Hyundai i30 hatchback

Price  £15,195 - £23,595

Hyundai i30 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • 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 greenest
1.6 CRDi 110PS Blue Drive S 5dr £17,195
The cheapest
1.4 100PS S 5dr £15,195
The fastest
1.6 CRDi 136PS Premium DCT 5dr £23,595
Top of the range
1.6 CRDi 136PS Premium DCT 5dr £23,595

"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 compact family hatchback rival to the VW Golf and Ford Focus. It comes with either three or five doors, and there's also a Tourer estate version. It was crowned Carbuyer's Car of the Year in 2012.

The original i30 (launched in 2007) scored on value, but this second-generation model has moved away from that – it's now priced on par with the likes of the Ford Focus. But the increase in cost has been matched by a significant improvement in quality and styling. Plus, Hyundai offers more equipment as standard than most of its rivals – even entry-level Classic models feature a Bluetooth hands-free phone connection and voice recognition, as well as LED daytime running lights and steering wheel-mounted stereo controls.

Classic models feel a little cheap – blame the plastic wheel trims for that. It's better to aim for at least a mid-spec Active, which adds alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and cruise control. The Style, Style Nav and Premium trims complete the range, but come at a price, although all versions have enough safety kit to achieve a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.

Under the bonnet, there's a choice of 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines and 1.4 and 1.6-litre CRDi diesels. The petrol options aren’t as efficient as the small petrol engines offered by the likes of Volkswagen and Ford, so a diesel i30 will make more sense to most buyers. The larger 1.6 CRDi is the cleaner and more economical choice, especially if you go for the Blue Drive model, which has claimed 76.3mpg fuel consumption and 97g/km CO2 emissions in Classic and Active spec.

Whether you go for diesel or petrol power, stick with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. We’d avoid the optional six-speed automatic, as it increases emissions and fuel consumption considerably.

Hyundai's five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty is another strong attraction for buyers. It's longer than most of its rivals’, although Toyota matches it and Kia covers you for seven years or 100,000 miles.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4 / 5

Engines are reasonably efficient, but the Hyundai i30 has to give second-best to some more eco-minded rivals for ultimate economy

Engines, drive & performance

4 / 5

Engines for the Hyundai i30 are more about efficiency than performance, and handling is safe rather than exciting

Interior & comfort

4.7 / 5

The Hyundai i30 looks good and is well built, but rivals use higher quality materials, and some controls are a bit fiddly

Practicality & boot space

5 / 5

Cabin storage and passenger space in the Hyundai i30 are great, and it’s a front-runner in the class for boot space, too

Reliability & safety

4.5 / 5

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

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 1 review
4 / 5
"The range will kick off at around £14,000 when the i30 goes on sale in March, starting with a 1.4 petrol. There's also a 1.6 petrol plus two 1.6 diesels – we drove the more powerful 128bhp diesel rather than the 110bhp version, but they share excellent economy and CO2 figures of 76mpg and 97g/km, so are exempt from road tax."
"Emissions are lower than ever, while the build quality inside and out has improved vastly."
"What Hyundai really wants to push though is the equipment list, which puts the i30 alongside the class leaders. Expensive toys include Bluetooth compatibility, cruise control, heated seats, LED running and cornering lamps, switchable steering-weight program, Xenon headlamps and a reversing camera."
What owners say 
4.5 /5 based on 168 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
25 Sep 2014
Own this car? Leave your review.