Volkswagen Golf Highline 2014 Review
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the Volkswagen Golf wagon 103 TSI, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.
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Hyundai's i30 has been a smash-hit for the Korean company and a revelation to those of us who remember the car that preceded it. While the hatchback does battle with the Corolla and Mazda3, the Tourer has an even more formidable foe - the SUV that's so beloved of Australian motorists.
The i30 Tourer is the wagon version and naturally commands a premium. Kicking off at $24,990, the basic Active petrol is a sharp buy as long as you don't want to climb any hills when fully-laden - the 1.6 litre petrol is no fireball.
The diesel manual joins the range at $27,590 while the automatic stretches to $29,840. We went all out and got the automatic diesel with the optional ($495) aqua blue metallic paint. You can stretch even further to $33,440 for the Elite which brings upgraded stereo with sat-nav, dual zone climate control and leather-look trim.
Being the Active, the spec is basic but reasonably generous at the same time. Standard is tough cloth trim, air-con, six speaker stereo with USB and Bluetooth, cruise control with speed limiter, roof rails and trip computer.
It couldn't be anything but a Hyundai. The hatchback is a sharp-looking thing and the Tourer is a fine example of a wagon conversion - it only looks to have a little bit extra at the back but when you open the boot, it's huge inside. The boot is bigger even than that of the ix35 stablemate, an SUV that punches a much bigger hole in the air than the i30. The 16-inch wheels fill the arches well and there's little in the way of glitz.
Inside is regular issue i30 until you get to the scalp of rear seat passengers where the roof keeps going. The dash is well laid-out and the plastics are perfectly alright albeit on the hard-wearing rather than tactile side.
The i30 stands apart in the segment with seven airbags, including driver's knee airbag. Also standard is ABS, brake force distribution, stability and traction control, rear parking sensors and hill hold.
The small-ish but crisp screen gives basic access to smartphone functionality via USB or Bluetooth and standard AM/FM. The sound isn't too bad from the six speakers and the system seems more usable than that found in the Elite.
Hyundai's 1.6-litre turbo-diesel does duty under the bonnet, with 94 kW and 260 Nm of torque, both competitive figures. Even with its relatively small 50-litre tank, a carefully driven i30 should see you cover 700 km between fills in the city and almost 1000 km on the highway.
The six-speed automatic doesn't have a sport mode but is reasonably responsive and smooth, coping well with both light and heavy throttle applications.
The i30 Tourer is the best of the i30s to drive, with the exception of the sporty SR. Built in the Czech Republic, the hatchback's torsion beam rear end is replaced with a more capable multi-link arrangement.
While the hatch is no slouch in the ride and handling department (as long as you don't push it too hard), the Tourer is markedly better. The ride is far more stable and fluid with a better balance, especially in the diesel.
The switchable steering assistance remains a bit of a gimmick - we set it to normal, left it there and have been perfectly happy with it in that setting. The handling is a surprising amount of fun too, again helping erase some of the kilos added by the heavy diesel engine and extra bodywork.
Ultimately, what this car does well is carry people and stuff. You can cram a hell of a lot into the Tourer, more than its external dimensions suggest. The load area is well-shaped and quite a bit more voluminous than its ix35 stablemate, but without the high floor.
Dropping the seats leaves an almost-flat load bay that would cheerfully survive most trips to Ikea. Seats up, four adults will survive quite happily for extended periods with plenty of rear headroom, a happy consequence of the longer roof. The middle seat wouldn't be a lot of fun for an adult, but around town is more than adequate if the fifth occupant is a child.
Our previous long-termer was the ix35 and already we're seeing the strengths of the i30 as a load-lugger. Both look good and have plenty of gear, but the i30 is more practical, easier to park and cheaper to buy and run than almost any SUV.
|Active||1.8L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$6,700 – 10,450||2014 Hyundai I30 2014 Active Pricing and Specs|
|Active 1.6 Crdi||1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$8,000 – 12,430||2014 Hyundai I30 2014 Active 1.6 Crdi Pricing and Specs|
|Elite||1.8L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$7,900 – 12,210||2014 Hyundai I30 2014 Elite Pricing and Specs|
|Elite 1.6 Crdi||1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$9,400 – 14,190||2014 Hyundai I30 2014 Elite 1.6 Crdi Pricing and Specs|