By Stewart Smith on 2017-01-20 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
Hyundai ups its game
with new i30
HYUNDAI'S all-new i30 is ready to roll with an on-sale date of March 1 when it will arrive in the UK to compete against the likes of the Ford Focus, VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra.
It's a tough task, but over the past few years the Korean company has made dramatic strides in the quality of its products which are no longer regarded as cheap and cheerful and the new i30 definitely is worth a look.
It comes with updated exterior and interior styling plus a great range of high-tech driving aids for safety and convenience plus a new range of engines, two petrol and one diesel.
It also comes at starting price of £16,995, which is highly competitive in its sector, and offers the generous Hyundai five year unlimited mileage warranty.
Built in the Czech Republic, Hyundai says the new i30 model is built from stronger light-weight steel which and is 20 per cent lighter than the previous model which improves handling and control.
The entry-level i30 S 1.0 T-GDi 120bhp six-speed manual model comes with 15-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, DAB radio with USB and aux connections, Bluetooth with steering wheel controls, electric front and rear windows and driver seat height adjustment.
Additional standard equipment includes lane departure and forward collision warning system, lane keep assist, autonomous emergency braking and hill start assist control on all models. Standard technology and connectivity equipment also feature, with all models coming with DAB and Bluetooth regardless of trim level.
The other petrol offering is a 1.4 litre 140bhp unit which is mated to a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT auto box.
Diesel option comes with a 1.6 CRDi unit which offers 110bhp, also with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission choice.
One up from the entry level S specification, from £18,695, the i30 SE 1.0 T-GDi 120bhp manual offers additional equipment including 16-in alloy wheels, front fog lamps, DAB radio with 5-in LCD touchscreen, rear parking assist system, rear view camera and leather steering wheel. SE specification is also available with a 1.6 CRDi 110bhp, with six speed manual transmission.
Premium SE grade starts at £23,495 for the 1.4 T-GDi 140bhp manual, adding panoramic sunroof, leather seat facings and a heated steering wheel to the Premium specification.
It's also available with the six-speed manual, seven-speed DCT transmission, with either the 1.4 T-GDi 140bhp or 1.6 CRDi 110bhp.
The quality of the new i30 is a step up and although its design isn't so much different than the outgoing model it does look smart with nicely flowing lines and a more aggressive stance.
Interior is good with quality materials used and the seating is good up front but the headroom in the rear is a bit tight if you are around the six foot mark. Boot space is generous and it should do the trick for family use.
I drove the diesel automatic and the 1.0-litre petrol on a test run and to be honest I preferred the smaller petrol unit.
A few years ago if you'd said a 1.0-litre three cylinder engine was a choice you'd probably not have gone for it but they seem to be all the range now with many manufacturers and the Hyundai unit does a remarkable job.
Acceleration is surprisingly brisk with 0-62 mph coming up in just 11 seconds and giving it a claimed top speed of 118mph.
The manual gearshift was slick and I liked the steering which was positive when we tackled some pretty twisty mountain roads on the test run.
It bowled along motorway stretches at 70mph with very little engine or road noise although there was a fair bit of wind noise.
Emissions for the 1.0-litre are rated at 115g/km which equates to an official fuel return of 56.5mpg.
The lowest CO2 in the new i30 line up comes from the 1.6-litre diesel which has a figure of 99g/km with an average of 74.3mpg.
All in all this is a car which will attract people who want a reliable, well-built motor with good looks for family use.
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