Hyundai i30 Review 2022

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 £17,366
Insurance Groups are between 10–16
On average it achieves 82% 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

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
What's the best petrol family car for under £13,000?
"I have a budget of some £13,000 to buy a replacement car (no trade-in). I need to have better than 450 litres of boot space, front & rear parking sensors and a camera. I want a manual petrol car that will be reliable for family holidays for four people and their luggage. The car should be reasonably frugal but have a good turn of speed when needed. Ideally an engine with four cylinders and 1.4 litres or better. I will need to keep this for at least three years. What do you suggest? "
We'd recommend a Skoda Octavia. It's a sensible family hatchback with a huge boot. Look for one with the 1.4- or 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine. SE Technology models and above came with front/rear parking sensors, while a reversing camera was available as an optional extra. A Hyundai i30 could be a good alternative. SE models and above came with parking sensors and a reversing camera.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Do you think electric cars are putting buyers off internal combustion engine cars?
"Do you think that Elon Musk's recent announcement that electric vehicles will soon be as cheap as internal combustion driven cars has destroyed the market for new cars? I have certainly been put off replacing my 2017 Hyundai i30 diesel because of this fear. Plus, there are certain nearby cities to me which either have restrictions on diesels or are threatening to do so. "
No - the majority of car buyers won't pay a great deal of attention to what Elon Musk has to say. You should buy a car powered by whichever fuel suits your requirements best - whether it's a diesel for long-distance motorway driving or an electric car for darting around town.
Answered by Andrew Brady
My daughter wants a diesel hatchback. Can you recommend a used model?
"My daughter's leased MINI is coming up for renewal but she's leaning towards buying a 2 or 3-year-old car, with a diesel Golf in mind. Diesel due to her business travel of between 15k-20k miles per year. She likes the higher-spec cars, manual gearbox, preferably a five-door as a bit more space is best suited and for her black labrador who goes in the boot. Which model would be best suited and which models should she avoid? What insurance rating would the said model(s) be? Would servicing be similar on all models? What similar other car/model may be a good match for the Golf as mentioned? Many thanks in advance."
Sounds like a sensible choice for that kind of mileage. The 2.0 TDI would be the best bet - very efficient yet punchy enough for motorway driving. The 1.6 TDI is pretty good, too, although isn't quite as powerful as the 2.0-litre. Servicing on a diesel Golf should be relatively affordable, no matter which model your daughter chooses. This should give you an idea of insurance groups: (It's worth getting some quotes, though, as insurance groups don't always mean a great deal). We'd also recommend a SEAT Leon (it's very similar to the Golf and shares engines) as well as the Peugeot 308 and Hyundai i30 (particularly the latest model, which went on sale in 2017).
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Hyundai i30 cost?

Buy new from £17,366(list price from £21,255)