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Hyundai i30 advances the game

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    Interesting styling of the new generation Hyundai i30 may create controversy.

Hyundai created a stir when it launched its first i30 in Australia in 2007. The new one will too.

It represented a giant leap forward in chassis dynamics and build quality, showing the South Korean car industry had reached a new stage in maturity.

Almost immediately, the Hyundai i30 gathered in a number of Australian and overseas automotive awards and achieved praise from motoring writers and, even more importantly from car buyers.

Here’s a fascinating fact - every Hyundai i30 sold in Australia is still under new-car warranty, being covered by a five-year / unlimited distance warranty. So the first cars, sold in October 2007, are still covered.

Now the second-generation of the small-medium hatchback Hyundai has been launched and looks likely to continue the success of its predecessor. It looks as though the styling is going to create controversy as Hyundai is out to challenge what’s considered normal in automotive shapes.

While the front with its large hexagonal grille works neatly enough, some may find the sweeping shapes of the side swages a bit over the top. Time will tell, and there’s certainly nothing like challenging convention to make people sit up and take notice.

Station wagons were a part of the original Hyundai i30 scene but, at least at this stage, we aren’t likely to seem them imported to Australia as the European factory is only making them with the steering wheel on the wrong side for us. For the time being we are only getting the five-door hatch.

New i30 is longer and wider than the old and just a touch lower. Interior space allows good legroom for four adults and my six-foot frame has no trouble sitting behind itself - if you see what I mean. The centre seat in the back is probably best left for a child, though three adults can fit back there in emergencies.

The front seats are well shaped and comfortable and we like the new interior design. While not as challenging as the exterior lines, the cabin has interesting shapes and modern angles. Even better it’s finished to a high quality that looks to be long lasting.

We were impressed with the ride quality and handling during our introductory test drive of the new Hyundai hatch out of Melbourne and through the Yarra Valley. A considerable amount of local design of the suspension and steering has been carried out in Australia - both by Korean and Australian engineers - and the endless compromise between comfort and road manners is just right to our way of thinking.

Hyundai has pushed the car to the stage that any more firmness may have been too much for some people. By doing so it has made the i30 appeal to those who really love driving. An interesting system called Flex Steer lets the driver choose the amount of assistance provided by the EPS (Electronic Power Steering). Perhaps a bit of a gimmick in our eyes (and hands) but we will let the market make the final decision.

new Hyundai i30Hyundai has installed its vehicle stability management system (VSM) in the new i30. This isn’t merely another electronic control system, it’s a highly sophisticated setup that can even counter-steer the car if a driver is really silly in their actions and gets the tail right out of shape. Build quality inside and out show the rest of the world that the South Koreans are really serious about challenging the Japanese.

Two engines are on offer: a 1.8-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel. We test drove both and our preference is for the cheaper (by $2600) petrol unit, but the added grunt and reduced fuel consumption of the diesel will certainly appeal to many. Both engines can be mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

The all-new Hyundai i30 has been crash tested in Europe and achieved the maximum five stars. Australasian barrier tests, which differ marginally from the European ones, are still to be carried out, but the local importer is confident in getting the top result here. Safety features include seven airbags, including a unit to cushion the impact of show on the driver’s knees.

New Hyundai i30 is being sold in three levels of luxury: Active, Elite and Premium. Prices range from $20,990 for an i30 Active with the petrol engine and manual gearbox, to $32,590 for an i30 Premium with the diesel engine and automatic transmission. These prices are higher than anticipated by most pundits and show that Hyundai Australia is no longer nervous about pricing its cars at the same level as its Japanese competitors. The spec levels of the Korean i30 are higher than those Japanese cars, partly accounting for the higher recommended retails.

The complete Hyundai i30 range is:
i30 Active 1.8-litre petrol five-door hatch: $20,990 (manual), $22,990 (automatic)
i30 Elite 1.8-litre petrol five-door hatch: $24,590 (manual), $26,590 (automatic)
i30 Premium 1.8-litre petrol five-door hatch: $29,990 (automatic)
i30 Active 1.6-litre turbo-diesel five-door hatch: $23,590 (manual), $25,590 (automatic)
i30 Elite 1.6-litre turbo-diesel five-door hatch: $27,190 (manual), $29,190 (automatic)
i30 Premium 1.6-litre turbo-diesel five-door hatch: $32,590 (automatic)

 

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 9 comments

  • Best car i have ever had..i30 diesel 2013.. On the country road about 4/100 witch is cheap going.. 6 speed manual plenty of power just as i said said love it i have done 5000ks i purchased the car in Perth and drove across the nullabor....

    peter of Port Lincoln Posted on 05 October 2013 9:06pm
  • I would buy a Hyundia any time over any other car I love mine ,i30 premium

    Annette singleton of S.A Posted on 27 August 2013 3:59pm
  • But will it compete with the VW Golf? There's more to a car than price; I want gr8 handling, and comfort at a reasonable price. Worth a test drive soon, just after the new Golf arrives, and the S3 too.

    TheRealist of Oz Posted on 05 September 2012 10:53pm
  • Amazing how Tbird and Bollywood have such a strong opinion... obviously never had a Korean car, especailly not in the last 5 years. My Korean vehicle is just out of warranty, turning 6 years old this year, never had a fault in 6 years. But hey, your opinions are the reason why I can buy a great car at such a resonable price. Seems like both of you are missing out as many think the Koreans are challenging the Japanese, where I think they've passed them and getting near the Eurpoeans in terms of being better cars, not leading on things like dynamics, but compensating in the area of depreciation (in $ not %), running costs and reliability. Maybe you need to check out the Optima or some of the reviews on the Genesis/K9. At the end of the day I look around on the freeways and I never see the Korean cars broken down, just Holden/Fords and expensive Europens.

    William of Melbourne Posted on 27 July 2012 9:56pm
  • Every Thing in a car I would like

    irene nakon of ashmore Posted on 24 June 2012 12:29pm
  • Bollywood, the fact that they offer a 5 year unlimited warranty shows that their vehicles are reliable otherwise the company would go broke. How long is the warranty on your car, less I bet! Tbird, you obviously haven't checked out Hyundai in recent times otherwise you'd know they are now right up with the Japanese & Europeans as far as quality and innovation goes....

    Russell of South Gippsland Posted on 21 June 2012 6:58pm
  • Ewan, Does the technology free you up to appreciate the car driving experience and handling. I like the durabilitites but does it drive better when you are freed up from meddling with the accessories the car comes with as standard.

    Kennedy of Melbourne Posted on 20 June 2012 3:58pm
  • Hyundai's need a five year warranty

    Bollywood Shak Posted on 15 June 2012 10:35am
  • "Here’s a fascinating fact - every Hyundai i30 sold in Australia is still under new-car warranty, being covered by a five-year / unlimited distance warranty. So the first cars, sold in October 2007, are still covered." Another fascinating fact - Any car brought after June 2007 that has a 5 year warranty is still under warranty as well. Amazing isn't it?? Hyundai's still have a way to go before I'd consider one.

    Tbird Posted on 08 June 2012 2:05pm
Read all 9 comments

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