The i30’s range has expanded significantly in the last few years, now spanning from the base grade (simply called the i30) at $23,420, to the flagship GTI-rattling N Performance ($41,400, soon to receive its own facelift).
Our mid-grade automatic-only Elite falls about the middle of the pack with an MSRP of $30,220.
It’s tough company indeed at this price point, though, with Toyota offering its Corolla in mid-spec SX Hybrid form at $30,795, Mazda’s notoriously expensive 3 hatch coming in at Touring grade with an MSRP of $30,590, and Subaru’s Impreza, which offers all-wheel drive across the range, wearing an MSRP for its mid-grade 2.0i-L of $29,960.
Lots of options there, but we will say the i30 offers some compelling things which others may not at this price. Our Elite comes packed with standard features, including faux-leather seat trim, a new-for-this-update 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen with built-in navigation dominating the dash, a semi-digital instrument cluster, 17-inch alloy wheels, a wireless phone charger, premium audio system, dual-zone climate control, and LED puddle lights.
All i30s now get the brand’s 'SmartSense' active safety suite, too, but the Elite grade adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and safe exit warning over lesser cars in the range. For more on this, check out the safety section of this review.
Some notable omissions on the Elite grade include LED headlights, a power adjustable driver’s seat, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and a holographic head-up display, which some rivals get at this price.
The i30 also misses out on alternate drivetrain options at the Elite level, with no Hybrid (Corolla) or all-wheel drive (Impreza). Regardless, some will be more than willing to choose the i30’s six-speed automatic in order to avoid common CVT alternatives.