Review

Hyundai i30 hatchback

Price  £15,295 - £23,695

Hyundai i30 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Generous equipment
  • Good value for money
  • Great aftersales package
Cons
  • Loses lots of value as a used car
  • Auto costly to run
  • Fussy interior design

At a glance

Our Pick
1.6 CRDi 110PS Blue Drive SE 5dr £18,595
The greenest
1.6 CRDi 110PS Blue Drive S 5dr £17,295
The cheapest
1.4 100PS Blue Drive S 5dr £15,295
The fastest
1.6 CRDi 136PS Premium DCT 5dr £23,695
Top of the range
1.6 CRDi 136PS Premium DCT 5dr £23,695

"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."

A while has passed since the Hyundai i30 won our Carbuyer Car of the Year award, but it still makes a strong case for itself and has recently received improvements to help it stay competitive.

It's always been a practical car and still has this to its credit, with a good deal of room for front and rear-seat passengers, plenty of storage cubbies inside and a boot which, at 378 litres, is bigger than that of either the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra or Volkswagen Golf.

There's a broad range of engines available for the i30, headed by a powerful 186bhp 1.6-litre petrol in the flagship Turbo model, while the more economy-minded can choose from more frugal 1.4 or 1.6-litre engines. Our favourites, though, are the diesels, especially the 110bhp with a manual gearbox. At over 68mpg, its economy is excellent, its CO2 emissions are low enough to make it road-tax-exempt and it's still reasonably powerful.

Ride comfort isn’t quite as good as in some of the i30's newer rivals. It tends to become a little unsettled over rougher road surfaces and also tends to lean a little when cornering energetically. Overall, it isn’t as much fun to drive as the Ford Focus, despite decent grip and responsive steering.

The amount of standard equipment on board all i30s is also very respectable – apart from the entry-level S. We prefer the mid-range SE, which offers the convenience of rear parking sensors, cruise control, all round electric windows and a smart set of alloy wheels.

Whatever version you go for, though, build quality is extremely good, with sturdy materials used throughout the interior, lending it an upmarket feel. The feeling of solidity is also backed up by an excellent five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. You can be assured of safety, too – the i30 was awarded the full five-star rating when independently crash-tested by Euro NCAP, while driver aids like hill-start assistance are fitted as standard.

As a safe, easy-to-use car that's well built and offers good value, the Hyundai i30 still has much to recommend it.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4 / 5

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

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

4.2 / 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

3.8 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"Bold styling, a classy interior and decent dynamics make the Hyundai i30 a genuine rival to the VW Golf."
4 / 5
"It may not be as good to drive as a Ford Focus but in practical terms the i30 is a strong proposition for prospective car buyers in the small family sector."
7 / 10
"It's one of those cars which, if you bought it, would soon become part of the family such is its friendly, undemanding nature."
7 / 10
"The first one was good, and this one is even better. Hyundai's i30 goads the Golf with a very well judged refresh."
What owners say 
4.2379310344828
4.2 /5 based on 29 reviews
72%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
14 Jul 2016
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