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Car trim reviews

Hyundai i30 Classic

The entry-level Hyundai i30 Classic is very comfortable and offers incredible value for money, despite not having alloy wheels.

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The Hyundai i30 Classic is the entry-level trim i30 in the range, although it still has plenty of equipment and is available with the most efficient engine, the 1.6 CRDi diesel. Taking on rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf S and Ford Focus Edge, the Hyundai i30 is no longer a budget option, but instead offers quality, space and comfort at an affordable price. Standard spec includes Bluetooth phone connection, LED daytime running lights and air conditioning. Also, when fitted with the 1.6 CRDi diesel engine, it is capable of returning up to 76mpg and produces emissions of less than 100g/km - so is very cheap to run. Buyers have the choice of three engines in total, including one further 1.4-litre CRDi diesel and one 1.4-litre petrol. The Hyundai i30 Classic is cleverly styled to resemble the bigger Hyundai i40, and although running on 15-inch steel wheels, remains an attractive looking hatchback with a comfortable ride. We were so impressed by the i30 that we named it CarBuyer’s 2012 Car of the Year.

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Good points

As is the case with many of our award winners, the Hyundai i30 manages to be both desirable and sensible, and boasts lots of positives. The first thing you notice is the build quality, which is approaching Volkswagen Golf standards. Equipment is also generous for an entry-level model, with Bluetooth, air conditioning, front fog lights and a multi-function steering wheel all fitted as standard. Space is impressive too thanks to a class-leading 378-litre boot and spacious split-folding back seats. Although similar in price to entry-level rivals, the Hyundai i30 Classic is cheaper to run, is much better equipped and comes with a five-year warranty – making it an attractive car to own.

Bad points

The Hyundai i30 has an image problem, something that the new model is keen to shrug off. As a result, residual values are predicted to fall slightly lower than its European rivals, which could hurt come re-sale time. Other downsides include slightly poor rear visibility and an optional automatic gearbox that affects fuel economy terribly. Also, if we had to nit-pick, the i30 isn’t as enjoyable to drive as the Ford Focus or Honda Civic, which may deter some buyers.

What you get

  • Folding rear seats
  • Alarm
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Metallic paint

Our choice

For buyers who regularly travel long distances we'd reccommend the 1.6 CRDi diesel for its very low running costs, alternatively the 1.4 petrol is very cheap to buy in Classic trim.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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