Hyundai i30 (2012 – 2017) Review
Hyundai i30 (2012 – 2017) At A Glance
Launched in 2012, the Hyundai i30 offers genuine value for money in the crowded family hatchback sector. Available as a three-door and five-door hatch – and also an estate – the i30 rivals the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, as well as the closely related Kia Cee’d in the battle of the long warranties.
Value for money. That’s what the Hyundai i30 brings to the family hatchback market. Launched in 2012, and facelifted in 2015, the i30 is the safe, dependable, practical and reliable member of this class. Nothing to get excited about, but few reasons to avoid it.
There are two versions of the hatchback: three-door and five-door. The three-door is best avoided, as it lacks the practicality of the five-door, while an i30 Tourer (estate) is available if you need even more space. As it is, the hatchback offers a reasonable 378 litres of boot space, extending to a generous 1,316 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Although rear headroom isn’t particularly generous, only the tallest of passengers will have cause for complaint, but getting into the back of a three-door i30 could be a struggle.
Fortunately, most buyers opted for the five-door, so there’s plenty of choice on the used car market. Speaking of which, prices start from around £2500, while £6000 is enough for a car with two years of the original five-year warranty remaining.
The 1.6-litre CRDi is the most popular engine. This isn’t surprising, as the turbodiesel engine offers an excellent blend of performance and economy, especially if you opt for a post-facelift i30. The 1.4-litre CRDi engine is a bit weak, as is the 1.4-litre petrol.
Better to opt for the 1.6-litre petrol, which is good in town and great on a longer trip. There’s also a 1.6 Turbo model, which offers the performance of a ‘warm hatch’ with mildly upgraded cosmetics.
On the road, the Hyundai offers a great balance of ride and handling. Sophisticated rear suspension means that it’s a rewarding car to drive on a B-road, but most buyers will appreciate its safe handling and excellent ride quality. It’s not as nice to drive as the current i30, but for all-round ability, this version is hard to beat.
Quality-wise, the Hyundai i30 is surprisingly good. The interior plastics feel robust and hard-wearing, and there’s enough interest in the cabin to lift the otherwise sombre mood. Again, nothing to get excited about, but there’s nothing to offend. It’s… just right.
So what’s not to like about the Hyundai i30? The styling is a tad forgettable, although things improved with the facelift. Then there’s the driving experience, which is bordering on dull, although we appreciate that this could be one of the car’s strengths.
Avoid the entry-level versions and you get a decent amount of equipment for your money, especially when you consider the price of used examples. It might lack the prestige of the Golf, the driving experience of the Focus, and the seven-year warranty of the Cee’d, but the Hyundai i30 provides a great blend of comfort, reliability and value for money. Stick it on your shortlist.