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Hyundai i30 2021 review: Hatch 2.0 auto

The i30 hatch is a good looking car that works as a great city driving vehicle.

Is there anything more convenient than a small hatchback? Something you can just jump into, easily fit into most parks and use minimal fuel? Sure, it’s not the biggest size for a family but if you’ve got young children you will fit no trouble. 

I test drove the 2021 Hyundai i30, which is the newly named base model and costs $25,420 before on road costs for the automatic model I drove. It competes with hatchbacks like the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla, and I drove it for a week with my family of four. 

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How does it look?

It’s got a nifty, cute shape with a short tapered nose and curved back end. It looks like a friendly, easy car to drive and while it’s not going to wow anyone with a fantastically new shape, it still does the job of being a good looking car, especially for this price.

The i30 has a cute shape to it. The i30 has a cute shape to it.

The interior is fairly standard being the base model, but it’s all cleanly designed and set out. There are fabric seats that feel smooth to sit on and are comfortable enough for a car in this category, and the steering wheel and gear knob are leather. There’s not a huge amount of buttons to confuse you while driving and it’s a nice car to sit in on the road. 

Being the base model the interior is fairly standard. Being the base model the interior is fairly standard.

How spacious is it?

Space for a small hatch is ample, and my family of four fit well into the i30 this week. My children are aged 7 and 9 and they easily hopped into the back, which is the right size for them. I could also fit in the back (I’m 161cm or 5'3") and while there isn’t a huge amount of room, it will be enough to travel shorter distances for any tall family/friends you’ll be driving around. 

My children are aged 7 and 9 and they easily hopped into the back. My children are aged 7 and 9 and they easily hopped into the back.

The front is also quite spacious for a hatchback and both me and my taller-than-me husband found it comfortable to ride in for the whole week. Of course you’re not going to have the same space you’d have for a family in an SUV but if you’re on the lookout for a small car that feels comfortable enough for your family, this will work. 

The front is quite spacious for a hatchback. The front is quite spacious for a hatchback.

The boot is a decent 395L (VDA) which is enough to hold a pram, or a large suitcase fits easily too. I was able to fit my grocery boxes easily so it works as daily runaround quite well, but you couldn’t take this on a long family road trip (not with the amount of stuff we bring, anyway!)

  • Boot space is rated at 395L (VDA). Boot space is rated at 395L (VDA).
  • There's enough space to fit a large suitcase. There's enough space to fit a large suitcase.

How does it drive?

The i30 drives smoothly and easily, and feels nimble in traffic. It doesn’t have a huge amount of power from the 2.0L engine - I felt like I needed to press down hard on the accelerator to speed past other cars on highways. 

Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder making 120kW/23Nm. Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder making 120kW/23Nm.

It handles well in dry weather, but this week it was very wet and there is a safety feature on the car - the lane change assist, where the car is assisting you to stay in the lane - that, to me, didn't feel like the car had things under control (even though it did). I found this system disconcerting at times, and I think it's something that you would have to get used to driving the car for a while. 

The i30 parks beautifully because it’s a small car and fits neatly into most parking spaces. There is a good reverse parking camera to help you out. 

How easy is it to use every day?

This model of the i30 has a full size spare tyre, which is almost unheard of for a small hatch, so that's a great selling point. It means you can travel long distances without worrying about a blown tyre on a road trip. 

The front seats are manually adjustable and there is not much generally in the way of automation with a regular key for starting the car (no push button start). Although, at this price you wouldn’t expect much else. 

Up front are two cup holders in the centre console. Up front are two cup holders in the centre console.

It has two cupholders in the front, with a small spot for keys and a phone and a centre storage bin. There are bottle holders in each door. Rear passengers also get two cupholders in the centre armrest which is a fantastic point of difference from competitors and directional air vents which is very rare in this category at this price point. The boot is a good height off the ground to load things in and out.    

How safe is it?

There are front and side airbags for driver and front passenger, plus side curtain airbags that extend to the back row, as well as advanced safety features that come as standard - even in this base model. These include lane departure warnings and lane keep assist, auto emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and adaptive cruise control. For things like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert you’ll have to go up a few models. 

The i30 comes with three top tether points. The i30 comes with three top tether points.

The i30 comes with two ISOFIX points and three top tether points to fix kids car seats in. It scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was tested in 2017.

What’s the tech like?

This car has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though strangely I couldn’t connect my phone via Bluetooth which was more likely my fault than the car’s. It does usually mean you can instantly sync with your phone’s main apps and means the technology is punching well above the i30’s weight.

Sitting atop of the dash is an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Sitting atop of the dash is an 8.0-inch touchscreen.

It also has a sat nav, but if you’ve got CarPlay or Android Auto you would use those to navigate instead as this system is not as easy to use. There’s an 8.0-inch touchscreen which feels large for this size of car. 

How much does it cost to own?

The Hyundai i30 2.0 auto base model costs $25,420 before on-road costs. Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.4L/100km and I did an average of 8.5L/100km with mostly suburban driving this week. 

It’s covered by Hyundai’s five year/unlimited km warranty and requires servicing every 12 months/15,000km.


The Wrap

The Hyundai i30 is a nifty city hatchback that will get you and the family around in comfort and style. It’s easy to drive, has enough space for a family of four and includes a lot of good safety and tech for this accessible price point. The boot is also big enough for most suburban activities and you’d only be looking for something bigger if you were going on a long road trip. 

I gave it a family rating of 7.7 out of 10 and my kids gave it the same. They were impressed this small car had air vents in the back.  

Likes

Value for money
Good safety
Spacious for a small hatch

Dislikes

Handling in wet weather

Scores

Nedahl:

3.9

The Kids:

3.9

$23,420

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.