Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

You are here

Hyundai i30 2017 review

Hyundai's new i30 is, quite simply, a category killer.
EXPERT RATING
8.3
Hyundai isn't mucking around with its third-generation i30. At all. The small hatch was the third most popular car with Aussies in 2016, and the company wants to keep the faith with the new car.

Hyundai isn't mucking around with the launch of its third generation i30. At all. The small hatchback was the third most popular car with Aussie buyers in 2016, and the company wants to keep the faith with the new car.

Even though some of its 2016 sales tally came on the back of special drive-away price offers, Hyundai points out that the second-gen i30 was in run-out mode, and it wasn't like it was on sale all of the time.

After a couple of years of hard work, though, the company reckons it's got everything right for the new i30, including the price. After all, it's playing in a tough league with the Mazda3 and the Toyota Corolla, so it needs to be on its game.

And we reckon it's going to come out swinging.

Hyundai i30 2017: ACTIVE
Safety rating
Engine Type1.6L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency4.7L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$18,888

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

Parked side by side with the first two generations of i30, it's easy to see the progression through the years. The i30's designer, Thomas Burkle, told CarsGuide that it wasn't just a new design, but a new chapter, and we'd have to agree.

Pics show a subtle, almost amorphous silhouette with a long bonnet line, but up close the i30 is a mature, resolved and stylish five-door hatchback that's all grown up.

Some might see hints of Volkswagen Golf in the rear view, but the exterior design is artfully done for a sub-$30k car.

  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active Premium variant shown)

The interior design is a similar triumph of 'less is more' styling. Hyundai realised a decade ago that outside expertise would help them drive (pardon the pun) forward, and today's i30 is kilometres away from the first iteration machine.

Even at the bottom of the range, everything from the button design and layout, the contrast of trim and colour and even the font on the instrument dials all combine to give an impression that the i30 is more upmarket than its price point suggests.

How practical is the space inside?   8/10

Hyundai has made the new i30 40mm longer, 15mm wider and 20mm taller, adding vital interior room to the small car - especially in the rear.

Up front, the seats are slung low in the car and offer plenty of adjustment and support, and the Premium and SR Premium offers ten-way powered, heated and vented versions.

There is definitely a more spacious feel in the cabin, especially across the shoulders.

In the rear, the door apertures are well shaped for easy entry and exit, and there's sufficient headroom for even taller passengers. The sunroof as fitted to the SR Premium and Premium nibbles away at that headroom, too.

It's still a small hatch, so knee room will depend on the heights of the front seats, but there is definitely a more spacious feel in the cabin, especially across the shoulders.

Right from the Active, the centre console offers a small, deep bin with a padded top, a pair of cupholders line astern next to an electronic handbrake in the automatic version (the manuals get a manual handbrake) and a covered storage recess under the dash with a USB point and a pair of 12V charging sockets.

  • 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson) 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson) 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson) 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson) 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson) 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson) 2017 Hyundai i30 Elite (image credit: Tim Robson)

The Elite, SR, Premium and SR Premium cars all come with an inductive phone charging pad; simply place a suitably equipped phone flat on the pad and it will charge itself. So far, it's an Android phone-only thing, but Hyundai says it's working on an Apple phone cover to suit.

There are two more cupholders in the rear armrest, and divided bottle holders in both the front and rear door cards. ISOFIX baby seat mounts are fitted to the outside pair of seats, while rear vents are fitted to cars with the seven-speed dual clutch gearbox.

Hyundai has brought the new i30 into Australia at a lower price point, but has added more equipment as standard.

Why? The standard auto and manual cars have manual handbrakes, which rules out the fitment of the rear vent in the centre console unit.

Cargo space is claimed as 395 litres with the seats up, and 1301 litres when the 60/40 split/fold seats are lowered.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

Let's start with the good news. Hyundai has brought the new i30 into Australia at a lower price point, but has added more equipment as standard.

This is on top of the fact that the five-door, front-wheel-drive i30 is built on a new stiffer and safer chassis, and offered with new and upgraded engines to boot.

The i30 Active range comprises four cars, and now starts at $20,950 before on road costs for a 2.0-litre petrol-engined version with a six-speed manual gearbox, which is a price drop of $500 over the outgoing Active.

It also now gets 16-inch alloys, LED daytime running lamps, automatic headlights and a tyre pressure monitor as standard. Hyundai claims the extra equipment is valued at $2000.

As well, every i30 will get sat nav as well as digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity via a new 8.0-inch colour infotainment touchscreen.

The Active will be available with one of two engines and three transmissions. A new-for Active (from the previous SR) 2.0-litre direct injection four-cylinder petrol engine can be combined with either the $20,950 six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission for $23,250.

The 2.0-litre engine picks up 13kW and 28Nm over the old 1.8-litre petrol motor, and makes 120kW and 203Nm.

A refreshed version of the company's 1.6-litre CRDi turbo diesel engine can be combined with a six-speed manual ($23,450) or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission ($24,950).

The 2.0-litre engine picks up 13kW and 28Nm over the old 1.8-litre petrol motor, and makes 120kW and 203Nm.

The Euro 5-spec diesel, meanwhile, retains the same 100kW power output, with 280Nm of torque available with the manual and 300Nm with the dual-clutch box.

Standard gear on the Active includes a three-stage Drive Mode switch for auto-equipped cars, seven airbags and keyless entry.

Its MacPherson strut front end and torsion beam rear end is shared by the diesel powered cars, while the Sports grades get a multi-link independent rear suspension system.

The upside of the multi-link system is better handling, but the downside is the inability to carry full-sized spare wheel, thanks to a reduced boot floor depth.

The rest of the range will now be split into two distinct lines known as Sports and Comfort.

Sports variants include the SR and SR Premium, while the Comfort line will include Elite and Premium versions of the car. The Active X has been dropped.

  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (SR Premium variant shown)

The Sports cars are both petrol powered, while the Comfort machines are diesels.

The first of the two Sports variants is the SR, which gets Hyundai's 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine first seen in the Elantra SR last year.

It adds 26kW and 54Nm over the old SR, now offering 150kW and 265Nm as standard. You can pick from either a six-speed manual for $25,950 (a $500 drop over the old car) or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox version for $28,950.

The SR also gets 18-inch rims, an inductive phone charger (Android-type phones only, at the moment, though) and an electronic handbrake on the dual-clutch version.

The entry level Active is the only car not to get the safety gear as standard.

It also gets Hyundai's SmartSense driver aid suite, which includes AEB, smart cruise control, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and lane keep assist.

In fact, the entry level Active is the only car not to get the safety gear as standard, but Hyundai says that an optional SmartSense kit will be available by the end of 2017, for around $1500.

The SR Premium ($33,950) also gets front park assist, LED headlights, sunroof, vented and heated front seats and one-touch auto windows over the SR. It's only available with a dual-clutch gearbox, which helps to explain its $2000 price hike over the previous SR Premium.

On the Comfort side, the $28,950 Elite – a new grade for the i30 - gets leather trim, the SmartSense suite and an upgraded interior including a new dash with colour screen, a so-called 'premium' centre console, an electronic park brake, rear seat vents and phone charging pad.

It's only available with the 1.6-litre turbo diesel and dual-clutch gearbox combo.

Above the Elite, the $33,950 Premium jumps $900 over the outgoing car, but it does gain a host of gear in return.

It scores front park assist, LED headlights, sunroof, vented and heated front seats and one-touch auto windows, as well as sun visor extensions, on top of the Elite's spec.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

The Active scores the previous SR's 2.0-litre directly injected, naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine which replaces the previous 1.8 petrol model.

It makes 120kW and 203Nm against a claimed fuel economy figure of 7.3 litres per 100km in manual guise and 7.4L/100km in auto.

The company's 1.6-litre turbodiesel four-potter has been upgraded for the new car, though it still makes the same 100kW and 300Nm as before. Hyundai claims 4.5L/100km for the manual and 4.7L/100km with the seven-speed dual clutcher.

  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown)
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown) 2017 Hyundai i30 (Active petrol variant shown)

The warmish SR hatch line up, meanwhile, gets the same 150kW/265Nm turbocharged 1.6-litre engine that debuted locally in the Elantra SR late in 2016, which is claimed to return 7.5L/100km in both manual and dual-clutch guises.

All Hyundai engines use timing chains rather than belts, and have proven to be largely free of transmission troubles or engine troubles.

All variants can tow up to 1300kg of braked or 600kg of unbraked trailer. Kerb weights range between 1251kg and 1445kg, depending on the variant.

How much fuel does it consume?   8/10

We spent 115km in an Active petrol auto on flowing country roads, and we returned a dash-indicated figure of 8.9 litres per 100km against a claim of 7.4L/100km.

To be fair, we were not sparing the rod on uphill sections and twisty terrain, so this figure is actually very acceptable.

A brief tour in the diesel saw a dash figure of 5.5L/100km against a claim of 4.7L/100km, while a spirited stint in the SR Premium netted a figure of 8.1L/100km against a claim of 7.5L/100km.

Every i30 hatch has a 50-litre fuel tank and all petrol variants are happy to accept 91RON fuel.

What's it like to drive?   10/10

The i30 has undergone a pretty extensive local suspension makeover program, and the hard work has paid off. We won't bore you with the exact specs of what the team did, but we can say that the result – particularly on the base Active - is frankly astonishing.

The i30 we drove in Korea was already pretty good, but with the wave of a magic wand – or magic swaybar - the Aussie team has turned this small, affordable hatch into something that it really shouldn't be.

It feels confident, it feels resolved, and it rides beautifully. The only downside, perhaps, is a little bit of road noise from the tyres on rougher surfaces, but it's certainly no worse than anything else in the category, and it's also quite dependant on tyre choice.

The sportier SR is equally as accomplished, but in a sharper, more precise way.

The i30 Active steers with measure and aplomb, as well; evidence that Hyundai has finally gotten its head around electric steering and no longer has to rely on multi-mode switches to get the feeling right.

The 2.0-litre engine is a good match for the car, as well, with good drivability and response through the rev range.

The sportier SR is equally as accomplished, but in a sharper, more precise way. The steering feels more direct, and the independent multilink rear end  means it responds to inputs with more accuracy and deftness. Lower profile and wider tyres also help here, too.

Its 1.6-litre turbo errs more on the competent and capable side, and isn't really designed to blow your skirt up like the incoming N range's 2.0-litre turbo will. Still, it's strong and capable where it counts.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

The i30 range benefits greatly from the new age of electronic safety aids, and offers advanced radar cruise control, auto emergency braking, advanced lane guidance control and detection, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert in a package called SmartSense on most models.

It also offers LED lighting front and rear across the line, speed limit display info via the sat nav and smart driver fatigue detection that picks up on steering and throttle inputs as a way to detect a tired driver.

As mentioned, the SmartSense kit is not yet available for the Active, but should be offered as a pack by the end of 2017. It's worth noting, too, that the manual cars can't be fitted with SmartSense, which means the cheapest car in the range will miss out altogether.

Seven airbags and a new, stronger, one-piece bodyside structure also contribute to an overall safety score of five ANCAP stars out of five of the i30 range.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   8/10

Hyundai offers a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty for the i30, as well as a  free 1500km service and 12 months of roadside assistance. Service intervals remain at 12 month or 15,000km intervals.

Five-year fixed price servicing costs are $1555 for the diesel, and $1651 for the 1.6-litre turbo engine. Services over five years for the 2.0-litre engine will cost $1525.

Verdict

Hyundai has lofty ideals for the i30, with one senior company figure calling it "the people's car", a moniker once reserved for the ubiquitous Volkswagen Beetle.

In a market that's absolutely saturated in choice, Hyundai has delivered a car that will reward and delight even those people for whom a car is merely another device.

The i30 is a perfect example that you don't always have to spend big bucks to buy something that's still a little bit special.

In my opinion, the sweet spot  is the dual-clutch transmission-equipped SR. While the Elite diesel is quiet, comfortable and economical, a diesel drivetrain isn't as well suited to life around town as the nippy little 1.6-litre turbo. The ride and handling are spot on for everyday driving, as well.

Check out Tim's video from the i30's international launch too:

Hyundai's new i30 is better equipped - and better value - than ever before. Is it on your shopping list in 2017? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Pricing Guides

$17,890
Based on 1229 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$14,490
Highest Price
$31,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
ACTIVE 1.8L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $15,985 – 19,990 2017 HYUNDAI i30 2017 ACTIVE Pricing and Specs
ACTIVE 1.6 CRDi 1.6L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $16,610 – 21,230 2017 HYUNDAI i30 2017 ACTIVE 1.6 CRDi Pricing and Specs
ACTIVE X 1.8L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $18,490 – 19,900 2017 HYUNDAI i30 2017 ACTIVE X Pricing and Specs
ACTIVE X (SUNROOF) 1.8L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $15,510 – 19,910 2017 HYUNDAI i30 2017 ACTIVE X (SUNROOF) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8.3
Design8
Practicality8
Price and features8
Engine & trans8
Fuel consumption8
Driving10
Safety8
Ownership8
Tim Robson
Contributing Journalist

Share