Price £13,995 - £22,805
The new Hyundai i30 is aiming for the top of its class - it's the Korean brand's latest rival to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, and it shares many exterior styling cues with its bigger brother, the Hyundai i40. The striking looks and upmarket interior are combined with some of the highest equipment levels in the family hatchback sector. It's such an impressive achievement by Hyundai that we named it the 2012 CarBuyer Car of the Year. All models come with a Bluetooth connection, LED daytime running lights, a multi-function steering wheel and electric heated door mirrors. Hyundai has also given it a range of highly efficient and flexible engines. Where the old model used to be far cheaper than the competition, the new i30 is very similar on price.
Price £16,295 - £24,025
CarBuyer's 2012 Car of the Year is now available as a practical estate. Offering the same high specification and upmarket interior as its award-winning hatchback sibling, the i30 Tourer estate also adds a much larger, 528-litre boot and is a more spacious and equally well-made family car that shares many of the hatchback's recognisable styling cues.
The Hyundai i30 Estate retains all the qualities that make the hatchback so appealing - good quality, lots of cabin space, excellent value and a superb warranty. However, buyers expecting the estate to add lots of practicality over the hatchback will be disappointed, because it isn’t a great deal bigger. Awkward styling also dents its appeal. It's still impressively versatile though, and the diesel version is very economical.
While the Hyundai badge can’t quite match the prestige or quality of Volkswagen's, the Korean firm is catching up fast. As a result, the Hyundai i30 is an enticing prospect. Far from feeling like a ‘budget’ car, this Korean hatchback does everything well. Lots of thought has gone into designing the cabin, and there's plenty of storage space, lots of passenger room in the rear and a good looking dashboard. The whole car feels built to last, the engines are economical and the five-year warranty is a huge bonus.