Hyundai i30 1.4

T-GDi Premium SE

Hyundai i30, action front
Hyundai i30, static front
Hyundai i30, dashboard
Hyundai i30, boot
Hyundai i30, 2017, side, action
Hyundai i30, 2017, boot
Hyundai i30, 2017, display screen
Hyundai i30, 2017, overhead
Hyundai i30, 2017, rear, action

ATTEMPTING to appeal to all and sundry often risks flirting with the 'jack of all trades' category.

That's patently not the case with the latest Hyundai i30 hatchback - even if it is burdened with the proud claim of being 'a car for everyone'.

And true to their word the design team at Hyundai wasted no time in developing a model line they describe as representing the core of the brand in Europe into a complete family of cars.

So the new generation hatchback, which was launched just over 12 months ago, has now been joined by the i30 Tourer estate, the i30 N performance model and, most recently, the low-slung i30 Fastback.

For a car that takes the fight to perennial market leaders like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, however, discerning drivers need look no further than the i30 hatch.

With the emphasis firmly on economy and value for money, the line-up is powered by a range of two small-displacement turbocharged petrol engines plus a 1.6-litre diesel.

Pick of the trio is the new 1.4 T-GDI turbocharged 140ps four cylinder engine - a Hyundai first - that powered this model.

Mated to a six-speed manual transmission and including the company's Integrated Stop and Go (ISG) system for increased efficiency, the i30 is a car that ticks all the boxes.

For starters it's extremely sound dynamically, having been developed in Europe and tested on the demanding Nurburgring racetrack as well as being subjected to the chill factor in Sweden.

The result is a precise, agile hatchback with responsive steering, predictable handling and long-distance passenger comfort.

Fuel economy is certainly acceptable at an official 52.3 miles per gallon, our own average return seeing the needle nudge the 47mpg mark and while acceleration of 0-62 in 8.9 seconds won't send many hearts racing it's not bad for a family hatchback.

Expansive dimensions ensure there's no compromise on interior space for five, though the centre rear position is perched, and the optional panoramic glass sunroof ensures a bright atmosphere.

By contrast, when it gets dark a kaleidoscope of multi-coloured lights give the dash area the ambience of a grotto.

The boot can hold up to 395 litres, which inflates to a maximum of 1,301 litres with the seats folded flat - and there's also a two-stage luggage board and a ski hatch in the rear centre seat.

As for keeping connected, buyers of the top spec Premium SE models can emjoy an eight-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system offering DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while there's also a wireless smartphone charging pad.

You also get a raft of safety kit a standard - like autonomous emergency braking with front collision warning, cruise control, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist, high beam assist and, new to the line-up, driver attention alert.

SUVs may be all the rage among new car buyers at present, but find a hatchback that caters for your cost, economy and carrying criteria and you'll save yourself a pretty penny.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDi Premium SE

Price: £23,655

Mechanical: 140ps, 1,353cc, 4-cyl turbo petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 8.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 52.3

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 124g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles

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