Looking better than ever
Admit it. You never thought a Hyundai i30 could look this good. Andy Enright reports
IN case you were wondering where we were with the i30, the original was launched back in 2007 and face-lifted in 2010. That car was replaced by an all-new model in 2012, with the three-door car arriving in early 2013.
The engine choice on offer is a little pared back from that of the five-door range. Here, buyers get the choice between a pair of petrol engines and a pair of diesels. The petrol units comprise a 1.4-litre entry-level powerplant that develops 100PS and a 1.6 with 120PS. The diesels open with a 110PS 1.6-litre CRDi engine and Hyundai will also sell you a version of this in 128PS tune.
The underpinnings of the car haven't been altered compared to the five-door model and that's really no bad thing. A lot of development work had gone into the i30's chassis dynamics and they work very well.
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It's firm-ish in its ride quality, without being crashy on city streets and body roll is very well controlled. One interesting option is Flex Steer.
With three operating modes - Comfort, Normal and Sport - the system varies the level of steering assistance and feedback.
The i30 three-door gets a prominent front spoiler and re-shaped front bumper, while a revised lower section at the rear gives it a hunkered-down stance. There's also revised fog lamps, a mesh grille, a sharply-raked belt-line and a sportier rear that features LED tail lights.
There's an identical luggage capacity to that of the i30 five-door hatch with a large 378-litre boot (1,316-litres with the seats down), while easy-entry rear seat access makes it suitable for more than just Romanian gymnasts.
Trim levels start with the entry-level Classic, which comes with Bluetooth, voice recognition, steering wheel audio and phone controls, LED daytime running lights, body-coloured exterior door handles, USB and AUX connections and air conditioning.
At the top of the range is the Sport Nav which gets a touch screen satellite navigation system with Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC), plus a rear view parking camera with Parking Guidance System. Options? A big panoramic sunroof is available as an optional extra on Sport and Sport Nav and costs almost £1,000.
Safety hasn't been overlooked and the i30 three-door features ESP (Electronic Stability Program), ABS (anti-lock braking system), VSM (Vehicle Stability Management) and an Emergency Stop Signal. In terms of passive safety, the i30 is fitted with six airbags as standard - front, side and curtain - while a driver's knee airbag is optional. Value looks extremely good with the three-door pitched at around £500 below the price of a five-door model.
Although none of the engines boast a massive amount of power, that's good news when it comes to managing running costs. The most interesting powerplant is the lower-powered of the two diesel engines, which wears the Blue Drive eco badge. Energy-saving measures include Integrated Stop & Go (ISG), low-rolling resistance tyres and an alternator management system. This will emit just 100g/lm of carbon dioxide and return economy figures of 74.3mpg.
The entry-level petrol unit gets 139g/km and even the 1.6 petrol just 149g/km. Then there's the excellent unlimited mileage, five-year warranty arrangement for added peace of mind.