Hyundai i30 Review 2024

Hyundai i30 At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Hyundai i30 is a solid and sensible (if unexciting) family hatchback. It's refined, well-made and generously equipped, but it lacks the style and polish of newer rivals.

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

-Diesel could be punchier. Even 2020 facelift hasn't made it more desirable. Rear headroom tight for taller passengers.

New prices start from £21,250, brokers can source from £21,888
Insurance Groups are between 10–15
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

The Hyundai i30 is the sister car to the Kia Ceed, and has played a similar role over the years in demonstrating how far Hyundai has come in the last two decades. Prior to the first i30, Hyundai only had the below-par Accent in this sector. Three generations of i30 later, and that car is a distant memory. In this review we'll see how the latest model stacks up. 

The third generation of Hyundai's i30 was more competitive than ever when it launched in 2017. Time moves on, however, and in 2020 the brand gave its Ford Focus rivals a light facelift and tech upgrade. 

A good engine range, impressive refinement, a well-made interior and a generous level of standard equipment combine to make the Hyundai i30 a good all-round family car. But with Hyundai pushing ever further upmarket, it's no longer the class bargain. Yes, it's cheaper than a VW Golf on pure cash terms, but cars such as the Focus, SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia are pretty much level pegging. 

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 pretty 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. For the 2020 facelift the diesel was dropped entirely, as it made up an increasingly small number of sales. 

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.

2020 facelift models see a new, more powerful 1.5-litre engine replacing the 1.4. Both petrol engines also now have 48v mild hybrid tech as standard, which has contributed to the i30 not being as cheap as it once was). It does, however, benefit efficiency, allowing the car to coast with the engine off and making the stop-start more effective. Unlike most rivals even the manual-equipped cars have this, as Hyundai has developed an innovative shift-by-wire gearbox to allow the mild hybrid tech to work. 

Inside, the i30 is very well thought-out. It 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.

While the Hyundai i30 is better than ever, the family hatchback class is crammed full of talented choices, and there isn't really any area where it stands out. But for a pragmatic car buyer it’s great, especially when you remember that it comes with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty. 

Looking for a second opinion? Read heycar's Hyundai i30 review

Ask Honest John

Is there a new Hyundai i30 due soon?

"! am considering buying a new Hyundai i30 but am wondering if a replacement is imminent as the current model is now around 7 years old."
An updated version of the Hyundai i30 is expected before the end of 2023, although if you are happy to purchase the current version this may mean there will be good deals available as dealers look to move existing stock.
Answered by David Ross

Do petrol cars have particulate filters?

"Do petrol cars have particulate filters which can clog? I have a Hyundai i30 2018. A light came on the dash board and when I took it to the workshop they said its particulate filter so I have to run it on the motorway to clear it. I did that and the light went off. Three months later the light has come on again. I thought its only diesel cars that have particulate filters. I used to have a diesel car and because of that I changed it to petrol, because I drive it mainly in the city. I need help please."
Some petrol vehicles are fitted with particular filters, in respect of Hyundais this is typically those fitted with Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines. Hyundai in the US issued specific guidance on how to perform a regeneration if the light is illuminated, which is to drive over 50mph in third gear, accelerate to 4,000rpm, release the accelerator for five seconds and accelerate again to 4,000rpm, and continue this process until the warning light goes out. If this does not clear the light within 30 minutes or the warning light begins to flash, you should take your car to a Hyundai dealer or independent Hyundai specialist for further diagnosis.
Answered by David Ross

I need to downsize my car, what do you recommend for £20,000?

"Can you recommend a compact car with easy access to replace my Hyundai i30? I need something one size smaller as I'm struggling to get in/out of my existing car. The replacement can be new or used but must have lots of tech and an automatic gearbox. I have £20,00 to spend. "
Take a look at a Honda Jazz. It's a versatile hybrid hatch with low running costs, easy access and modern technology. Alternatively, you might like a small SUV such as a SEAT Arona.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best car for motorway commuting?

"Can you tell me the best cars to do a 100-mile commute up the motorway and back? I'm looking for five-door, reliable, economical and no smaller than a Fiesta. My budget it up to £8,500. If it has cruise control and DAB that would be a bonus."
A Kia Cee'd would be a very sensible choice. They're generally very well equipped (a 2015 or later model in '2' trim or above will have your desired DAB radio and cruise control), while you should be able to get one with the remainder of Kia's seven-year warranty in budget. Look for one with the frugal 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine. Also consider the very similar Hyundai i30 or bigger i40.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Hyundai i30 cost?

Buy new from £21,888(list price from £26,410)