WHEN it first arrived the i30 signalled a bold new direction for Hyundai as it sought to become a major player in Europe.
The first car to carry the simple alpha-numeric naming convention which has since been introduced to much of the Korean company's range, it heralded the start of a particularly successful period for the Seoul-based manufacturer which, as yet, shows little sign of abating.
Designed in Russelsheim, Germany, with the European market specifically in mind, and built in the Czech Republic, the i30 exemplifies Hyundai's core values of well-equipped yet competitively priced motors which also offer good economy.
An estate was a logical addition to the initial i30 hatchback and both versions are now into their second generation, having undergone significant design tweaks and other enhancements.
The new look gives the updated Tourer a sportier appearance than the outgoing model, with a steeply raked windscreen, prominent rising shoulder line and muscular wheel arches creating a dynamic profile.
Standard LED daytime running lights are another addition, helping to create a distinctive front end in conjunction with Hyundai's now familiar hexagonal grille.
The height and length have been reduced slightly while the track has been widened which, as well as enhancing the athletic look, also helps to provide a composed and settled ride.
Power comes from a choice of two engines, either a 118bhp petrol unit or the 1.6-litre CRDi diesel with a power output of 109 or 126bhp. Both can be coupled to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The higher-powered diesel power pack in my test car proved very durable in all driving conditions, although the manual gearbox was a little notchy.
Acceleration off the mark was not terrific but some impressive mid-range torque ensured that, once on the move, there was plenty of oomph for overtaking while motorway cruising was comfortable and quiet.
In fact, all round refinement was good and, from the inside, there were no tell-tale noises or rattles giving away the fact that you were driving an oil-burner.
Although a little more feedback through the steering would have been nice it was, nonetheless, light and made manoeuvring around town and in car parks very easy.
The version I tried also had the benefit of Hyundai's Blue Drive technology which utilises an automatic start/stop function, low-rolling resistance tyres and an alternator management system to keep fuel consumption and emissions down.
Thus, even the higher-powered diesel engine delivers a very healthy 64.2 miles per gallon on average with carbon emissions pegged back to 115g/km, offering the kind of savings in tax and running costs that make the i30 Tourer an attractive proposition for private and business users.
Indeed, this workmanlike estate also offers plenty of practical comfort and space with ample head and legroom for five adults, an abundance of useful storage provided in the cabin and a boot that is impressively roomy and functional - a capacity of 528 litres more than capable of coping with family needs while with the 60/40 split rear seats folded down it rises to 1,642 litres.
There are also some useful concealed storage areas beneath the boot floor as well as a couple above the wheel arches in the rear wings and a luggage net, with hooks to attach it to, is also provided to keep loose items secure if necessary. The deep tailgate opens to bumper level meaning there's no annoying lip to navigate when loading and unloading.
The Style Nav trim sits just below the range-topping Premium spec and offers very generous kit levels for the £21,395 asking price.
A touchscreen satnav system, reversing camera with parking guidance, 16-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, electric heated and folding wing mirrors, stereo with aux-in, music player and iPod connections, two power points in the front, six airbags, stability control and halogen headlights with follow-me-home function are all included.