it landed here in 2007. With ap­peal­ing looks, im­pres­sive qual­ity, good road man­ners and safety it swept the cars­Guide Car of the Year judges off their feet.

The win in the pres­ti­gious an­nual award was his­toric in many ways. It was not only the first for Hyundai, but also the first for a South Korean car­maker and re­moved any lin­ger­ing doubts about the le­git­i­macy of South Korean brands as world-class.

The i30 has since gone on to win over the tough­est judges of all, the Aus­tralian mo­tor­ing pub­lic.

Model watch

WIN­NING the cars­Guide Car of the Year gong was no mean feat; it was par­tic­u­larly mer­i­to­ri­ous be­cause the i30 was in the most com­pet­i­tive mar­ket seg­ment of them all.

The com­pact i30 was launched as a five-door hatch with three mod­els — SX, SLX and SR— and petrol and diesel en­gines.

The hatch looked mod­ern with neat clean lines and bal­anced pro­por­tions, and had a roomy cabin and good lug­gage space.

A 2.0-litre dou­ble over­head camshaft en­gine with vari­able cam tim- ing pro­vided the power across all mod­els. At its best it had 105kW at 6000 revs and 186Nm at 4600 revs, enough to keep it stir­ring with the pack.

Hyundai also had the eco­nom­i­cal op­tion of a 1.6-litre four-cylin­der tur­bod­iesel en­gine, which came with peaks of 85kW and 255Nm.

Both en­gines could be spec­i­fied with a five-speed man­ual gear­box, but only the petrol en­gine was sold with the four-speed auto un­til 2008 when it be­came avail­able on the diesel. The en­try-level SX had air­con­di­tion­ing, power win­dows and mir­rors, and four-speaker CD sound, along with iPod con­nec­tiv­ity.

Step up to the SR and you also got al­loy wheels and a body kit, plus cruise-con­trol, auto air­con­di­tion­ing, trip com­puter, fog lamps and a sixs­peaker CD sound sys­tem. With the SLX you got even more.

On the lot

PAY $ 14,000-$ 19,000 for an SX, $17,000-$24,000 for a sporty SR, or $16,000-$23,000 for an SLX. Add an ex­tra $1500 for the econ­omy of the diesel en­gine.

In the shop

THE step up in qual­ity of Hyundai cars is clear from the re­duced num-

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