Hyundai i30 Tourer

FIRST DRIVE Fam­ily car gets more space and prac­ti­cal­ity

Auto Express - - Contents - James Brodie James_brodie@den­nis.co.uk @Jim­my­brods

Be­hind the wheel of new fam­ily es­tate con­tender

THE lat­est-gen­er­a­tion i30 is one of the most am­bi­tious fam­ily cars Hyundai has ever built, given that the firm has just ex­panded the range three­fold with the ad­di­tion of a hot hatch i30 N ver­sion (Page 16), a new five-door ‘fast­back’ coupé and this, the i30 Tourer es­tate model.

It’s de­signed to take on ri­vals such as the Ford Fo­cus Es­tate, the Peu­geot 308 SW and Skoda Oc­tavia Es­tate. Prac­ti­cal­ity sells in this seg­ment, and so the i30 Tourer’s body is 245mm longer than the hatch­back’s. Ev­ery ex­tra mil­lime­tre has been added be­hind the rear wheels, so the 602-litre lug­gage area is a sig­nif­i­cant 74 litres big­ger than its pre­de­ces­sor’s. This is a big ad­vance, given that the hatch­back can muster only 395 litres.

That lug­gage area places it com­fort­ably in the mid­dle of the pack com­pared with its ri­vals, pip­ping stylish choices such as the re­cently re­freshed SEAT Leon ST, but lag­ging some­what be­hind the mar­ket-lead­ing Peu­geot 308 SW, which has a fairly cav­ernous 660 litres.

The wheel­base, mean­while, re­mains un­changed, so there’s no more pas­sen­ger space than you’ll find in the hatch­back.

Our test car was fit­ted with the range­top­ping petrol pow­er­train, a tur­bocharged 138bhp 1.4-litre four-cylin­der en­gine.

On the mo­tor­way it feels pretty re­laxed. High-speed re­fine­ment is very im­pres­sive and it’s an easy car to munch mo­tor­way miles in, while the op­tional seven-speed DCT gear­box is smooth and easy-go­ing. All in all it’s a calm cruiser, with sus­pen­sion that irons out bumps at speed.

The i30 Tourer is, how­ever, in dan­ger of be­ing a one-trick pony. As easy and re­lax­ing as it is to drive on the mo­tor­way, it in­her­its the lack of dy­namism that lets the i30 hatch­back down. When the roads get twisty the steer­ing feels vague, and even this most pow­er­ful 138bhp petrol en­gine doesn’t feel that punchy.

In the cabin, things are car­ried over di­rectly from the hatch­back. As such, it’s a mix of soft-touch ma­te­ri­als on the sur­face with cheaper, scratchier plas­tics if you go look­ing for them. The in­te­rior of this Pre­mium SE model is spruced up with lux­u­ries such as a heated leather steer­ing wheel, real leather on the seats and a vast panoramic roof.

Range-top­ping 1.4-litre turbo petrol is quiet at speed, but takes a while get­ting there REAR SEATS The wheel­base is the same as the hatch­back model’s, although the rear seats can ac­com­mo­date three adults com­fort­ably nev­er­the­less

i30 Tourer is at its best on the mo­tor­way, where it’s a re­fined, com­fort­able cruiser

NEED TO KNOW The Tourer will cost you £500 more than the i30 hatch­back

BOOT SPACE Fold­ing down the rear seats ex­pands the 602-litre load bay to 1,650 litres. That’s not the largest in its class but is enough for most

EQUIP­MENT Top-spec Pre­mium SE model fea­tures an eight-inch in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, which in­cludes Ap­ple Carplay and sat-nav as stan­dard

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