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by Tim Beissmann

The second-generation Hyundai i30 has been launched in Australia, introducing new levels of style, technology and standard equipment to the popular small car range.

With more than 100,000 first-generation i30s sold across Australia since the model’s launch in 2007, the Korean brand is hoping to build on its success with the new model by combining its traditional value-for-money philosophy with an increased emphasis on desirable design and driving enjoyment.

The new Hyundai i30 line-up comprises two four-cylinder engines: a new 1.8-litre petrol unit and an uprated version of the previous model’s 1.6-litre diesel. The manual and automatic transmissions now both have six gears, replacing the old car’s four- and five-speed alternatives.

There are three trim levels – Active, Elite and Premium – with prices ranging from $20,990 for the entry-level petrol manual to $32,590 for the top-spec diesel auto. Prices for each model have increased around $500 from the old range. The i30cw wagon is no longer available in Australia, making the five-door hatch customers’ only body style option.

The well-equipped i30 Active comes standard with Hyundai’s new Flex Steer system with selectable steering modes (Comfort, Normal and Sport), 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, front fog lights, and a four-speaker/two-tweeter audio system with a five-inch touch screen, media ripping and storage function, auxiliary and USB inputs, and Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming functionality.

The mid-spec i30 Elite adds $3600 to the price and includes 16-inch alloy wheels with a full-size alloy spare, automatic headlights and wipers, push-button start with proximity key, dual-zone climate control, a seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, and a number of interior and exterior trim enhancements.

Another $5400 on top of the Elite is the flagship i30 Premium, which scores 17-inch alloys, xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof, electronic park brake, electrochromatic rear-view mirror, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power driver’s seat with lumbar support, rear air vents, flat-folding rear seats and additional under-floor storage in the boot.

Safety has also taken a step forward as part of the second-generation package with seven airbags (dual front, side, curtains, and driver’s knee), electronic stability control and rear parking sensors standard across the range.

The new petrol engine produces 110kW of power and 178Nm of torque (up 5kW and down 8Nm from the old 2.0-litre). Manual models now use 6.5 litres of fuel per 100km while the autos are slightly thirstier at 6.9L/100km. Both represent efficiency gains of more than nine per cent and are now more competitive with the leaders in the small-car class.

The diesel engine generates 94kW and 260Nm (up 9kW, torque unchanged). The economy of the manual is identical to the old model at 4.5L/100km while the auto is around three per cent more frugal than before at 5.6L/100km.

Hyundai engineers and Sachs technicians collaborated on the new i30’s suspension system over “thousands of kilometres and numerous road conditions” throughout Australia, with the goal to produce a ride and handling package optimised for our unique road conditions.

We’ll find out how successful they’ve been after we slide into the driver’s seat at the local launch of the Hyundai i30 in Victoria. Stay tuned for our full first drive review, coming Wednesday.

Click here to read our first drive impressions of the new Hyundai i30 in South Korea.

2012 Hyundai i30 manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):

  • Active 1.8 petrol manual – $20,990
  • Active 1.8 petrol automatic – $22,990
  • Active 1.6 diesel manual – $23,590
  • Active 1.6 diesel automatic – $25,590
  • Elite 1.8 petrol manual – $24,590
  • Elite 1.8 petrol automatic – $26,590
  • Elite 1.6 diesel manual – $27,190
  • Elite 1.6 diesel automatic – $29,190
  • Premium 1.8 petrol automatic – $29,990
  • Premium 1.6 diesel automatic – $32,590




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