We give the Hyundai i30 a run for its diesel.
Like a fine wine our Hyundai i30 CRDi diesel hatch is getting better with age.
We've driven many cars in the name of fuel economy in past years but the i30 is the first one to actually travel more than 1000km on a single tank of fuel.
That's impressive and it makes the CRDi a very attractive proposition at $21,490. It's also the cheapest diesel-powered passenger car on the road.
Our test vehicle has passed the 10,000km mark, which in the past is generally the point we found diesels started to deliver better economy.
We had been regularly getting between 850 and 900km from the 53-litre tank. But, after spending the day with the glow of the low fuel light, we decided it was time to give the 1000km mark a crack. So, with 940km on the trip metre, we filled a five-litre can with diesel, stuck it in the boot and headed off.
With an official fuel consumption figure of 4.7 litres/100km, the i30 CRDi theoretically has a range of 1127km. But in our experience, vehicles rarely achieve this figure when it comes to the real world.
The i30 is powered by a 1.6-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine that delivers 85kW of power and 255Nm of torque from a low 1900rpm.
In our test car, the engine is hooked up to a five-speed manual transmission.
With plenty of torque, the i30 is a snack to drive, happy to dawdle around in just about any gear and it is not fazed by a full complement of passengers.
We specifically requested the entry level SX model to see what what drivers get for their money.
Until recently you couldn't get the diesel as an auto but this has changed and we look forward to giving it a run too.
For long distance commuting, the only thing we really miss is cruise control, which is unfortunately not available in combination with the diesel.
Many people point to the higher cost of diesel fuel but, if you take the time to work on the sums, you'll see that you still come out way in front.
An auto is obviously going to cost more, but the manual transmission is easy to use and poses no real drama unless you do a lot of city driving.
The suspension in the hatch benefits from local tuning and it shows in the way the car rides and handles.
Airconditioning is standard, but it struggles to bring down the temperature of the interior on very hot days and after the car has been sitting in the sun.
Rear leg room is generous and the rear seat splits 60:40 for longer loads.