Volkswagen Golf Comfortline wagon 2014 review
Volkswagen has launched the third variant in its new Golf 7 range with a five-door wagon joining the hatch and GTI that arrived last year.
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The second generation i30 has done something Hyundai hasn't really done before - it built on the success of the first car and did a better job second time around. Better still, instead of the two year wait for the previous generation's CW variant, we've only had to wait nine months.
The newly-released Tourer has something of a reputation to uphold. Starting with the mid-90s Lantra wagon and eventually again with the first-gen i30 CW, Hyundai has done a great job of making cheap workhorses.
The Active CRDi starts at $25,590 and asks $2000 for automatic. The model tested, the top of the range CRDi Elite lists at $31,190 and has automatic transmission as standard. On average, the Tourer is $2000 more expensive than both the current i30 Hatch and its CW predecessor.
The Holden Cruze CD 2.0 ($29,990) is more powerful but lesser equipped, while the top of the range Skoda Fabia ($29,990) wagon has a sophisticated 7 speed DCT and fabled VW TSI engine, but there's no diesel. The Volkswagen Golf Trendline wagon is a 7-speed diesel, but with far less power and gear for $31,990.
The i30 Tourer takes the front of the i30 back to the B-pillar and then grafts on a wagon addition at the rear. Externally, it does the already good-looking i30 the world of good and improves the overall balance of the design. Internally it is exactly the same as the Elite hatch, which is to say perfectly agreeable. The seats are covered in cloth, the steering wheel and shifter in leather.
The seats are probably a bit soft in the squab, front and rear, but are comfortable even on longish trips of a few hours. The front seat passengers get plenty of legroom while the rear passengers make do with the same amount as in the hatch, which is reasonable if not huge.
It's not really a full-on wagon, it's more a hatch-plus. Don't let anyone know how big it is inside, though, as your friends will ask you to do the Ikea run, which is as inviting as hepatitis. The rear seat squabs need a bit of encouragement to flip up, but it's worth the trouble as it does lead to a properly flat space, something a few other wagons lack.
Storage abounds, even under the floor is a full-size spare wheel with yet more storage arranged around it in plastic trays and bins. Despite the full size spare, the boot floor is low and also doubles as a surprisingly comfortable place to sit when you're watching the under-8s soccer game with your thermos handy.
The Tourer's five star ANCAP rating is supplied via stability and traction control, ABS with EBD and brake assist. Hyundai's VSM also applies steering lock to stop the car from losing control in the event of driver inaction or incompetence.
Seven airbags, including dual front and side, full length curtains and driver's knee bag complete the passive safety list. The Tourer also features an unusually good reversing camera with a wide, clear field of vision.
The dash has a big 7-inch screen that handles entertainment and sat-nav duties. The sat-nav is standard-issue Hyundai with SUNA updates and is serviceable if a little fiddly. The Hyundai-built VGT 1.6 litre direct-injected diesel is good for 94kW and 260Nm of torque. These are both modest numbers, especially compared to the 1.7 litre in the i40, which has 320Nm and does 7l/100km.
On the road, the Tourer feels slightly better than the CRDi hatch. The hatch is really nose-heavy, it feels like most of the weight is out in front of the headlights during moderate cornering. The Tourer is a minor improvement, perhaps because there's more weight further back, perhaps there's been a little tune-up of the front-end. Whatever, it's better and feels far less pendulous.
It's very quiet inside and rides just as well as the hatch thanks to an excellent suspension tune and the mildly sophisticated multi-link rear end, replacing the torsion beam set up. The diesel engine is strong and once you're moving its got some real grunt in the mid-range, ably supported by the excellent six speed automatic. It's the pick of the engines.
The engine is quite happy both around town and on the highway, returning a decent 6.8l/100km. The 53 litre fuel tank is a bit limp, however, giving a real-world range of about 770km.
The i30 Tourer cements the opinion that Hyundai is now in the top three of cars to consider. While the hatchback battles it out with the Corolla best-selling Mazda 3, the Tourer has found a quiet little niche to exploit. The i30 Tourer is probably the best small wagon out there by some margin. The fact it's cheap to buy and run is a bonus.
Hyundai i30 Tourer CRDi Elite
Price: from $32,990
Warranty: 5 years, unlimited
Service interval: 15,000km/12 months
Capped servicing: $289 (15,000km/12 months for 3 years)
Safety: 5 stars
Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder, 94kW/260Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, FWD
Thirst: 5.8L/100km, 151g/km CO2
Dimensions: 4300m (L); 1780m (w); 1470m (h)
Spare: full size alloy wheel
|Active||1.8L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$6,200 – 9,570||2013 Hyundai I30 2013 Active Pricing and Specs|
|Active 1.6 Crdi||1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$7,000 – 10,780||2013 Hyundai I30 2013 Active 1.6 Crdi Pricing and Specs|
|Elite||1.8L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$7,200 – 11,220||2013 Hyundai I30 2013 Elite Pricing and Specs|
|Elite 1.6 Crdi||1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$8,900 – 13,420||2013 Hyundai I30 2013 Elite 1.6 Crdi Pricing and Specs|