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Used Hyundai i30 review: 2007-2009

The Hyundai i30 made quite a splash when it landed here in 2007. With appealing looks, impressive quality, good road manners and safety it swept the Cars Guide Car of the Year judges off their feet.

The win in the prestigious annual award was historic in many ways. It was not only the first for Hyundai, but also the first for a Korean   carmaker and removed any lingering doubts about the legitimacy of the Korean brands as world-class carmakers.

In winning the award the i30 beat a top-class field from established and respected carmakers like Mazda, Ford, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz.

Having won over some of the country's most respected motoring scribes, the i30 has since gone on to win over the toughest judges of all, the Australian motoring public.


Winning the Cars Guide Car of the Year gong was no mean feat; it was particularly meritorious because the i30 was in the most competitive market segment of them all.

It was a breakthrough model for Hyundai, one that finally cemented its position as a carmaker of substance and not just a maker of cheap   and cheerful cars people buy purely on price without worrying about too much else.

The compact i30 was launched as a five-door hatch with a choice of three models - SX, SLX and SR - and petrol and diesel engine options.

The i30 slipped right into the Australian market with barely a ripple, possibly because it was designed in Europe and sat  comfortably alongside other cars designed in that part of the world.

It looked smooth and modern with neat clean lines and balanced proportions, and boasted a roomy cabin for its size along with good   luggage space.

A 2.0-litre double overhead camshaft engine that had variable cam timing and fuel injection provided the power across all models.  At its best it boasted 105 kW at 6000 revs and 186 Nm at 4600 revs, enough to keep it comfortably stirring along with the pack.  Hyundai also offered the economical option of a 1.6-litre four-  cylinder turbo diesel engine, which came with the peaks of 85 kW and 255 Nm.

Both engines could be specified with a five-speed manual gearbox, but only the petrol engine was available with the four-speed auto until   2008 when it also became available with the diesel.  The entry level SX model came with air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, and four-speaker CD sound, along with iPod connectivity.

Step up to the sporty SR and you also got alloy wheels and a body kit, plus cruise, auto air, trip computer, fog lamps and six-speaker   CD sound system.  Make it all the way to the SLX at the top of the range and you got even more.


The step up in quality of Hyundai cars is clear from the reduced number of complaints received at Cars Guide. It wasn't so long ago   that it was something of a laughing stock, but that has changed in recent years.

Few complaints have been received about the i30 since its launch, which suggests owners are content with their purchase.

Despite this potential buyers are well advised to check their possible purchases carefully and thoroughly, looking for evidence of abuse or lack of maintenance from uncaring owners.  Check also for crash damage and poor repairs.


Dual front airbags were standard across the range, but the SR and SLX also had the added protection of head and side airbags.  Before 2008 the SX and SLX had ABS braking with electronic brakeforce distribution, while the SR also had stability control and traction control standard. 

After 2008 stability control and traction control became standard across all models.  ANCAP rated the i30 at four stars prior to 2008, but five stars after that.


Hyundai claimed the 2.0-litre engine would return an average of 7.2 L/100 km with a manual gearbox, and 7.6 L/100 km with an auto.

Cars Guide reported an average of 8.2 L/100 km when it tested the 2.0-litre shortly after the launch, while reader Terry Cahill says his   2.0-litre SLX auto gets 8-8.5 L/100 km around town and 7-7.4 L/100 km on the highway. Reader Ray Beebe reports he gets 6.0 L/100 km on average from his SLX diesel auto, compared to 4.7 L/100 km claimed by Hyundai.


Ray Beebe went shopping for a car that would fit into his garage, take his golf clubs and buggy, and had five-star safety when he replaced his 2000 Ford Laser with an i30 SLX diesel auto wagon. After 3000 km he is impressed with its power and its economy.

Terry Cahill has enjoyed 57,000 km of trouble free motoring in his 2.0-litre i30 SLX auto. He likes its positive road feel, cornering, comfort, braking and the smoothness of the auto transmission.  Wally Rockawin would happily recommend the i30 SX diesel auto to his friends. He says it's well built, is great to drive and economical to run.

Dennis O'Brien also gives the i30 SLX diesel a big tick, saying it's got great power and torque. His only negative experience has been a   notchiness when selecting second gear from first or third, particularly when cold.  He suspects the problem is due to the gear   selector cables needing adjustment and not with the synchroes.


  • Attractive looking hatch
  • Roomy cabin for size
  • Economical diesel the best choice .
  • Comfortable ride.
  • Safe and sound handling
  • Reliable


Affordable, well built, well equipped, safe and economical compact hatch. 80/100


Year Price From Price To
2009 $2,800 $7,150
2008 $2,300 $5,940
2007 $2,100 $5,390

View all Hyundai I30 pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

Based on 27 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
Highest Price

Range and Specs

SLX 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $5,236 – 9,990 2007 Hyundai I30 2007 SLX Pricing and Specs
SLX 1.6 Crdi 1.6L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $2,200 – 3,850 2007 Hyundai I30 2007 SLX 1.6 Crdi Pricing and Specs
SR 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $7,990 – 8,990 2007 Hyundai I30 2007 SR Pricing and Specs
SX 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,190 – 8,990 2007 Hyundai I30 2007 SX Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist


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