2L N Performance T-GDi
If you’re looking for value for money, the Hyundai i30 won’t let you down with its low prices and high levels of equipment.
It’s a sensible family car that looks smart, feels solid and is highly practical with economical engines. It also offers plenty of space for all your everyday essentials.
The latest i30 S entry model has all-round electric windows and Bluetooth, as well as an impressive safety kit, including automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance.
With something to suit most needs, there are three different body styles to choose from – a regular five-door, a five-door coupe called the i30 Fastback and a roomy estate car called the i30 Tourer. There’s also a terrific high-performance version called the i30 N which is the most fun to drive.
Whichever version of the i30 you choose, you’ll find a smart cabin with a premium feel.
The third generation post-2017, higher-spec cars feature an eight-inch ‘floating’ tablet touchscreen infotainment system on top of the dashboard. Earlier models don’t feel quite as sophisticated.
There’s plenty of room for drivers and all models offer decent rear passenger space, as well as a very big boot which will comfortably hold luggage. Even the swoopy Fastback version has decent rear headroom thanks to its clever design. If you’re looking for maximum flexibility, go for the Tourer estate which is even bigger.
Earlier i30s ride well and are extremely comfortable, but the steering feels a little sluggish. This has been improved on the post-2017 versions, which feel a bit more agile and responsive without losing any of their desirable, comfy ride.
The Hyundai i30 engines have always been relatively smooth and economical. Pre-2017 cars have 1.4 and 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines and a 1.6-litre diesel engine.
Since 2017, the i30 comes with a three-cylinder 1.0 petrol or a 1.4 turbo which are super efficient and will drive down running costs. The single 1.6-litre diesel option will also be economical as well as hushed and smooth.
All versions are easy and cheap to run. Fuel consumption is decent, although its by no means the best. Due to its modest performance, insurance groups aren’t too expensive either.
Hyundai dealer servicing isn’t the cheapest, but it won’t break the bank. You may want to stick with main dealers if you still have its five-year warranty.
The i30 isn’t as popular as mainstream rivals, so it’ll be harder to find used models, which is especially true if you want a Tourer estate or the Fastback. The hatchback should be easier to find.
Hyundai’s reputation for reliability is sound and there’s no reason to suspect the i30 won’t perform well. The brand offers one of the longest warranties in the market at five years, so the chances are used buyers will benefit from some remaining cover. You'll just need to make sure the service record is up-to-date.
Safety is one of the i30’s strong points, thanks largely to the company’s decision to fit automatic emergency braking as standard to all models. The Euro NCAP five-star award was applied to the current version and the previous generation of i30.
Best for economy 1.6 CRDi 115PS DCT SE
Best for family 1.0 T-GDi 120PS SE Nav
Best for fun 2.0 T-GDi 275PS N Performance
Hyundai has always offered lots of kit for your money, so there aren’t any to avoid. However, part of the fun of owning a Hyundai is enjoying the features that come with it, so it’s worth looking for a sat nav equipped car, such as the SE Nav spec or Premium.
As far as engines are concerned, the latest three-cylinder turbocharged engine is a good blend of power and economy. If you’re worried about the value of your car when you come to sell it on, then try to budget for the 2017 model.