Scene-steal­ing sedan

The re­newed ver­sion of the i30 sedan is bet­ter. Much bet­ter

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story - PAUL POTTINGER CARS­GUIDE ED­I­TOR paul.pottinger@cars­guide.com.au

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.

VALUE

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

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