By Patrick James on 2018-08-19 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Hyundai i30 Premium
SE 1.4 T-GDI
THE Hyundai success story goes on and on.
Since its first appearance in the UK 1982 the company has risen from 21st to one of the top 10 car manufacturers in the UK and last year sold a record 92,510 vehicles.
It's not difficult to see why.
No longer bargain basement they more than hold their own in looks, style and economy with many of the more established European brands.
Not to mention the five-year unlimited mileage guarantee.
From the excellent i10, the new Kona and through to the Santa Fe and electric powered models it has an enviable, but still affordable range of cars.
The mainstay has been the i30, typical of the brand and the firms says the latest version provides the DNA of future models.
With a starting price of just under £17,000, the new S 1.0 T-GDi 120ps six-speed manual, offers alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, DAB radio with USB and aux connections, heated, electric door mirrors, Bluetooth with steering wheel controls, electric front and rear windows and driver seat height adjustment.
The bells and whistles improve moving up the range with navigation and connectivity systems through and eight-inch touchscreen, parking camera and sensors with this range topper including luxury touches like panoramic sunroof, leather seat facings and a heated steering wheel
It has a sleek design with slim headlights and daytime running lights either side of a stylish deep grille. It looks like a European motor with added neat styling cues.
At the rear the light clusters integrate into the boot lid while LEDs are built into the bumper.
The interior is a big step up with with all occupants seated comfortably with the fully adjustable electric seats on this model offering lumbar support.
The dashboard is neat and logically laid out while the touch screen controls most of the major functions including connectivity features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless charging.
Vision is reasonable and it is practical with a generous boot space, and stowage space can be increased with folding the rear seats.
The 395 litres increases to 1,301 litres with the seats folded flat and there is a two-stage luggage board and a ski hatch in the rear centre seat.
A comfortable and practical place to be with a choice of engines which are lively yet frugal. The turbo charged 1.4-litre petrol unit on this model proved to be pretty lively, hitting the 60mph mark in just under nine seconds, warm hatch territory.
The turbo gives that extra kick and it is an excellent motorway cruiser. Engine noise is muted, as is both wind and tyre noise except on the worst of roads. Economy is pretty good too, with a claimed 52.3mpg.
The ride is comfortable with the suspension soaking up the bumps and bangs and all but the roughest roads. So any skittishness would hardley ever be felt.
It feels composed and fairly agile with decent feedback from the steering.
It is packed with standard safety equipment on all models including Lane Departure Warning System, Forward Collision Warning System, Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Hill Start Assist Control.
Hyundai i30 Premium SE 1.4 T-GDI
Mechanical: 140ps, 1,353cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
Combined MPG: 52.3
Insurance Group: 13
C02 emissions: 124g/km
Bik rating: 25%
Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles
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