Hyundai i30 hatchback
Price £15,195 - £23,595
- Generous equipment
- Good value for money
- Great aftersales package
- Loses lots of value as a used car
- Auto costly to run
- Fussy interior design
At a glance
"The Hyundai i30 was the 2012 Carbuyer Car of the Year, and remains a fine family car choice, with lots of kit and a great warranty at a top-value price."
The Hyundai i30 is a mid-size five-door hatchback (there's a sporty three-door version, too) aimed squarely at the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. Earlier versions of were consistently cheaper than rivals, but today's i30 is a much more stylish, capable and sophisticated model – and prices have gone up as a result. Still, it has an impressive five-year warranty and lots of standard equipment, so it continues to offer good value for money.
There's a choice of 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines, topped off by a sporty 1.6-litre turbo. The diesel line-up features a choice of 1.6-litre engines with two power outputs. Automatic as well as manual transmission is available, but we prefer the manual. Our pick of the engine range is the less powerful of the two 1.6-litre diesels, as it does 78.4mpg and costs nothing in road tax.
The i30 is a reasonably comfortable car, although it leans a little too heavily in corners at times. This is surprising, because the suspension is actually on the firm side. As a result, the car feels a little less composed than rivals such as the VW Golf. It's not as much fun to drive as a Ford Focus, either, and while its steering is quite sharp, it's not as direct as the best.
The i30's interior is stylish and uses some high-grade materials. However, it looks a little fussy in places and isn’t as classy as a Golf's. The cabin is genuinely roomy, though, while the boot is impressively large.
There are four trim levels, ranging from S to top-spec Premium, plus the three and five-door turbo versions. Our pick, for its good balance of price and equipment, is the mid-range SE. Highlights include alloy wheels, air-conditioning, and rear parking sensors.
The i30 is a reliable car, backed up with an impressive five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. It was awarded five stars for crash safety by Euro NCAP, and six airbags, braking assistance, hill-start assistance and tyre-pressure monitoring all feature on the standard equipment list.
Engines are reasonably efficient, but the Hyundai i30 has to give second-best to some more eco-minded rivals for ultimate economy
Engines for the Hyundai i30 are more about efficiency than performance, and handling is safe rather than exciting
The Hyundai i30 looks good and is well built, but rivals use higher quality materials, and some controls are a bit fiddly
Cabin storage and passenger space in the Hyundai i30 are great, and it’s a front-runner in the class for boot space, too
The Hyundai i30 has an excellent record for safety and reliability, with a five-star Euro NCAP rating and Hyundai’s five-year warranty cover