Sure it costs a bit more than the rest of the variants, but the SR model is the one if you're in the market for an i30. Released late last year it offers a sportier take on the successful formula, together with a larger, more powerful engine. What's not to like?
PRICE / EQUIPMENT
With five doors, the manual i30 SR hatch is priced from $27,990 and the auto from $30,190 before on-road costs. And it's well-equipped. The 7 inch touchscreen satnav system in the i30 and other Hyundais should be the benchmark for others. It's large, well placed with easy to use controls, clear bright graphics plus traffic updates and warnings for speed cameras and school zones.
SR comes standard with 17-inch alloys, sports grille, rear diffuser, xenon headlights, LED tail lights and SR badges. Metal-faced pedals, leather/leatherette upholstery, power adjust driver's seat and an auto dimming rear view mirror, complete the picture. Along with the sporty add-ons you get dual zone air, push button start, an electric parking brake, plus automatic lights and wipers and an auto dimming rear view mirror. Bluetooth phone and audio, with two 12v outlets, USB and AUX inputs are also standard.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
The 2.0-litre direct injection engine delivers 129kW of power and 209Nm of torque, compared with the standard 1.8's 107kW and 175Nm. It's the same engine that powers Kia's top of the line Cerato and propels the manual from 0-100km/h in 7.7 secs and the auto in 8.6 secs.
The engine is paired with a six-speed manual or optional 6-speed auto, the latter with the ability to change gears manually but no change paddles. Fuel consumption for the manual is 7.2 litres/100km, while the six-speed automatic returns 7.5 litres/100km. In comparison, the 1.8 is good for 6.5/6.9.
Gets a full five stars for safety, with seven airbags and a full suite of safety systems, including a reversing camera and rear parking sensors.
Our test car was the six-speed manual. It's a slick, good-sized hatch with five doors and a reasonable amount of boot space. The dark 17 inch wheels, LEDs and rear diffuser distinguish the car from other i30s. The look is sporty but nicely understated and it exudes an air of quality and refinement.
It's a warm rather than hot hatch, with more power than the standard car but not as much poke as, say, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo. The unique local suspension tune has seen re-valved dampers and unique front springs fitted. Hyundai's engineers worked with Sachs to develop the bespoke dampers and the front springs are four percent stiffer than standard. The set-up is firm but never harsh The manual shifter falls easily to hand and along with the extra torque make the car a pleasure to drive.
The i30 SR is fun, confident and a car that you look forward to driving each time. As well as the extra performance, we were surprised at the level of refinement the local makeover has brought to the car.
Great little car. With the value equation, choosing between one of these and the new Mazda3 would be tough.
Hyundai i30 SR
Price: $27,990 (auto $2200)
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol
Power: 129kW and 209 Nm
Thirst: 6.5-7.2 litres/100km
Transmission: six-speed manual and auto, FWD