Hyundai hatch’s value proposition is still strong. Shame about the radio
When the first i30 arrived in 2007, it typified Hyundai’s progress as a maker of quality, reliable vehicles and earned Carsguide’s Car of the Year gong that year. It was a tough act to follow but Hyundai went one better when it launched a new longer, wider and lower model in 2012.
The new range of five-door hatches started with the Active, stepped up to the Elite and topped out with the Premium and the dimensions endowed a roomier cabin and greater luggage space.
The 1.8-litre multipoint fuelinjected petrol four, delivered quite spirited performance. The 1.6-litre common-rail turbo diesel carried over.
Good news came in the transmission options — gone were the five-speed manual and four-speed auto, replaced by six-speeders much better suited to the engines. The auto had a sports shift function too.
On the road the petrol version was nimble and agile and demonstrated reassuring grip and balance. The diesel was also impressive, greatly enhanced by the addition of the six-speed auto. All-round the new generation i30 was an impressive step forward from an already decent car.
In launching the 2012 version, Hyundai went to great lengths to say it had been benchmarked against the VW Golf.
The prime appeal of Hyundais from the outset was the affordable pricing and long warranty, and that still applies. The pricing of a preloved i30 is generally sharp and the fiveyear/unlimited km warranty is transferable to the new owner, which can be reassuring.
Be careful if you’re buying an ex-rental car and thinking of transferring the warranty over. Hyundai limits the coverage of cars used commercially, such as renters, to 130,000km.
Faulty electrics have long caused frustration and while the i30 is well built it’s worth making sure everything works on the car before you hand over your cash.
Check the radio, because the source of most of the adverse comments on the i30 was the radio reception, which most owners agree is poor. There’s not a lot you can do about it.
Make sure the car you are planning to buy has been serviced according to Hyundai’s recommendations by checking its service record.
Glenn Our i30 has been fantastic. We’ve had no problems whatsoever. It’s comfortable, rides nicely, and has good performance. The only thing that is not perfect is the radio reception.
Raymond Setiawan We bought our i30 second-hand with 90,000km on it. It has now 140,000km and we’ve had no problems at all. It runs smoothly and is economical. The only drawbacks are the uncomfortable front seats on long trips.
Tony Van Galen Our i30 is a great car to drive. It’s been reliable and very economical. It’s comfortable and roomy and has plenty of power for the open road. The only problems have been with the electronic stability control, the poor radio reception and the clock, which does not hold the correct time.
Kenneth Given My diesel i30 has less than 100,000km on the clock. It’s a dream to drive, comfortable, economical and suits my 192cm frame.
Sharon Court I’m very happy with my Active diesel auto. It’s roomy and comfortable and the performance and economy are exceptional. The only criticism is the radio reception but I improved that by having an aerial from a Ford fitted, which made a real improvement.
John O’Brien We bought the i30 ahead of the Toyota Corolla, VW Golf and Mazda3 after comparing their prices, running costs and driving dynamics
Frank Earl The ride in my Premium is too hard, the performance is lacking and the fuel use is too high. Oh, and the radio reception is pathetic.
Well-built and reliable, the i30 is definitely worth having on your shopping list.