NEW HYUNDAI A REAL TOUR DE FORCE

Korean cars have come a long way and this es­tate will tick plenty of boxes for the fam­ily

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - ANDY EN­RIGHT

HYUNDAI I30 TOURER

THE sec­ond gen­er­a­tion i30 fam­ily hatch has been a strong seller for Hyundai and the UK num­bers have been bol­stered by the avail­abil­ity of the Tourer es­tate body-style.

This is the much im­proved ver­sion that gets a mi­nor facelift and the op­tion of the brand’s slick 7DCT auto gear­box. Like most com­pact es­tates, this one isn’t the most spa­cious load car­rier in the world but it of­fers enough for most fam­i­lies. And, as ever, this i30 re­mains a great choice if you want to im­press some­body with quite how far Korean cars have come. Do so with this Tourer body-style and you cer­tainly won’t need to pack light.

Driv­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence

The Kore­ans have pared back the en­gine choice when com­pared to the i30 hatch. Whereas the cus­tomers of that body-style get no fewer than five

en­gines to se­lect from, i30 Tourer buy­ers are left with a stark choice: 1.6-litre petrol or 1.6-litre diesel.

Per­haps that’s sim­pli­fy­ing things a lit­tle be­cause the diesel en­gine is avail­able in 110PS or a higher-pow­ered 136PS vari­ant.

All en­gines come with an auto gear­box op­tion, but the diesels get the more so­phis­ti­cated 7DCT self-shift­ing trans­mis­sion. Oth­er­wise it’s a sixspeed man­ual shift.

The 136PS diesel de­vel­ops its peak power at 4,000 rpm and this up­graded en­gine will ac­cel­er­ate the i30 from rest to 60mph in around 10 sec­onds, with a top speed of well over 120mph.

The petrol pow­er­plant of­fers a bal­ance be­tween per­for­mance and econ­omy and rep­re­sents a cost-ef­fec­tive choice for the mo­torist who cov­ers lower mileages.

The 1.6-litre unit is a light­weight af­fair that helps the i30’s han­dling. The sus­pen­sion of the i30 is a strut front and multi-link rear de­sign, the same kind of thing that’s been adopted by the best-han­dling cars in the class, such as the Ford Fo­cus and Volk­swa­gen Golf.

One in­ter­est­ing op­tion is Flex Steer. With three op­er­at­ing modes, the sys­tem can be used to vary the level of steer­ing as­sis­tance and feed­back in or­der to suit driv­ing con­di­tions.

De­sign and Build

This is the lightly facelifted model that has re­ceived changes to the hexag­o­nal grille that de­fines its front end. Oth­er­wise, the recipe’s much as be­fore. With most small es­tate cars, de­signer tend to be given the un­en­vi­able brief of work­ing with the ex­ist­ing ‘ hard points’ of the hatch­back model, merely graft­ing a con­ser­va­tory onto the back and hop­ing that it looks half­way co­he­sive.

The i30 Tourer, in con­trast, is a very neat piece of styling, with a sharply ris­ing beltline giv­ing it a poised, ag­gres­sive look. There’s plenty of lug­gage space too, of­fer­ing 528-litres with the rear seats in po­si­tion. Fold down the 60:40-split rear seats and this ex­pands to a hefty 1,642-litres.

There can’t be too many cars that can dis­guise their load lug­ging abil­i­ties quite as well as the i30 Tourer and there’s a lit­tle sub­terfuge in­side too, should you need it. You’ll be able to keep your valu­ables out of the way of pry­ing eyes in an un­der-floor com­part­ment and there are other fea­tures such as roof rails, a cargo se­cu­rity screen and a rear power out­let.

Mar­ket and Model

There’s an £1,100 model-for-model pre­mium to pay if you want this Tourer es­tate ver­sion of the i30, rather than the stan­dard five-door hatch. Pric­ing starts from around £17,000 — that’s a slightly higher level that the hatch be­cause with the Tourer, you don’t get the op­tion of the en­try-level 1.4-litre petrol en­gine.

All four of the i30 Tourer’s trim lev­els — S, SE, SE Nav and Pre­mium — are very well fin­ished. Even the en­try-level model gets Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity and voice recog­ni­tion, multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel and air con­di­tion­ing. Body-coloured door han­dles and mir­rors are stan­dard on the en­try level trim, along with LED day­time run­ning lights.

This means that no i30 is go­ing to leave the show­room look­ing like it’s just been winched up from the bar­gain base­ment, a fac­tor that can only en­hance the car’s public per­cep­tion. Elec­tric win­dows are fit­ted all round, there’s air-con­di­tion­ing and re­mote cen­tral lock­ing is also stan­dard, along with an Mp3-com­pat­i­ble CD stereo.

Safety hasn’t been over­looked and the i30 fea­tures ESP (Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Pro­gram), ABS (anti-lock brak­ing sys­tem), VSM ( Ve­hi­cle Sta­bil­ity Man­age­ment) and an Emer­gency Stop Sig­nal that flashes the brake lights if you have to sud­denly throw on the anchors. In terms of pas­sive safety, the i30 is fit­ted with six airbags as stan­dard while a driver’s knee airbag is op­tional. Hyundai ex­pects the Tourer to ac­count for 15 per cent of the i30’s over­all sales.

Cost of Own­er­ship

Those look­ing for the low­est run­ning costs should di­rect their at­ten­tion to the Blue Drive sub-brand which is Hyundai-speak for high ef­fi­ciency and low emis­sions. Energy-sav­ing mea­sures in­clude In­te­grated Stop & Go (ISG), low-rolling re­sis­tance tyres and an al­ter­na­tor man­age­ment sys­tem. With CO2 emis­sions of 102g/km and an en­gine de­liv­ery of 110 PS, the stan­dard 1.6-litre diesel i30 fea­tures a best-in-class power-to-ef­fi­ciency ra­tio.

Hyundai and Kia seem to be do­ing their best to ini­ti­ate some kind of war­ranty war, with the UK car mar­ket as the main theatre of con­flict. The ma­jor play­ers have yet to take the bait but the i30’s five-year un­lim­ited mileage pack­age with 10-year anti-per­fo­ra­tion cover must be a source of some an­noy­ance to the ma­jor brands when the best you’ll get from them is three years pro­tec­tion. In fair­ness, a lengthy

war­ranty is no good to any­one if you’re con­stantly hav­ing to make claims on it but the peace of mind that ac­com­pa­nies the i30’s ex­tended deal is not

to be un­der­es­ti­mated.

Sum­mary

Hyundai’s am­bi­tion with the i30 Tourer is such that it re­quires a change in mind­set to as­sess the ve­hi­cle. In years gone by, we would have been dumb­struck by this car’s styling, its en­gi­neer­ing and its fin­ish, largely be­cause it was a cheapie and wasn’t ex­pected to be par­tic­u­larly spe­cial. In pitch­ing the i30 against main­stream con­tenders like the Ford Fo­cus and Vaux­hall As­tra, how­ever, the mark­ing scheme just got a whole lot tougher.

By and large the i30 Tourer suc­ceeds, par­tic­u­larly in this im­proved form. It’s big enough and ca­pa­ble enough at the right price to win enough or­ders. Where the car still falls a lit­tle flat is in terms of per­son­al­ity, in­te­rior de­sign and the so­phis­ti­ca­tion and clean­li­ness of its pow­er­plants.

Re­mem­ber that these judg­ments are against the very best in the class and when price and equip­ment lev­els are taken into ac­count, the i30 Tourer states its case quite elo­quently. Hyundai re­mains a work in progress but at this rate, the sky’s the limit.

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