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Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review

The second-generation Hyundai i30 has a lot to live up to. Since the launch of the first i30 back in 2007, the market’s perception of Hyundai has changed significantly.

Five years ago the original Hyundai i30 was a game-changer. It was, arguably, the best car out of Korea at the time and equal in many respects to its Japanese competitors. It also had the all-important advantage of being the well-priced underdog. But five years is a long time and the rules have changed.

The new Hyundai i30 is no longer an underdog and the competitors haven’t been resting on their laurels. Perhaps most crucially, buyers now expect more from Hyundai than ever before, but still in the same value-for-money proposition that made the company popular in the first place.

The company has also claimed that the Volkswagen Golf was one of its key benchmarks when developing the car, so expectations are at an all-time high.

The new Hyundai i30 is a completely different car to the one in replaces. So much so that if you were to park the two side by side, you’d find it a challenge to tell the new model was a successor. Like its larger brother, the Hyundai i40, the i30 is primarily designed for Europeans. This is borne from the styling as well as the experience from behind the wheel.

From the outside there is certainly plenty to like: the new Hyundai i30 looks sharper, cleaner and much more modern than many of its competitors. It was penned under the watchful eye of Thomas Bürkle, chief designer at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center, so it’s far less Korean in its appearance than before.

Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review

It’s the most recent expression of the company’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language first incorporated into Hyundai styling with the Hyundai ix35 compact SUV, with the new i30 featuring multiple lines and creases running through nearly every body panel.

It’s an automotive design trend seen at other car makers, not least the oldest – Mercedes-Benz.

The hatchback’s Australian launch is actually only a few weeks away, but we headed to South Korea to test drive two new i30s around the outskirts of Seoul.

The 105kW/186Nm 2.0-litre petrol in the outgoing model is replaced with a 1.8-litre MPI with a bit more power but less torque (110kW and 178Nm), though the 1.6-litre CRDi diesel will continue in the range with more power and torque (94kW and 260Nm). Transmissions have been upgraded to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic for both engines.

Behind the wheel of the 1.8-litre petrol (with a six-speed manual), the initial feeling is a little lacklustre (similar to our experience in the new Subaru Impreza).

It’s a matter of always being in the right gear at the right time. 110kW of power is sufficient for moving the i30’s ~1300kg mass though you’ll need to keep it in the lower gears if you’re looking for good throttle response.

Like most new models popping into the small car segment, the main focus has arguably shifted from drivability to fuel economy, resulting in specific gear ratios that help save you fuel but can mean less oomph when you need it.

Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review

Overtaking on freeways, for example, will mean dropping down to at least fourth gear if you want to pass quickly.

As for fuel economy, the 1.8-litre petrol is rated at around 7.4L/100km in combined city/highway driving for the North American cycle (Australian specifications still unconfirmed). However, given the new Hyundai Elantra is rated at 6.6-7.1L/100km (manual-auto) and has the exact same engine/gearbox configuration (and similar weight), we suspect the i30’s figure to be under or about 7.0L/100km for the official Australian fuel cycle.

Our 1.6-litre diesel i30 test car was equipped with a six-speed automatic, which is a significant improvement over the old four-speeder and in line with the segment competition. With 94kW of power and 260Nm of torque, this is certainly the logical choice in the range for buyers who are happy to pay the inevitable premium over the petrol engine.

When coupled to the automatic transmission, you can instantly feel the difference. The diesel i30 is simply easier to drive, with overtaking manoeuvres or climbing hills a stress-free process. Even so, it has got some way to go to challenge the Volkswagen Golf for diesel supremacy. The German engine and gearbox combination provides better in-gear acceleration and is quicker to respond.

The same diesel engine in the current i30 uses less than 5.0L/100km for the six-speed manual and a bit above when coupled to the ancient four-speed automatic. This is likely to be improved with the new car given the gearbox advancements and overall tune.

Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review

Engines and transmissions aside, a popular criticism of recent Hyundai models has centred on steering feel and ride quality (though ironically more so recent models rather than the outgoing i30).

Both Hyundai and sister brand Kia have taken the criticism to heart and have been extensively fine-tuning their recent vehicles, though Kia has been having more consistent success.

Although the two cars we drove didn’t feature the Australian steering or suspension tune (nor were they tested on the substandard roads we have in parts of Australia), they were surprisingly good.

The main improvement is the addition of the flex-steer system, which allows the driver to change between comfort, normal and sport mode. This inherently changes the steering assistance and feedback. With sports mode selected, the i30 is a pleasure to drive with heavy steering and good turn-in response. It’s actually better than the Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which doesn’t have flex-steer), i40 wagon and i45 sedan.

Around Korea’s hilly countryside we were generally pleased with the i30’s overall ride and handling. The manual gearbox is simple and smooth to operate while the six-speed automatic will finally put the i30 in the same league as its major competitors. Although Hyundai does have a dual-clutch transmission (DCT), as offered in the standard Veloster, the i30 will for the time being make do with a standard automatic. Given the company has already built an eight-speed automatic and is working on a 10-speed auto, it’s unlikely that the i30 will find itself behind in the gearbox wars in the future.

Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review
Hyundai i30 Review

The interior has also been subject to much change and a great deal of improvement. Much of the interior’s inspiration comes from the i40, which means a relatively clean and uncluttered design (but a lot of blue). Soft touch plastics and use of largely dark colours are also a welcome change (at least for some).

We suspect satellite navigation will be standard kit on at least the mid- and high-spec models, which will help it match the market-leading Mazda3 that offers the feature from Maxx Sport models upwards, and have an equipment advantage over most other rivals.

The i30’s front and rear seats are comfortable and offer a little bit more room than before. You can cater to four large adults easily and fit in a fifth if you must.

Boot space has slightly increased, which is useful considering Hyundai Australia has decided not to import the new i30cw wagon owing to its single-production facility in the Czech Republic .

Overall, the new Hyundai i30 is a huge improvement over the car it replaces. With the current model range starting below $20,000, Hyundai Australia is likely to keep a similar pricing structure. With a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and an expected list of class-beating standard features, the second-generation Hyundai i30 may make just as much of an impact as the original when it goes on sale in June.

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Hyundai i30 Review
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  • http://twitter.com/holotropik Holotropik

    LOL…a lot of Mazda 3 in the design. Oh well, cant beat them…copy them.

    • Sumpguard

          I read this elsewhere too but putting them side by side I don’t see any resemblence. The grill opening is a different shape, the headlights are very different ,the fog light vents are entirely different and the Mazda has a single gaping hole up front where the hyundai has those two curved chrome rails. At the rear the Hyundai looks nothing like the mazda either.

      • Jinnzhang

         We are talking about the lines and curves, not the lights and grills you referred to.

        • Sumpguard

            Go and put the two 3/4 views side by side. If anything the lines on the Hyundai are better resolved. The flares on the guards form into the the seam in the upper door. The Mazda’s don’t. They just end and don’t line up. The lower door of the Hyundai is recessed above the lower door crease. The Mazda is not.

              You are looking for something that ain’t there. Holotropik made no mention of lines and curves anyway.

          • Jinnzhang

             You must be blind

          • Sumpguard

               I must be. I read his original post again and still can’t see where he mentioned the lines and curves.

        • Edward

          The lines and curves resemble most new cars today. Even my 2007 UK civic has the same lines. If anything, this new i30 looks a lot like a grown up Veloster

          • Guest

            Lets Hope It Gets An All Grown Up Turbo also. -B

    • Smart US

      was this a real test drive??? i saw this pics on different web site already… and wording is almost identical… writer must be working for sever car websites hmmm

    • c1ee

      Nope. Fail

    • c1ee

      In fact it looks more like a Peugeot 308

    • bd

      Uhh, Hyundai was doing the oversized hexagonal grill on their concept designs since 2005-2006 and now pretty much everyone is using the hexagonal shape for their grills.

      Also, I wouldn’t exactly call the Mazda3 “original.”

      Basically the “smiling guppy” grill from Peugeot and its greenhouse shape is lifted from the Pontiac Vibe.

      So – FAIL.

      • Legnab

        You mean everyone is going to copy the ” BUCK TOOTHED” look , i think not , thats hyundai;s problem, fronts look el cheapo , fail , no class .

        • Robin_Graves

          Or you could opt for the german toyota whitegood on wheels look of the Golf.  The only heads they turn is when people drive past another one being winched onto a flatbed on the side of the highway.

          • Legnab

            Robin and barry the towie, the bee gees all teeth like the front of i30 , still grinding away with tales of woe , falling on deaf ears when you see how many VAG cars being sold each month , no one listens .

          • Robin_Graves

            You’re not the sharpest tool in the shed are you Bunghole?  Countless reliability surveys (except that bogus ADAC one that counts flat batteries and racoon bites), newspaper articles (the little engine that goes kaput) etc etc etc.  You probably dont even realise that your Golf has had its engine changed during a service when they found metal in the oil or the knock sensor couldn’t tell the difference between detonation, piston slap or bigend knock.  Autobild summed it up beautifully – Serious sins of the past (seized engines).  Who can afford to risk buying a lemon VeeDud these days?  Only the uneducated or the seriously deluded.

          • Barry

            Now Legnad,hardly think Volkswagens reliability problems are my fault.A seized engine is a service recall???
            If the next generation of Veedubs are as unreliable as this generation,Vw will become a minor brand in OZ.

          • Legnab

            Barry and robin aka the bee gees who is driving the tray top these days , you will be busy as vw sold another 3700 last month sales up another 12% this year , plus all the audi’s, but they never breakdown .

            DAS AUTO a drivers car , not just transport .

            Current i30 , looks’s like a modern rendering of the old charade dropped rear end , not very pretty .

          • TEESHA345

            your wrong

  • Lang Chye

    The competition is heating up. Good news for buyers.

  • Noddy

    I thought I was free of the “five years ago the original Hyundai i30 was a game-changer” and “The new Hyundai i30 is no longer an underdog” bull. Let’s face it: Hyundai has more than enough money to spend on engineering a car with good handling, steering and petrol performance, which have been traditional weaknesses of the brand. Even Proton makes decent handling cars (although almost everything else is lacking) so I don’t think Hyundai should be excused. If they want to charge similar prices to Mazda 3, they should match it on driver enjoyment. Otherwise, the package is sound.

    • Matt

      Obviously you haven’t driven a new Hyundai passenger car then… They do have money to spend on handling and steering, that’s why the new Hyundai’s actually do drive well

      • Noddy

        You obviously haven’t been with a woman.

        • adrian

          Worst reply I’ve ever seen 

  • Pauly

    Sat Nav standard on some models of the i30? But none for Veloster?


    I wonder if they will use the same system that Kia is using on the Aussie Optimia and Sportage?

    • JooberJCW

      Its not standard on any range of the Elantra either, 

  • Robin_Graves

    I hope they didn’t include reliability when they benchmarked it against the Golf.  VeeDud should benchmark the Golf on Hyundai’s reliability.  Cutting edge hand grenade engines that drink premium or solid reliable engines that lack some mid range.  Its a pity the Veloster turbo engine isn’t in the i30 even if it was somewhat de-tuned for economy.

    • F1MotoGP

       In the last 10 year in Australia Hyundai had 17, VW 8 recalls. Source: ACCC

      • DAVIDZ

        Your thoughs davidz, you LOVE to troll for odd useless figures/history

        • F1MotoGP

           Not useless, for some people here are very useful. Last recall for Hyundai was the Hyundai—Santa Fe with Diesel ‘R’ Engine 14th March 2012

          • Sumpguard

                 and? This recall for VW is current also. Over half a million cars!

            Product information
            Product description
            Volkswagen: Golf, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan and Transporter
            Skoda: Octavia and Superb

            Models manufactured between 2009 – 2011Identifying features
            Campaign numbers: 23K2 & 23K5
            Target number:
            23K2 7181 Volkswagen vehicles
            23K5 85 Skoda vehiclesWhat are the hazards?
            The defect may lead to leaking diesel fuel and in the worst case could lead to a vehicle fire.What are the defects?
            Engine resonances under certain operating conditions could eventually lead to cracks in an injection pipe.

          • Golfschwein

            WOOP DE DOO!

          • Smart US

             its not the number of recalls – its reliability within manufacturers norms… VW is ranks low by owners experience – cost and built quality, Hyundai is winning on every market by experience with brand etc.

      • Karl Sass

        You could argue that a Hyundai of 10 years ago was a very different car.

        • Sumpguard

             No need to argue Karl. There is simply no comparison between Hyundai 10 years ago and Hyundai today!

          • SamM

            Except for when Santa Fe engines catch fire…

          • SmamSmem

            Yeah, they’re apparently up at VW’s level in that respect…

        • Guest

          I Drive A 1996 Accent That I Bought Pre-Thrashed And It’s Solid As A Rock!! -B

      • Roger

         Admitting there is a defect does has something to do with the figure above

      • Robin_Graves

        Funny how the recalls tell a different story to all the reliability surveys – most show Hyundai towards the top and VW wallowing around the bottom with Dodge, Landrover and Mini.  A recall for a missing sticker on a jack or an engine with a massive hole in the piston and a gearbox that goes clunk.  Half the problems VW have tried to cover up during service with replacement engines and boxes going in and the customer doesnt even know (or care)  I dont think recalls are a good thing but at least Hyundai grab the bull by the horns, front up and fix the problem not try and sneak around like VW do.  Then there is Holden and Ford who just flat out deny there is a problem hoping that the warranty runs out before they have to fix anything.

        • F1MotoGP

           Which survey? If you check ADAC in Germany (like RACV here) VW reliability is very good. Top of the list in this class is BMW 1 series than Audi A3 and Peugeot 308 Golf is 7th. Last 29th is Renault Kangoo, 28. Peugeot 307, 27. Citroen C4. Hyundai i30 is 23rd. If you remember Holden Astra had some problems with timing belt breaking. They find out that in Australia we got more stop-start driving than in Germany. Over there timing belt was changed at 120,000km. Holden changed the timing belt service to 80,000km and problem was solved.

          • Robin_Graves

            Autobild, JD Power.  Never heard of the ADAC survey before – i guess if you dig deep enough you can always find something you are looking for.  From my personal experience and from talking to friends/colleagues etc, Hyundai are in a different league to VW when it comes to reliability and longevity.  Autobild and JD Power back that up.

          • F1MotoGP

             Some info on ADAC.

            The ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V.) is Germany’s and Europe’s largest automobile club, with more than 17 million members in June 2010.[1] It was founded on May 24, 1903 as “Deutsche Motorradfahrer-Vereinigung”
            (in English: German Motorbiker Association) and was renamed in 1911.
            Today it is still the largest motorcyclist association in the world with
            1.5 million members.

          • Sumpguard

              That same ADAC survey found the BMW  vehicles reliable and we all know that’s crap. Ze Germans are patriotic it seems!

          • Robin_Graves

            I smell a rat.  Autobild actually drive the cars over an extended period and then strip them down to look at wear etc.  The German RAC probably base the stats on how many people call them for flat tyres, flat batteries or running out of fuel.  When every other reputable survey places Hyundai much higher up the chain than VeeDud I have to question why?  Money.  VW probably have large contracts with ADAC.  By the way, where is this ADAC results becuase after googling for quite a while I still cant find them whereas JD Power and Autobild are very easy to find.

          • F1MotoGP

            I searched for ADAC result and I had no problem to find it in English. The i30 owners club website titel: “The German ADAC statistic for 2011 is not nice reading” .
            Sorry for translation my German is not good.

            Hyundai major problems:
            Hyundai Getz
            Battery failure, most frequently (all years)
            Ignition and cooling hose raccoon bites (very
            often all years)
            Defective immobilizer (to 2008)
            Engine management is disturbed (from 2006)
            Defective clutch (until 2007)Hyundai i10
            Battery failure, most frequently (all years)
            Ignition and cooling hose raccoon bites
            Defective immobilizer (2009)
            Defective crankshaft sensor (2009)
            Spark plug wet (to 2009)Hyundai i30
            Battery failure, most frequently (all years)
            Defective headlights (Pes. 2009)
            Defective immobilizer (to 2009)Hyundai Tucson
            Battery problems are often very
            Defective immobilizer (to 2010)
            Radiator hose raccoon bites (2009/10)

          • F1MotoGP

             and if you still do not believe me check out the TUV report. In Germany cars must have a RWC every two years and new cars after 3 years. Here is the list of cars between 2 and 3 years old.

            Make Defectvie %  Avg km

            1 Porsche 911 1,9 35

            2 Mazda 2 2,4 32

            3 VW Golf Plus 2,6 42

            3 Ford Fusion 2,6 34

            3 Mazda 3 2,6 41

            6 Toyota Yaris 2,7 33

            7 Toyota RAV4 2,9 42

            7 Mazda 5 2,9 48

            7 Subaru Forester 2,9 44

            10 Toyota Corolla Verso 3,0 47

            11 Saab 9-3 3,1 54

            12 Opel Meriva 3,2 35

            12 Porsche Boxster/Cayman 3,2 35

            12 Toyota Avensis 3,2 52

            12 Mazda 6 3,2 49

            12 Ford Focus C-Max 3,2 44

            17 Audi A3 3,3 52

            17 Mercedes SLK 3,3 33

            17 Ford Fiesta 3,3 35

            20 Toyota Corolla 3,4 40

            20 Mazda MX-5 3,4 31

            20 Honda Jazz 3,4 34

          • Robin_Graves

            What a load of BS that survey is.  Here is the list of defects for the i30 which finished last ;
            1. Discharged battery
            2. Headlights (blown globes)
            3. Interior lights duration (probably why the battery is going flat – doors not shut properly)
            4. Defective immobiliser (RFID chip in the keys been through the wash)
            5. Cooling/heater hoses – racoon bites (WTF?)
            6. Power windows defective

            Now for the Golf which finished 6th;
            1. Ignition switch defective
            2. Broken spark plug (how does a spark plug get broken unless its in a workshop)
            3. Engine management is disturbed (check engine light?)
            4. Defective ignition coil
            5. Cooling hose racoon bites (seriously – does Germany have a racoon problem?)
            6. Defective engine (ventilated piston, leg out of bed? $$$)
            7. Cooling system leak 
            8. Defective headlights
            9. Particle filter clogged ($$$)
            10. Clutch defective 
            11. Defective EGR (diesel – inlet manifold clogged with soot)
            12. Fuel pump defective (diesel – $$$)

            The Golf lists reads like a horror story and the i30 has a few flat batteries and some blown headlight globes and it finishes last?  What a joke.

            Look at the Autobild data that has been accrued over the past 8 years. (translated by Google)
            Hyundai first place.
            The Koreans can not afford gross blunder and are also in this years quality report above, from the Japanese and the Germans. Score good 2.43
            After serious sins in the past (frozen motors) shows the quality curve of VW up. Score average 2.86
            Whether motor problems or corrosion – Mercedes repair often requires expensive to keep the pampered clientele at the bar. Rating average 2.71

            You choose which one makes more sense.

          • bd

            Autobild – which actually goes thru service records in Germany has Hyundai ranked at the TOP 2 years running.

            VW is still towards the bottom of the rankings.

          • Raccoon

            Has anyone here even tried the ignition or cooling hoses on the Getz?

            They are delicious!

            I wish VW made something that tasty.

    • TEESHA345

      your wrong

  • F1MotoGP

    My pick would be the diesel but fuel economy should be better. 7.2L/100km in city is just average Golf 1.6 diesel with auto is 6.1L/100km. 

  • coolbeans

    Gotta say it sounds like a great all round package (if you don’t want a wagon).

  • SamM

    Looks fantastic on the outside, however interior still looks overly complex and gimmicky compared with the more German-influenced Golf, Focus and others. In terms of engineering, this car is mediocre at best – there are no major innovations to be found, simply technology that equals its rivals. This car isn’t game-changing by any stretch of the imagination – I note that a lot of reviews say it’s a ‘huge improvement’ but none of them mention ‘class leading’. This car will ultimately sell well only because of its undeniable showroom appeal. 

  • Kgo

    The current i30 is a fleet princess..

    If priced right the new one will enjoy success with the fleets.. 

    • bd

      Toyota is the biggest brand in Australia due to being the “fleet queen.”

      • James Cortez

        Toyota is the biggest brand in the US and not because it is fleet queen!


    Golf coin for this?………………..LOL
    Just buy a Japanese Corolla or even better a Lancer and your MILES in front even thought they are older models

    • lancer hater

      I have a lancer Cj.. will never buy a lancer again..poor interior plastics, high fuel consumption, poor dealer service, poor resale value. it took mitsubshi 3 months to fix faulty ABS sensor in my 18month old lancer.


    NOT a game changer, NOT COTY material

    Better than older generation [80’s] Corolla/Lancer but thats it

    Korean are a GENERATION behind the Japanese

    • Noel

      You’ve been in this car?

      • Sumpguard

           Clearly not .He works for toyota .He must to put the Corolla ahead of anything!  Overpriced and over rated!

    • bd

      Interesting – everyone (except DAVIDZ) knows that the Toyota Corolla & Yaris and the Nissan Sentra & Versa are a bit behind the competition (including the Koreans).

  • BP

    Looks superior to the curren i30. Great looks, awesome interior & good enough engines. This should pump i30 sales back up now 😀

  • Fu1

    Hyundai’s have impressive paper performance, but as stated many times, in real world Hyundai’s are lackluster.. 

    I’ve driven many cars from all parts of the world and the Koreans are behind everyone else, except maybe Chinese, but i have yet  to drive a Chinese car.. 

    • DAVIDZ


      Arr yes, the old brochure horsepower, davidz thinks because it has 7 speed auto and direct injection its automatically superior, how does that work?

  • Legnab

    Certainly up to the minute looks beating the japanese at their own game of overstyling , which can mean quick dating , biggest let down is the torqueless petrol motor , aussies love effortless torque , diesel will be the best option .

    • Ldnf

      But the diesel is slow, it’s not gonna push you back into your seat..

      • Sydlocal

        …the diesel will “push you back into your seat” more than the petrol in anything other than a standing start…

  • M.

    The engines are somewhat embarrassing, average power, average economy, and in the long-term i’d think it’s a safe guess to say average reliability. Interior is gimmicky, a little tacky. Fluidic sculpture design language is too bold, may look ‘exciting’ now, but will date super quick. Will be interesting to see resale figures in 5-10 years, I’ll bet the Japanese competition many consider to be a bit plain (i.e. new Honda Civic) will continue to hold their value and be in higher demand because they won’t look ridiculous!

    • bd

      Have you seen the front of the new (Euro) Civic?

      And let’s not get into Acura, Infiniti or Lexus these days.

  • Powell

    I’m eager to see the next-gen Kia Cerato.

  • Nphung01

    beautiful car

  • Hung Low

    Looks good and bring on the wagon! Love the ‘super quick dating” comments from the VW crew, I think they should look at how dated a Mk5 Golf looks already!

    • Sumpguard


    • Robin_Graves

      Golfs look 5 years old when they first come out – the golf wagon looks like its from the late 90’s from the rear.  Then the drivelines are packed full of techno wizz-bang which is good except it is so cutting edge it is still full of gremlins.  Boring looks with timebomb mechanicals – the price of vanity.

      • Guest

        I Like Their “Conservative” Looks But Don’t Need To Buy An Overpriced Head Ache

  • MisterZed

    Your article states that the ix35 was the first model to incorporate fluidic sculpture styling.  This is incorrect.  i45/Sonata was the first Hyundai model to feature this styling – it went on sale in Korea in 2009.  The ix35 may have gone on sale in Australia before the i45 (by a few months only), but the i45 came out earlier in Korea.

  • Xev

    The 2L GDI and 1.7L CRDI from the i40 should’ve been put into the i30 and Elantra. 
    The i40 should’ve had the 2.4L GDI and at least a 2L diesel. 

    • Robin_Graves

      Agree, both could do with the extra grunt but everything these days is based on efficiency.  The i40 should have got the 2.0 R diesel.

  • Phil

    Usual CarAdvice contradictions.
    Last month’s [April 10th] CarAdvice i30 review said this about the 94Kw diesel: “lacks the kind of kick we’ve come to expect from diesels, with the optional six-speed automatic exasperating things”.
    Now in this months [May 9th] review it’s suddenly “easier to drive, with overtaking manouvers and climbing hills stress free”.

    Then there is the ride and handling, last month [April 10th] CarAdvice descirbed the new i30 as: “no thriller on more intersting roads, not helped by steering that feels numb”.
    Yet this month [May 9th] CarAdvice is full of praise for the handling: “surprisingly good”, “pleasure to drive”, “generally pleased”.

    So what is it CarAdvice”?

     Is it a “exasperating” “numb steering” car? [April 10th]

    Or is it a “stress free” “pleasure to drive”? [May 9th]

    • Sydlocal

      Have you ever thought Phil that both articles were written by different people? Maybe Alborz looks into different things when reviewing a car than what Luke does. I would also hazard a guess that if another author reviewed one it would be different again. After-all, these reviews are the author’s PERSONAL opinion of the car, which of course would vary from person to person as last time I looked we were all different. I am also sure that if you test drove one you would be highlighting different points as well.
      If both articles were written by the same person then what you said is more than reasonable and you would have a good case.

      • Phil

        So I’m talking about steering and performance……..and I quote Alborz’s and Luke’s comments on exactly that……steering feel and performance…..then you say “maybe Alborz is looking into different things”…….ummm no, I quoted him on steering feel and performance. He was not “looking into different things” in those quotes.

        Furthermore, they’re not exactly “different people”. They’re both supposed motoring “experts” from the same organisation looking at the same product. Both should have a idea of what decent steering feels like and what good performance is.
        What’s the point of taking any notice of these supposed “experts” if all they do is come up with random “PERSONAL” opinions?

        Across the board from other groups of motoring experts, you’ll find they all agree on matters like Porches excellent steering or BMW excellent engines. Or if you look at cars like the Golf GTi you’ll find unanimous opinions.
        Then there are the CarAdvice experts where you’ll find a random range of polar opposites on the same subjects.
        So basically Syd, you’re in agreement with me. CarAdvice just provides random personal opinions.

        • Sydlocal

          You don’t take negative comments too well don’t you Phil? Of course they were both comparing steering, but what may be good steering feel for one person may not be for another. Which appears to be in this case. Plus as pointed out, Both Luke and Alborz are not from the same organisation or the same product. Ooops! 😉

          • Sumpguard

              A rival review (Australian) loved the car and heaped more praise on it than Alborz has particularly the “spirited petrol engine” .Truth is Phil you hate Korean cars and it comes out in every one of  your posts.

                Meanwhile I think Hyundai need to get the wagon into the lineup asap. Big mistake leaving it out.

          • Legnab

            Too low on torque in petrol guise , better not put the secret camera’s in the demo’s when stock arrives , will be many a negative comment about  lack go , still they will be mesmerised by the starwars dash , thats enough to get and uneducated sale.

          • Robin_Graves

            What’s so uneducated about buying an i30?  Reliable, cheap to run, well spec’d, OK to look at and to drive.  What is uneducated is clowns that buy VW’s thinking they are reliable and prestigious.  I’d love to see a hidden camera inside a Golf thats just lost an engine on the freeway when its raining – again.

          • Legnab

            Only camera we have is in the rear badge to look at that horrible bucky beaver grille on the i30 behind us .

            Love those dumbo ads with the hidden camera , that is definately the correct customer base you attract .

          • Robin_Graves

            A customer is a customer bunghole, and there is a whole lot more happy Hyundai customers than VeeDud with all the lemons they keep flogging off.  Bad news spreads fast and it wont be long before the serious sins of the past catch up with VeeDud.  
            The badge cam is actually a pretty cool idea – until it breaks like everything else on the car.

          • Legnab

            Such negativity robin , camera is working perfectly , just like the rest of my GTI , and this is my third , they must be doing something right .

            Well my mate with his santa fe highlander is not happy with is noisy metalica sound coming from his motor , yes they replaced the timing chain , still noisy , now were talking injectors , only 70,000k and he hates it , last country trip took the wifes golf diesel , ahhhh , thats a nice drive .

            Guess what hes going to dump it next year for a passat alltrack , now your talking , VAG diesel quality .

          • Robin_Graves

            Now who’s the fable teller bunghole?  As if you are going to admit here that you have had throttle potentiometers replaced, transient problems with the CAN(t) bus and DSG niggles.  Likely story is you are on your third because the other two fell to bits around you and you are a slow learner.  As for your ‘mates’ Santa Fe, that’s what happens to common rail injectors when people keep putting petrol in the tank by mistake.  Lucky its a Hyundai – if it was a VeeDud the warranty would be ‘voided’ and he’d be up for thousands – along with a new motor.  You and your mate deserve each other and your VeeDuds.

          • Legnab

            Dear bobin , my friend is on his third diesel , so forget the wrong fuel issue , you brain keeps snapping at straws , for him its very noisy piece of hundi as he does a lot of country kilo’s , its also his last, VAG along with the other germans produce the best diesels .

            If i had the drama’s that you and corporal zero keep harping on about i certainly would not keep buying VW , maybe i should get a skoda next time .

            Das auto .

          • Robin_Graves

            das Auto ist Scheiße.

    • Anthony


      The April 10th review of the i30 was written by a colleague from the UK and on a car with a different engine tune.

      The later review by our Alborz Fallah was from his recent drive in Korea. Best we wait for the local launch of the i30 followed-up with our week experience with the car, where we can explore the car in detail across a variety of roads and conditions.

      Thanks for commenting.

      • Phil

        Right, so the UK test with it’s mysterious different engine tune had 94KWs……….then Alborz car had…..well 94KW – in the same size turbo diesel engine from the same manufactuer in the same car.
        Very interesting how they could have polar opposite performance.

        Plus of course, engine tune has everything to do with a difference in steering feel…

        I will most likely see the “Australian” review of the i30. What can I expect? Yet another entirely different view of the same car?
        You do provide great ‘car advice’ – why not write a selection of comments about cars on pieces of paper, mix them all up in a box, then select them at random to make reviews? Viewers trying to make a judgement on a car based on your reviews would get about the same level of accurancy from this method.

        • Chundermuffin

          Why do you even read the reviews if you hate the car so much? It’s obviously not for a sense of objectivity.

          • Phil

            You and sumpguard crack me up.

            I don’t hate this Hyundai, why would I? Nothing in my comment suggested what my thoughts on the car are.

            My comment clearly states that I DO want to read the review for a sense of objectivity. The problem is that gaining a sense of objectivity from CarAdvice’s Hyundai i30 reviews is impossible due to the conflicting reviews they have produced.
            Then there are their other style of ‘reviews’ they do which sound like your reading straight from the manufactuers brochure. Several recent Mercedes reviews sound like this.

            This is obviously very hard for you to understand so I’ll try to make it even more simple:
            Which CarAdvice review on the Hyundai i30 do we use to gain a “sense of objectivity”?
            The April 10th review where the i30 was “exasperating” and “numb”?
            Or the May 9th review where it was “stress free” and a “pleasure to drive”?

            Do tell…..

          • Sumpguard

               I think you crack yourself up. You don’t need our help!

  • K20A

    Davidz.. this is a reply to all your comments.. wake up… this is not 1998. Koreans are widely accepted in the industry to be the more progressive, more aggressive product development out of the two. Especially in the last 5 years.
    Things like standard fit ESP, DCT, Diesel & small displacement forced inducted engines.. they were offered by Hyundai / Kia (though some might not be available here in Aus.). Japanese are in a deep long slumber at the moment, if you follow the industry closely you should know that.

    Funny how you talk about Korean being a generation (in caps) behind the japanese. I’ll take the IRS-suspended i30 any day over your torsion beamed rolla.

    Brand bigotry needs to stop. Be objective, go to the dealership and test drive the car back to back. Then form you opinion based on that, not how the brands were perceived 10 years ago or your personal prejudice.

    I’m not affiliated with Hyundai / Kia by any way. Just tired reading the typical ‘if it’s Korean, it must be cheap, inferior, a generation behind, etc.’

    • Ws

      That’s why Koreans cars are slower, consume more fuel and are inferior in everyway compared to the competition..

      They claim their cars have best numbers but which idiot buys a car based on paper specs?

      And Japanese offer every single thing and have penetrated every single segment of the market..

      Your bashing Japanese brand which goes to show that you obviously hate them.. Which is alright because we all have our preferences..

      • K20A

        Your first paragraph is exactly my point. Don’t judge purely by the country they come from.

        I don’t buy based on paper specs.. if I do that I’ll probably be buying Golfs (to me, on paper, in ‘Small’ segment, they’re the best). I test drive each car back to back before making decision.

        Not bashing Japanese brands at all btw, I love Jap cars. I reckon Mazda 3 is at the top of its class, no doubt.

        The only thing I’m bashing is brands / country of origin prejudice.

      • Gibz

        so many people these days dont care for the “paper specs”

        todays LOOK AT ME generation, buys cars on their looks, and thats all.

        • Legnab

          That pretty well sums up a hyundai/kia buyer ,” look at me i got the latest “, most would not even test drive it .

  • Maximark2601

    Is it better than the old i30? Yes! But I think it is not that good to earn a 4 stars rating.

    • c1ee

      Well the old i30 won COTY from a lot of publications. Are you saying the competition are far superior?

      • Maximark2601

        Well, the problem with motor journalists is that their opions are often based on  a few short test drives, not the long time ownership.  I bought an i30 SR when it first came to Australia, I had it for one and a half year, it had a few problems, the engine just cut off power a few times while I was driving, was quite dangerous and scary, I took it to Hyundai but they didn’t know why it happened, later they found out that there was a malfunction with the car immobilizer ( it was too bad i already sold the car).

         The fuel consumption wasn’t that great ( around 10.5 to 10.8 l/100km as I remember) , and the handling was way behind the mazda 3. The resale value is also not that good compare to Japanese cars. But I like the look, and the interior design, the warranty is also good, and Hyundai is very helpul when dealing with warranty problems.However, I would go for a Japanese cars next time since they are not much more expensive than Hyundai these days and I believe Japanese cars are still more reliable and better built quality.

  • Tim Tam

    What is the story with some of the Hyundai dealers in south east Queensland?  I have asked when they expect to have the new i30 available to view and keep getting the similar response as later this year with all suggesting September.  Many Australian websites suggest that it is due for release in late May or early June. Is there anyone here able to provide some accurate details of when the public can expect to be able to see this car in a dealership.  I even called Hyundai in Queensland and was told “Later this year!” 

    • William

      Absolutely!. later this year is not definite enough. 30th of December is later this year.

    • Ted

      Hi Tim Tam, the issue with QLD dealers is that they are 20 years behind the rest of the country.  These people went to QLD many years ago to find their dreams and stayed.  Although I like going to QLD to holiday, WHY would you live there …  It is old fashion and as it appears a little slow with advising about the i130.

      • Rocket

        That not very nice Ted, suggest you jump in your i30 and don’t come back now you hear.

        • Ronaldw5

          The truth is hard Rocket, living in QLD does that !

    • Chundermuffin

      When I was getting my old i30 serviced late last year at a Hyundai dealer I went to the sales section and asked about the then-forthcoming diesel Accent (now my current car). At the time the bloke wasn’t sure when or if it would be available and mentioned that Hyundai’s head office tend to be very tight-lipped about details like that. So maybe dealerships are being vague because they just don’t know.

      • John

         Oh, they know alright. It’s just never in their interest to tell you there is nothing newer/better just round the corner. They want you to buy what they have in the showroom.

  • Jinnzhang

    Does CA do comparison reviews? I just noticed I have never seen one.

  • Able

    I saw a new i30 yesterday in Eastwood, NSW, and I have to say it does look pretty good. Hopefully it ends up driving as well as it looks. 

    A white or silver manual diesel in a high-spec with xenons would be lovely!

  • JCSS

    Here’s how people buy cars………. they go “looking ” then they find something they “like”, and then they “test drive it” and then they might buy it, or keep “looking”, till they find something they “really like” and then they buy that……….. then they tell everyone how inteligent and how smart a choice they made and how its such a bargain, and how much they love that car in particular. This formula works on ALL cars for ALL people. If there was only one car for all people, then it would be called a “peolpes car”…….. now that would be vain!

    • Gibz

      young girls ALL buy on looks and give no thought for driveability. they pick what they like the look of, and if they like the way it drives, they buy it. they dont drive everything and make up their minds later.

      hence the amount of holden cruzes and mazda 2s on the road. both good cars, but by no means, best in class.

  • JCSS


  • klowik

    The curve is a bit too much on the tail lights. If they use straight lines on them it will look perfect. Overall it looks a bit better than Mazda 3. Actually, they curves Hyundai uses on some of their more models are bit superfluous.

  • svd

    I see a lot of words in here stating that the Korean cars are not up to Japanese or German standards. What puzzles me is why is this so when the i30 and diesel engine were designed in Germany.  Do the German car manufacturers band together and bribe the designers working for Hyundai to do a bad job? I think not.

  • Gibz

    it looks NOTHING like a mazda 3. i see a couple hints of mazda 2 in the design ( front door shape near the mirrors )  but thats all.

    Its all a hyundai look.

    also, this car is a lot better looking.

    funny, since hyundai has developed their fluidic sculpture, how many other brands new designs seem to be looking HYUNDAI??

    like i said 3 years ago…. THE KOREANS ARE COMING!!!

  • DJ

    As an i30 owner for more than 4 years, I must say it is not a car for character…it just does everything well without being spectacular. I bought it before it won awards, based on test driving all the cars in the same segment, as I needed something to cary my kayak around. It simply was the best overall proposition. Yes I do know a fair bit about cars, professionally and privately, and although I don’t love this car I do respect it in the morning, when it starts every time, and has never had a problem. Looks….boring. But who cares! Cost to run…excellent, reliability….excellent, driving pleasure….average, space and utility…excellent. Can carry a sofa on the roof, or a kayak, plus lots of suitcases, and 5 adults with ease. Capable handling end steering not quite up to my Evo or the old Group A Commodore, but better than some. Sorry guys, this car won’t give you wood, but then again it won’t give you heartache either.

  • J87

    Boy Oh Boy!

    I’m looking to buy a car – needs to be very reliable and fuel efficient. 
    The Mazda 3 SP25 looks good, drives well and very comfortable, but 10lts per 100km is too thirsty, and have to be serviced every 6 months or the warranty is void, regardless of the number of kms driven.
    The Hyundai i 30 may do the trick, but haven’t driven it yet. 
    My mechanic loves Hyundai, owns one himself, only ever needs servicing, no mechanical problems. He thinks the Golf is the worst car on the market, but great for his back pocket becuase he is always working on them. Far too many plastic parts that don’t last the distance. He oftens says he thinks Germany has run out of metal. I agree that their sins will eventually do them in. Shame as they were market leaders a decade ago.
    Anyone got any good ideas as to what other cars I should be considering?

    • F1MotoGP

       My choice would be not in order
      Ford Focus 2 liter engine 125kW, 202Nm, Avg fuel 6.6l/100
      Kia Rio Si 1.6L engine DI, 103kW, 167Nm, 6.1l/100, 5 yr warranty
      Hyundai i30, 1.6 diesel, 85kW, 260Nm, 5.8l/100, 5yr warranty,
      Corolla 1.8l, 100kW, 175Nm, 7.4l/100km,
      Each car got advantage over the other. Cheapest to buy, run and good resale value I think it would be the i30 diesel than Corolla, Focus and Rio. I could be wrong. Good luck anyway.
      There is a cheap finance on Corolla 2.9%pa.

      • MisterZed

        Um, Rio does not compete with any of those cars.  The Kia Cerato is the competitor in the small class.

  • J87

    Thanks F1MotoGP, some good sound advice.

  • Ted

    The i30 appears to be the same car as the Elantra, the different being the Elantra has a boot, and the i30 has a hatch. It is a shame they they did not put a GDI – 1.8 (or 2.0) in the 130 so that it differs from the Elantra.

  • Frailer5

    No CW? What dumbo made that decision? A huge hole in the small wagon market. (Golf Wagon has it to itself, pretty much). Stupid, and many lost sales, would imagine.

  • Perrycas

    I have a 2008 model with 40K km. Auto.I guess i would describe myself as a ‘retired enthusiast’ having had a a lot of cars that i passionately wanted and then often rebuilding them. I have no issues with this workhorse. EXCEPT  I was discussing fuel consumption with a 2012 owner. Round town mileage is pretty disappointing. Delicate driving returns no more than low 10’s. thats with 98. 95 is pretty similar a bit less maybe.  Highway driving is much better going to mid 7’s as long as you don’t use the cruise control. I thought i had asked the correct question before buying but perhaps i didnt. I know, I know its an auto. Our 20yo Corrola does better tho. I bought the car used and noted that the policy was not to change the plugs until 45K. Seems that they dont check the gaps either cos When I pulled mine they were like 70thou or what ever that is in metric. Replacing the plugs did pick up the mileage a bit, but not enough for my liking. 

    My friend’s 2012 is the same. In fact i have now spoken to a few people suffering the same experience. I find the heating cooling controls a bloody nuisance. I would much prefer to be able to choose to open the vent and not use the AC at times and it appears that this is possible but there seems to be an interminable amt of stuffing around to do what i want it to do – unlike older cars with cables and levers.Its a very comfortable car,nicely appointed and drives well, tracks nicely, brakes well. But it isnt economical 

  • Simon

    The 2007 i30 was also designed in Germany.

  • Passeks

    I never thought i would own a Hyundai – past cars are VW, VOLVO, TOYOTA, MERCEDES and SAAB. But i got curious because of price, fuel economy, warranty and i like the looks (the Golf looks as if the designer Died 15 years ago). So now i have an i30 cw diesel 2010 version and i do 45k km a year – now almost 90k. It is my second i30 (I got a really good price for the old one).So now I have done over 200.000 km in an i30. I have never had a problem besides light bulbs frequently failing. If you are in doubt of the quality simply close the door in such a car – the feel and sound is very far from cheap.
    During the past 6 months i have rented other cars when travelling abroad – amoung these a Citroen C4, Golf 1.4 turbo and a BMW 316i. All good rides and admitted – the Golf is faster and the BMW more quiet, comfortable, agile in its handling and both have a more cool interior. But coming home to the “old faithfull” was not dissapointing as i feared. (OK the engine in the 316i is so weak that it spoils the car – if not I would probably miss the BMW).
    Last week i did 550 km i the new i30 diesel. The suspension is a little on the soft side to my opinion and it is not fast like the Golf but somehow i miss that car. If I was to do the trip again with a free choice between any of these cars i would prefer the new i30 and I am pretty sure i would prefer owning it too.
    Its simply a smooth, good looking and very solid pack with a strong and silent engine. Maybe the picture had been different if the other cars were diesels as well – but enough to justify the price difference? For the heck of it i will try them as diesels before simply changing to the nice new i30. If one of the others are significantly better to drive than the i30 i will be surprised and then i will look at the price, the warranty and the reliabillity and if that ends up in a better pack than the i30 i will be more than surprised.



  • i30_driver

    This thread has been hugely amusing, many thanks to you all for the fascinating insights. I bought the FD i30 CRDi and I can confirm that most of the commentary especially about performance is ill informed conjecture. The 94kW diesel goes like the clappers if one is so inclined. If driven sensibly it returns about 5 and a bit l/100km on the highway and overtaking on the highway is ridiculously effortless. It is is a thoroughly comfortable and competent drive. Having owned a Hyundai previously my experience with reliability was such that I felt completely comfortable in buying another. Total issues in over 5 years of ownership. Zero. Not one. No gearboxes exploded, no engines detonated, no trim fell off, nothing to report which is exactly how things should be. I expect the new i30 to continue to behave in this manner. 

    I have owned two Golfs, one petrol, one diesel and have driven about half a million km in them. With such long mileages a few things did go wrong of course, most dramatically, complete brake failure leading to a mangled Golf. Despite this they were on the whole both very good cars. Right now, you get much more bang for buck from the Hyundai than the Golf. Its that simple really.  

Hyundai i30 Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$14,190 - $16,130
Dealer Retail
$15,730 - $18,700
Dealer Trade
$11,300 - $12,900
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
260Nm @  1900rpm
Max. Power
94kW @  4000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
5.6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1300  Unbrake:500
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
205/55 R16
Rear Tyres
205/55 R16
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Torsion bar, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Control & Handling
Traction Control System
Trip Computer
Optional Features
Metallic Paint
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Under Driver Seat On Floor
Country of Origin