Driven: Hyundai i30
The five-door hatchback market is a busy place. Almost every mainstream manufacturer offers a medium size, five door hatch that will offer enough space, comfort and equipment to suit the needs and budgets of most people. So which do you choose? A Vauxhall Astra? A Ford Focus or perhaps a Volkswagen Golf? Over 215,000 of these were sold in the UK last year.
So what about the Hyundai i30? Perhaps this model doesn’t spring to mind but maybe it should. After all, although Hyundai isn’t as well established in the UK as the big three above, they are now the fourth largest motor manufacturer in the world. Surely they must be pretty good then?
The one I tried recently was the new Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi SE five door. At £18,485 on-the-road, this is £2,000 less than a similarly specified Astra. On first impressions, the car looks modern and well built. Once inside, the fit and finish is very smart indeed and feels high quality. At night-time the dashboard switches and dials light up with a soft blue glow which adds to the impression of a modern, stylish car with plenty of space inside for the driver and passengers.
Does the i30 have enough bells and whistles? For a mid-range model, it has the usual decent six speaker stereo, alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric windows and remote central locking. Unlike many of its competitors it also has Bluetooth, cruise control, parking sensors, ‘Flex-Steer’ adjustable steering, hill-start assist and more. It also gets a five year manufacturer’s warranty and a five year breakdown cover. Unusually automatic headlamps and wipers, as found on many other cars in this class, are only available on the top-spec Premium version.
I covered a few hundred miles on mixed A-roads, motorway, town and country lanes. This is a comfortable car that feels at home everywhere. The diesel engine is smooth, the six-speed gearbox is slick and the i30’s cabin was a very pleasant place to be. On my mix of driving over a week my Hyundai returned over 50mpg. For a mid-range, mid-size car, this is a model that is definitely worth a second thought. After all, with a cracking warranty, plenty of equipment and a high-quality finish, there isn’t much going against it. With lease prices less than £200 per month (click here for more info) it’s also very affordable indeed.
Perhaps it’s no wonder Hyundai are the fourth largest manufacturer in the world after all…!
FOR: Value, equipment.
AGAINST: Not much!
VERDICT: A great value, well finished and economical hatchback.
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