Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -


Ac­tive X, one up from the en­try model, adds $1000 and scores leather trim, mir­ror re­peater lights, su­pe­rior steer­ing wheel and in­stru­ments and mi­nor hard­ware up­grades. The seven-speed du­al­clutch auto comes at a pre­mium of $2300 over the six-speed man­ual. War­ranty is five years/un­lim­ited km. Capped ser­vic­ing over three years is $867, at in­ter­vals of 12 months/15,000km.


Series II i30 has swoopy ex­ter­nal styling and a func­tional if overly plas­tic grey in­te­rior. New tech in­cludes An­droid Auto and Ap­ple CarPlay. There are rear park as­sist, seven-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen, de­cent au­dio, leg­i­ble di­als and con­trols. The five-seat hatch comes with a roomy in­te­rior, am­ple lug­gage space and full-size al­loy spare. Sim­i­lar weight to Corolla Hy­brid at 1337kg.


Plenty of grunt per­co­lates from the 1.6-litre four­cylin­der turbo diesel with vari­able geom­e­try turbo (VGT) and other ef­fi­ciency boost­ing tech­nol­ogy. Out­put is 100kW/300Nm (in the auto; man­ual has 260Nm) and it sips as lit­tle as 4.9L/100km, giv­ing a po­ten­tial range of about 1000km.


No ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance fea­tures but the Ac­tive X scores a five-star rat­ing, has seven airbags and the man­dated safety fea­tures. Its Hankook tyres feel grippy, whether on wet or dry roads. Full-size spare is a big plus.


It’s a good thing from be­hind the wheel thanks in part to the driv­e­train, with the seven-speeder op­ti­mis­ing the diesel’s torque. Mul­ti­ple drive modes are selectable — the most eco­nom­i­cal be­ing the least driver friendly. It’s rel­a­tively quiet in­side and ben­e­fits from lo­cally cal­i­brated sus­pen­sion, with a sporty feel, even with sim­ple tor­sion beam rear set-up. Tows up to 1300kg.

Diesel or hy­brid? Peter Barnwell looks at two fru­gal and af­ford­able hatches $27,490 17pts

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