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Hyundai i30 2021 review: Elite Sedan family test

The new i30 sedan is more mature looking than its hatchback sibling.

The new i30 sedan looks a lot more mature than I was expecting. It’s a proper car, in a decent size. Not a hatch, it’s very grown up looking, with a lot more room than you’d think a sedan in this category could offer. 

I was in the i30 Elite which is in the middle of the range and costs $30,790, before on road costs. It competes with cars like the Mazda 3 sedan and the Honda Civic

I drove it over seven days with my family of four to give it the family test. Did this size car, and especially a sedan, work for a family? Let’s find out. 

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How does it look?

It’s quite slick, the i30 sedan. Low and smart looking, with a stylish grille on the front. It’s not what I would call sporty and there’s nothing edgy about it, but it does have a sophisticated shape and feels like a mature, classic looking car. 

Inside is also impressive, especially for this price. The car I trialled had cream leather perforated seats, normally reserved for much more expensive vehicles, so they are a game changer in this price category. 

It’s also got a leather steering wheel, a 10.25-inch digital 'Supervision' instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel and a well designed centre console, with simplified Hyundai design (though the row of buttons under the multimedia screen is still there). It’s all functional and you feel good driving this car. 

How does it drive?

It’s a responsive car with plenty of zip and is active from the moment you press the accelerator. The Elite model has a 2.0-litre petrol engine and is a 2WD.

There’s enough power to get you up hills quickly and travelling along highways is a smooth experience. I felt confident to overtake other cars and it performed well over the week.  

It’s a responsive car with plenty of zip and is active from the moment you press the accelerator. It’s a responsive car with plenty of zip and is active from the moment you press the accelerator.

The car handles nicely around corners, especially being low to the ground, unlike an SUV, and it’s quite agile, too. It’s not a particularly exciting car to drive but it does the job of a small car, and does it well. 

Being a small car, parking is a breeze, especially with the steering which turns easily, and a small turning circle so you can line it up precisely. 

Being a small car, parking is a breeze. Being a small car, parking is a breeze.

How spacious is it?

Here’s the surprise because there’s quite a bit of interior space in the Hyundai i30 sedan. The front seats have a good amount of leg and head room and the taller members of my family sat comfortably all week.

There’s enough width to the car that you won’t feel like you're rubbing shoulders with the front passenger. 

There’s quite a bit of interior space in the Hyundai i30 sedan. There’s quite a bit of interior space in the Hyundai i30 sedan.

My two children loved being in the back. They do like a car they can climb into easily (because of the low height).

They’re aged seven and nine and have loads of room to grow in there. I can sit in the back seat comfortably at 161cm (5'3") and there is a lot of space between my knees and the driver's seat set to a taller person’s position. Taller adults and teenagers will be able to sit in there for long journeys.

There's loads of space in the back seat, too. There's loads of space in the back seat, too.

I wouldn’t try to fit a third child seat in the middle. As spacious as it feels it’s still a small car and there are limits to what it will fit. 

The boot is amazing. It’s long and low, so not as convenient as an SUV, but with 474L, it's as big as some mid-size SUVs. 

It will fit a pram and it also fit a large suitcase next to a medium suitcase, which is great.

  • With 474L, the boot is as big as some mid-size SUVs.  With 474L, the boot is as big as some mid-size SUVs. 
  • It will fit a pram and it also fit a large suitcase next to a medium suitcase. It will fit a pram and it also fit a large suitcase next to a medium suitcase.

How easy is it to use every day?

The i30 Elite sedan's front seats are manually adjustable, but they aren’t heavy and are easy to put into place. The boot opens with a button on the key. 

This model has a wireless charger, which is great when one person has a device connected to a USB, as another can simultaneously charge via the wireless pad.

Rear passengers score two cupholders in the centre armrest along with directional air vents.  Rear passengers score two cupholders in the centre armrest along with directional air vents. 

There’s also a good little storage space in the console for keys, two cupholders in the front, a decent centre storage bin and bottle holders in the doors.

There’s also a small shelf under the glove box and a small tray on the side of the centre console. 

Rear passengers score two cupholders in the centre armrest along with directional air vents. 

How safe is it?

The Hyundai i30 Elite comes with Auto Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and junction detection which means it will also work when the car is turning corners.

Other advanced safety includes lane keep assist, lane follow assist, active cruise control, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring.

According to Hyundai, this car will not be submitted to ANCAP for testing. According to Hyundai, this car will not be submitted to ANCAP for testing.

It’s got six airbags, plus two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for kids car seats.

According to Hyundai, this car will not be submitted to ANCAP for testing so there’s no ANCAP rating.

What’s the tech like?

The Hyundai i30 Elite has a huge 10.25-inch multimedia screen which feels quite oversized for a small car, and helps lend a luxurious feel.

It connects to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto instantly, once you plug in your USB cord and immediately syncs to your phone’s main apps. Some CarPlay compatible systems are not as instantly responsive. There’s also a Bose eight-speaker audio system, so turn the sound up. 

The Hyundai i30 Elite has a huge 10.25-inch multimedia screen which feels quite oversized for a small car. The Hyundai i30 Elite has a huge 10.25-inch multimedia screen which feels quite oversized for a small car.

How much does it cost to own?

The Hyundai i30 Elite costs $30,790, before on road costs. Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.0L/100km and I did an average of 7.4L/100km doing mostly suburban driving. 

It’s covered by Hyundai’s five year/unlimited km warranty and servicing is required every 15,000km.


The Wrap

The Hyundai i30 Elite is a surprisingly good car to drive for a family, owing mostly to its large boot and the plush (for a small car) interior space. Driving is adequate for a car in this category and this particular model feels far more stylish on the inside than its price would lead you to believe. 

I gave it a family rating of 7.8 out of 10 and the kids gave it the same, I think that was mostly for the colour.

Likes

Interior design
Interior space
Good boot space for a small sedan

Dislikes

Lack of exciting drive
Not as practical for a family as an SUV
Boot is long and low (not high like an SUV)

Scores

Nedahl:

3.9

The Kids:

3.9

$30,220

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

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