A FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC
OUR LOVE AFFAIR WITH HYUNDAI
HYUNDAI and Perth have had a love affair since 1986 when the Korean brand made its Australian debut here, and the bond has been cemented with each passing year.
Hyundai’s i30, now in its Series II phase, is one of the nation’s most popular hatches – it led the market for the first half of the year – and there’s a choice of several models, including a diesel, to suit individual tastes.
Today we’re looking at the i30 SR, the one aimed at folk who like a touch of flair in their motoring.
The SR sits in the middle of the i30 range, above the i30 Active and Active X and below the topspec Premium.
It uses a zesty 124kW/201Nm 2.0litre engine and six-speed automatic transmission, runs on 17inch grey-metallic machined-face alloy wheels with chubby 22545R17 Nexen tyres, a suspension tightened up for local conditions, and there’s an upgraded interior with bolstered front sports bucket seats and red highlights throughout the cabin and paddle-shifters for the auto-transmission model.
It’s also available with a sixspeed manual gearbox, which at $26,550 is about $2000 less than the auto, and will probably be the pick for enthusiast drivers.
The car also gets a rear bumper diffuser, alloy-faced pedals and a red start button, which add to its sporty image. And, hooray, a proper handbrake.
However, the car is more of a simmering than a fiery hot hatch, because it has the same engine as other 2.0litre i30s.
Where it scores is in its well sorted suspension and tyre package, which gives it better comfort and handling qualities.
It’s a normally-aspirated twincam motor with direct fuel injection and constantly variable valve timing, and it provides better than expected performance. Acceleration is impressive and it cruises easily, with the engine ticking over at about 2400rpm at 110km/h in sixth.
Average fuel economy is given as 7.3litres/100km, but you’ll get a lot better than that on a country cruise.
It’s a decent-sized hatch with a vast expandable boot and it comes with comprehensive instrumentation, which includes a big touchscreen, smartphone integration, Bluetooth connectivity, sixspeaker audio and seven airbags.
Other standard items are a rear-view camera – it’s hidden behind the ‘H’ badge in the tail – dual-zone climate control, auto-on headlights and wipers, LED daytime running lights and outside mirrors that fold inwards when the car is locked. No satellite navigation though. There’s a lot of onboard storage in the form of a console box, a glovebox with cooling function, and map pockets and cup holders on every door. There are also three modes of power steering: Comfort, Normal and Sport.
The attractive and well-built i30 SR drives nice and smoothly, corners well, holds its occupants in comfort and is one of those rarities that will satisfy just about every kind of driver.
Verdict: A class act.
Hyundai's i30 SR adds flair to the top-selling hatch.