Review: Hyundai i30 (2017)


Comfortable and refined. Spacious boot. Impressive petrol engines. Good level of standard safety equipment.

Diesel could be punchier. Rear headroom tight for taller passengers.

Hyundai i30 (2017): At A Glance

A good engine range, impressive refinement, a well-made interior and a generous level of standard equipment combine to make the Hyundai i30 an excellent family car. But all the gadgets and improvements mean the latest model is similar in price to the Volkswagen Golf. And the Golf is still the better all-rounder.

That said, on the road the i30 is better to drive than ever before, with plenty of grip through corners and decent steering. The suspension is comfortable on all but the most uneven and broken of roads, yet it does a very good job of keeping excess body roll at bay when cornering.

All of the engines are quiet and capable, but the 1.6-litre diesel is only worth choosing if you do a lot of miles. The 140PS 1.4-litre petrol is just as punchy but it’s quieter, while the 1.0-litre is far from a poor relation, thanks to a wide torque spread that makes for surprisingly strong acceleration when on the go.

Inside, the i30 is very well thought-out. It maybe lacks the style or panache of other hatchbacks this size, but it feels well built, durable and most importantly - is simple to use. The seats are comfortable, the driving position is good and there is plenty of space, although taller occupants might struggle for rear head room. The boot is sizeable though, at 395 litres and it’s a good shape, so getting awkward items in and out is easy. 

Even entry-level i30s come with some very useful equipment, including cruise control and a speed limiter. Lane keep assistance is standard too, which attempts to stop the car drifting out of its lane on the motorway, plus there is autonomous emergency braking to prevent or reduce the severity of collisions.

The Vauxhall Astra, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf are all excellent family cars and while the Hyundai i30 is better than ever, it still only as good as those key rivals – not better. But for a pragmatic car buyer it’s great, especially when you remember that it comes with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty. 

What does a Hyundai i30 (2017) cost?

List Price from £17,355
Buy new from £13,425
Contract hire from £173.40 per month

Hyundai i30 (2017): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4340 mm
Width 1795–2039 mm
Height 1455 mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm

Full specifications

Inside, the Hyundai i30 feels very well made, with sturdy plastics and a very neat and intuitive layout. Okay, so it's not particularly 'premium' in look but it's designed to be easy to use - and it does that very well.

Most models come with a large touchscreen system on top of the centre stack, which is responsive and easy to get to grips with. Ventilation controls are separate, so there’s no faffing in touchscreen menus to warm up or cool off.

Go for SE Nav trim or higher and you’ll get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which enables use of smartphone functions like Google Maps navigation and Spotify music streaming via the built-in touchscreen, as well as calls. If you only need simple connectivity then Bluetooth is standard across all models.

The driving position is very good, with plenty of adjustment so drivers of all shapes and sizes can get comfortable, plus there is a decent amount of rear space. Tall passengers might struggle for head room in the back row, but for children or there should be no problems at all.

The boot is one of the largest in a family hatchback at 395 litres. It’s well shaped, with a nice wide, flat load area and a double floor for hiding valuables. The rear seats fold almost completely flat, which increases load space to 1301 litres - plenty for picking up flat packs or taking rubbish to the tip.

The rear doors open wide, so getting children in and out of child seats is easy, although with a taller driver (or passenger) in the front, there's precious little legroom behind. The Nissan Pulsar has far more space for those in the back.

On the plus side, there are plenty of little storage cubbies, plus you can get a handy wireless phone charger on high-spec variants.

Standard equipment includes alloy wheels, air conditioning, auto dipping headlights, auto emergency brakes, lane keep assist, DAB radio, Bluetooth and cruise control. We’d recommend going for SE or SE Nav trim though, since these come with more luxuries including a touchscreen system.

Standard Equipment (from launch)

S comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning, auto lights with auto main beam, Bluetooth, DAB radio, steering wheel mounted audio controls, cruise control, speed limiter, USB socket, electronic handbrake with hill hold assist, lane departure warning and lane keep assist and auto emergency brakes.

SE adds 16-inch alloy wheels, black radiator grille, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, electric driver’s lumbar support, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, front and rear fog lights, five-inch touchscreen system and reversing sensors.

SE Nav adds a larger, eight-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, satellite navigation, wireless smartphone charger, a reversing camera and front parking sensors.

Premium adds 17-inch alloy wheels, electric driver’s seat adjustment, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, auto wipers, puddle lights, LED headlights, tinted rear glass, rear air vents, driver’s supervision cluster plus cloth and leather upholstery.

Premium SE adds full leather seat upholstery and a panoramic sunroof.

Child seats that fit a Hyundai i30 (2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Hyundai i30 (2017) like to drive?

The Hyundai i30 feels like a quality car and that is reflected in the way it drives. It’s very quiet and refined, plus it has nicely-weighted controls that are light enough to be effortless without feeling flimsy. The result is a car that works in town, on the motorway and on a country road.

Engine choices are a 1.0-litre petrol with 120PS, a 1.4-litre petrol with 140PS and a 1.6-litre diesel with 110PS. We’d recommend the petrol engines over the diesel for most drivers, since they’re both punchy and responsive, plus they have official economy of more than 50mpg.

The diesel, on the other hand, is quite flat and unresponsive at low engine speeds, so the gearbox needs to be worked to get the most out of it. It’s fine for motorway driving, though – especially when paired to the seven-speed dual clutch transmission, which is also available in conjunction with the 1.4-litre petrol.

Motorways are made easier by the standard fit cruise control and speed limiter, plus there is lane keep assistance as standard, which will nudge the steering a little to try and prevent the car drifting out of its lane. Optionally, there is an adaptive cruise control system that matches the speed of the car ahead, which is handy on busier motorways.

The suspension is supple enough to be comfortable over all but the poorest road surfaces, yet it does a good job of controlling excess body roll through corners, so the handling is very neat and there is plenty of traction. It’s much more enjoyable to drive than previous iterations of the i30 and is a match for established rivals like the Vauxhall Astra on a twisting road.

Aside from cruise control and lane assist, Hyundai also fits all i30 models with auto-dipping headlights and an autonomous emergency braking system. The latter will automatically apply the brakes if it detects an imminent collision to minimise the impact or, in some cases, prevent it entirely. 

Ultimately, while it may lack the character of some of the competition, the i30 is easy and relaxing to drive. As a fuss-free and easy to live with family hatch, it ticks all the boxes.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 T-GDI 51–52 mpg 11.1 s 115 g/km
1.0 T-GDi 120 - - 126 g/km
1.0 T-GDI 120 57 mpg 11.1 s 115 g/km
1.4 T-GDI 49 mpg 8.9 s 124 g/km
1.4 T-GDI 140 49 mpg 8.9 s 133 g/km
1.4 T-GDI 140 DCT 50 mpg 9.2 s 129 g/km
1.4 T-GDi DCT 51 mpg 9.2 s 125 g/km
1.4 T-GDI DCT 51 mpg 9.2 s 125 g/km
1.6 CRDi 110 67 mpg 11.0 s 99 g/km
1.6 CRDi 110 DCT 69 mpg 11.2 s 109 g/km
1.6 CRDi 115 - 11.0 s 110 g/km
1.6 CRDi 115 DCT - 11.2 s 107 g/km

Real MPG average for a Hyundai i30 (2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

33–63 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Hyundai i30 (2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's the best small car for a daily commute?

I am looking for a small car for my daily commute, which is about 1200 miles a month. Can you please suggest a suitable care for that for not more than £12,000?
A Ford Fiesta would be a good choice. If most of your miles are out of town, you might find a diesel is a good option for 1200 miles a month - the 1.5-litre TDCi is excellent and your budget will get you a 2018 model in high-spec Titanium trim. Also consider something a little bigger like a Hyundai i30.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The Hyundai i30 (2017)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Petrol engine, Diesel engine and Small family.

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