The renewed version of the i30 sedan is better. Much better
HOLDEN’S almost surreal “we’re still here” television commercial notwithstanding, the Australian-made car is as dead as the Thylacine. The Australianised car, however, is alive and kicking.
The sedan sibling of Hyundai’s highly recommended i30 hatch is one of the most Australianised to date. Much as the wellmeaning, but ultimately annoying iX35 SUV has been revitalised, the previously anodyne Elantra compact four door now steers, rides and generally handles local conditions in a fashion we have every right to expect.
Significant jiggery pokery in the engineering aspect is abetted by cosmetic bits in this first release of 2014.
It’s by and large the Japanese brands that dive under the $20K mark for compact car custom. Even the Elantra’s token manual is $21,000. The automatic (i.e. real) line-up begins at $23,190 for the Active. Joining the Elite costs $26,790; the Premium class $30,190.
Some $23K is too much to pay for 15-inch steel wheels, as per the Active. While rear parking sensors are welcome, stuff like glove box cooling, scuff plates and variable mode steering make the impost look little better.
A limited edition Trophy model with shiny extras is on sale, but essentially the Active exists so you can be upsold into the Elite, which does look better for its price with auto side mirrors, 7-inch sat-nav screen with reversing camera and automatic lights. Venturing north of 30 grand buys xenon lamps, head room eating sunroof and partially leather upholstery. Paints other than white are $495.
There’s more to value than the price tag and a bowl of fruit. As even Volkswagen (whose service imposts were known to make saints blaspheme) has embraced 12 month/capped price servicing, we ask how Mazda and Honda justify twice yearly unfixed scheduled visits