Hyundai i30 hatchback (2011-2016)

"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."

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.9 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Great aftersales package
  • Good value for money
  • Generous equipment

Cons

  • Auto costly to run
  • Fussy interior design
  • Loses lots of value used

The Hyundai i30 won our Carbuyer Car of the Year award in 2012 and while that was a few years ago, a number of improvements have kept it competitive against its rivals.

But, if you don’t mind hanging on, there’s an all-new Hyundai i30 due in early 2017, which has already been revealed to the public at the Paris Motor Show and boasts improved build quality, technology and handling.

Sticking with the current model, practicality has always been an i30 highlight and its 378-litre boot has a larger capacity than the boots of the Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, although it’s not class-leading. Space inside is good, too, with adults able to travel in comfort in the front and rear seats and plenty of places available to put drinks, phones and wallets.

A wide range of petrol and diesel engines is offered, from 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrols with 99 or 118bhp, to 1.6-litre CRDi diesels with 109 or 134bhp. The less powerful diesel is particularly economical, returning up to 78.4mpg and emitting just 94g/km of CO2, making it exempt from road tax if registered before April 2017.

The i30 is starting to show its age in terms of ride comfort, sometimes feeling a little skittish over rough surfaces and leaning into sharp corners. It’s not quite up there with class leaders like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Mazda 3 for driving enjoyment, but it feels safe and refined.

Trim levels are quite straightforward, with S, SE, SE Nav and Premium all offering air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a USB port and steering-wheel-mounted controls as standard. We’d avoid the basic S model, though, as it doesn’t even get alloy wheels or rear electric windows. SE adds the above, along with six speakers (instead of four), cruise control, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, rear parking sensors and variable steering weight.

Premium offers quite a big step up in feel, with leather seat facings, keyless entry and even features like a heated steering wheel. The fit and finish is good, representing a real improvement for Hyundai when it launched, even if it’s feeling a bit older now. There’s added reassurance thanks to Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty and the fact that the i30 scored the full five stars when crash-tested by Euro NCAP.

While there’s not long to wait for the all-new i30, the current version still represents a sensible buy, thanks to its reliability, economy and good value.

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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