Hyundai i30 Tourer Active diesel 2014 review
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the 2014 Hyundai i30 Tourer Active diesel.
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Not everyone, it would seem, wants a compact SUV on their drive.
Sales of these 'quasi-fourbies' are through the roof but if you look at sales of the new Peugeot 308 Allure Touring (wagon) there may be life left in the traditional small family wagon.
They've waxed and waned on the whim of consumers and right now, they're waning.
But the new Pug wagon, with a classy, almost Audi look, could be a game changer or at least make people think twice when they shop for a set of 'sensible' new wheels.
This is a totally new generation 308 that's been out in Europe for a year winning European Car of the Year along the way.
The whole range has appeal with smaller capacity, more efficient engines being adopted across the board - except for the 308 diesel Touring we drove.
It's the range topper at $37,490 and gets a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine with 110kW/370Nm output driving the front wheels through a conventional six-speed auto with paddle shift. The engine in some form or other has been around for a while and can be found in other models (and brands).
Competitors are numerous and impressive coming out of Japan, Europe and Korea.
But the Pug is latest cab off the rank and as a result, enjoys a serious leg-up on a number of fronts. The Bluetooth phone and audio/multimedia system for example is as good as anything else on the market in terms of voice reproduction and ease of syncing. And it's among the safest new cars available right now.
Peugeot was able to slice off 140kg (down to 1420kg) from the latest 308 Touring compared with the previous model through better materials and design.
Their green tinge is more than skin deep with exemplary fuel economy from all models, petrol and diesel. This one does 5.0L/100km standing on its head.
We actually cracked deep into the 4s at one stage - something you don't see too often.
But you still have to unlock the filler cap with the ignition key to fuel it up. That's a pain.
And another negative is the difficult removal and replacement of the rear cargo blind. We gave up and left it rolling around in the load space, which is large with the rear seats up as well as down. When down, the load space is large enough to sleep two adults, a reflection of the size of the vehicle.
The rears are what Peugeot calls Magic Flat seats which means one touch up or down for the whole kit and kaboodle.
It scores plenty of useful kit from a luxury and a safety point of view. There's cruise with speed limiter, electric power steering, hill assist, electric park brake, front and rear parking sensors and reversing camera, 9.7-inch multimedia screen, satnav, multiple wheel controls though some are on annoying satellite wands, dual zone climate control, aircon glove box, pollen filter, heads up display, digital speedo, multi trip computer, alloy roof rails, rain sensing wipers and auto headlights to name a few.
Leather is optional but unnecessary as far as we are concerned because the cloth seats are great.
We like the style of the new 308 inside and out with the former exhibiting a rather minimalist look dominated by the speedo/tacho pod and similar shaped control panel. And get this, there's a CD player tucked away under the second panel.
This is where the new 308 really shines, the diesel Touring in particular. It has excellent performance with a slightly sporty edge - complemented by an impressive ride/handling package that takes Peugeot back to the good old days when they went around corners like a sporty car and yet offered the comfort of a luxury model.
The feel comes from a fairly rudimentary strut front and beam axle rear set-up. Must be in the springs/dampers.
The 308 Touring has a quality feel missing on the previous model - the one with that awful 'gaping maw' front styling. All touch points are soft and the switches click positively when you use them.
It has a clever mix of new technology and tried and true engineering as well as passing stringent Euro 6 emissions regulations.
A worthy winner of the European Car of the Year. The 308 Touring is a mainstream model that gives the average punter access to high levels of fuel efficiency, safety, ride and handling, performance and style. Can't argue with that.
|CC Allure Turbo||1.6L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$27,500 – 33,110||2015 Peugeot 308 2015 CC Allure Turbo Pricing and Specs|
|Access||1.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$9,990 – 11,950||2015 Peugeot 308 2015 Access Pricing and Specs|
|Active||1.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$10,900 – 15,999||2015 Peugeot 308 2015 Active Pricing and Specs|
|Allure||1.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$12,500 – 18,150||2015 Peugeot 308 2015 Allure Pricing and Specs|