Smooth litre from

Hyundai worth a

toast

Hyundai i30, static scene 2
Hyundai i30, static scene
Hyundai i30, action front
Hyundai i30, static front
Hyundai i30, action side
Hyundai i30, action rear
Hyundai i30, dashboard
Hyundai i30, boot

WAY back in my misspent years, German-style bierkellers were popular places to spend a payday evening.

In many an unrecommended spot we would carouse the night away, singing and slamming in the manner which had brought our fathers and grandfathers face to face with the second world war.

The attraction was twofold.

Ordinary British pub beer was warm, flat and of a colour which would have been of great interest to a passing pathologist.

It was also so weak that drinkers drowned before feeling any discernible effect on the central nervous system.

German beer, on the other hand, was powerful stuff and after a couple of bevvies could provide the fortification which would tempt you to stand wearing just lederhosen on the away end at a rugby league match.

It was also sold in litres, a singularly attractive unit of measurement.

Hard to say why the popularity of these dives waned, disenchantment with a weekly tsunami of vomit perhaps, but all these years down the line the litre is back in fashion.

Only this time as an engine capacity.

It would seem every range must have its sub-1,000cc three-cylinder petrol turbo unit, never likely to be the fastest of cars but returning exceptional miles per gallon in a world where diesel is increasingly demonised.

There was a time when tiny engine models meant more roughness than visiting a late night pie shop on a Wigan bank holiday.

They thrashed, they wailed and if you dared tackle a motorway journey, fainted on the slip road.

Not now.

Taking, as an example, the Hyundai i30 SE Nav you get as smooth a package of high-end equipment as could be wished for at £21,230 while the combined best consumption is listed as 56.5mpg.

Those debatably unimportant emissions numbers are 115g/km so tax is band C or normal as we should come to know it.

Yes it takes 11.1 seconds to reach 62mph but while life in general seems to pass by faster than ever, an obsessive plethora of new speed restrictions and roads too rough to land an Apollo mission on focus the average Joe on other attributes.

Comfort, practicality and cost probably count for more, along with as much equipment as can be crammed in at the price.

So, in reverse order, we'll start with fixtures and fittings.

Essentially there are only three customer options; peal paint, a visibility pack and dual zone air-con.

Which means the rest of the package connects to every known on-board link, like Bluetooth which comes with hands free charging and includes standard navigation via a touchscreen with traffic management channels.

Some argue that features like autonomous braking and forward collision warning detract from being in control.

Absolute airbags, the most dangerous part of any car remains the nut behind the wheel.

Practicality includes 60/40 splitting rear seats a good sized boot, 378-litres, and plenty of leg and head room.

There are also useful touches like a screen wash level warning and a long list of safety equipment like lane departure warning and passive driving assists such as stability control and hill start holding.

There is a parking camera and sensors but none to the front.

Comfortable?

It is a pleasing cabin to sit in, the steering wheel is leather but everything else is cloth and soft-touch materials are the norm; very well put together generally with a clean six-speed manual gear change.

Out on the street it handles well enough but this is a car for the ring road not the Nurburgring and to that end its outstanding feature is a quiet and smooth drive.

How well does it iron out bumps?

Well, how does anything these days.

I hit a driver's side pothole inthe pitch dark so deep I questioned how I didn't come face to face old Hob himself?

Give the tax paying motorist a break, going to the shops has become a sort of trench warfare.

The i30 SE will not intoxicate you with power but it is a well-priced family hatchback, hardly pint-sized accommodation and generously kitted out.

All that's missing is an oompah band.

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