Hyundai i30 48v
By Bill McCarthy
THE Hyundai success story keeps building, and that’s because the Korean firm listens to its customers, according to a top boss.
In the last 15 years in particular, the firm has introduced a raft of new models across the segments, improved quality and embraced electric technology enthusiastically.
In the case of the new i30, its European marketing chief says that by listening to customers, the firm determined there is a need for a safe, reliable car in the C-segment that also offers modern features such as state-of-the-art connectivity and efficient powertrains – and that looks good.
Well, i30, is one of the cornerstones of Hyundai’s success and the new model does look good. Since it first came on the market in 2008, it undercut rivals substantially with bargain basement prices. But as popularity grew, so did the prices.
So it needs to be good and offer value for money as it is up against strong opposition. Hyundais have always offered plenty of standard equipment and this premium version is no exception, plus the five year/unlimited mileage warranty is still a key attraction.
This third generation model, is a handsome and stylish compact family car, offering practicality and frugality with the new mild hybrid setup.
It looks sleek and curvaceous with swooping bonnet featuring a wider black grille with chrome insets, slimmer headlamps with optional multifaceted reflector LED technology, new V-shaped signature LED daytime running lights and smart 17-inch alloy wheels.
The rear has a smart new bumper and upgraded LED combination lamps.
The upgraded interior is also smart, rather than stunning, but the car feels well put together. This version offers electrically operated and heated front seats and classy soft touch finish, while instrumentation is well laid out and logical. Centrepiece is a new seven-inch digital cluster and a new 10.25-inch navigation touchscreen, a tablet-like creation which sits just proud of the dash.
The brains of the car, it controls sat nav, infotainment and connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and wireless phone mirroring. It also features wireless phone charging. Also available is the firm’s Bluelink, which offers a wide range of information via an app.
The power unit on this model features a three-cylinder one litre T-GDI petrol engine with 120 PS with 48-volt mild hybrid technology for better fuel efficiency and for the first time with a fuel efficient six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT).
The mild hybrid is designed to boost fuel economy, reduce CO2 and supplement the car’s electrical system.
It has a small electric generator that replaces the traditional starter motor and alternator and small lithium ion battery situated in the rear of the car.
It also adds a boost to the engine when required provides more efficient starting and controlling the stop/start system when in traffic. You would expect economy to be good and it is with a claimed figure of more than 53mpg.
The 120PS of the petrol engine gets a boost when required, making the car quite nippy away from a standing start, with the typical three-cylinder rasp delivering a satisfying sound.
Road manners are good with decent enough handling and the ride is comfortable and smooth, just what you would want from a small family car.
In practical terms the latest model’s proportions offer increased width and an enlarged wheelbase. This provides increased space for passengers in the rear. Boot space has been increased by 26 litres, offering 352 litres of space for luggage with the seats up.
Fold the seats and stowage capacity increases to an impressive 1,301 litres.
The vehicle is also packed with cutting edge safety kit, from full complement of airbags, stability control, assisted braking and blind spot alert. Clever technology like Rear Collision-avoidance Assist (RCA) system can activate the brakes to avoid a collision when the car is in reverse and a raft of other measures, like lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking.
Practical, frugal, safe and packed with equipment. No longer bargain basement, but still excellent value for money.
Hyundai i30 Premium 1.0 T-GDi 120PS Manual 48v
Mechanical: 120ps, 998cc, 3-cylinder, petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual transmission
Max Speed: 117mph
0-62mph: 11.4 seconds
Combined MPG: 53.3
Insurance Group: 19
C02 emissions: 121g/km
Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles