By on 2017-07-17 -
Sleek new i30 estate from
HYUNDAI has ambitions to be the number one Asian car brand in Europe by 2021 and that's no easy task.
But the Korean car maker is placing its faith in its well-established SUV range, some new high-performance vehicles and, probably its most Euro-friendly line up, the i30 series.
Two new versions of the compact family model - the i30 N hot hatch and a ground-breaking i30 Fastback - were announced this month, just after the new i30 Tourer estate car went on sale in the UK.
The company has high hopes for the estate but it's in an extremely competitive sector against rivals such as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Skoda Octavia to name but a few prime contenders.
Can it compete? Well, that may depend on how loyal buyers are to badges - it's certainly in with a good shout.
Priced from just Â£17,495 for the i30 Tourer S 1.0-litre T-GDi 118bhp manual, the estate matches the hatch in offering a high level of standard safety equipment - Hyundai say THE highest - including a lane departure warning system, forward collision warning system, lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking. All are a massive plus for a family car.
Also standard are 15-inch alloys, digital radio with USB and aux connections, Bluetooth with steering wheel controls and electric front and rear windows plus cargo screen and safety barrier net for the rear.
SE trim adds larger alloys and a five-inch LCD touchscreen, rear parking sensors and camera, roof rails and a 1.6-litre 108bhp diesel engine with six-speed manual box or a 134bhp version with a seven-speed auto dual clutch transmission. SE Nav adds more tech including sat nav and a larger eight-inch touchscreen.
For those with deeper pockets looking for a more upmarket Germanic style, there's also Premium and Premium SE trims. Here, the alloys are another inch bigger again with uprated Michelin tyres, dual zone climate control, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, privacy glass and heated front seats. Drivers also benefit from an electrically adjustable seat.
Prices for the top model start at Â£24,155, but the list of safety, comfort and convenience features is endless. There's definitely more leather and a huge panoramic sunroof.
But, in the family estate business, it's practicality that sells. On top of all those features, the i30 Tourer has loads of nooks and crannies for storage as well as a hefty 602 litres of storage space in the boot. Flatten the rear seats and that swells to 1,650.
Because of the larger boot, the Tourer is slightly longer than the hatchback but that makes it sleeker even if it doesn't stand out in a crowd.
What is remarkable is how refined it is on the road. Whether you choose petrol or diesel, there's just the faintest thrum from the engine. Wind noise has been reduced to the bare minimum too, only the wing mirrors creating the slightest rush.
I managed to do plenty of miles in both the 1.6-litre CRDi diesel and the 1.4-litre T-GDi petrol. Both were six-speed manuals.
The petrol 138bhp petrol has a top speed of 129mph, a 0-62mph of 9.2 seconds and officially returns 51.4mpg with 129g/km of CO2 emissions. It was certainly returning just over 40mpg.
The diesel had a larger engine and more torque but just 108bhp. Its top speed is 117mph with a sprint of 11.3 seconds. Officially it returns 74.3mpg - I was getting a teaspoon under 50 - and 99g/km.
In all honestly, there was little to choose between them. Both were comfortable and spacious, both munched the miles extremely well and with the absolute minimum of fuss.
Soft and supple suspension ironed out most of the lumps and bumps - there's no Sport mode to stiffen things up.
That same damping and a surprising amount of grip also makes the i30 Tourer confident on the less straight roads you might encounter outside of the city.
Remarkably, the extra length and weight seems to make no discernible difference from the hatchback either. Quite a feat.
It's not the most exhilarating car - hence the new hot hatch - but it was never meant to be.
What it is, is a good, practical, spacious and comfortable family estate with all the mod cons you could possibly need.
It might not even stand out in a crowd, but does it need to when it's a pleasant place to be while on the road? Remarkably unremarkable perhaps. In a good way.
Hyundai certainly have confidence in the new estate and the whole i30 line-up, as they do in their engineering.
The new i30 Tourer comes with the brand's five-year unlimited mileage warranty, five-year roadside assistance package and 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.
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