2007 Hyundai i30 SLX Review
- Matt Brogan
By now I guess you’ve seen the ad on TV, a cute Jack Russell terrier, pretentious valet, and a ‘stolen’ Hyundai. Its fun, draws a smile, and gets you thinking that perhaps the big H has come of age.
From the outset, the i30’s German design is clearly evident. The handsome, contoured nose leads effortlessly up to a flowing bonnet then down over discreetly pumped guards to a side profile not too dissimilar to BMW’s 1 series.
Cupped in the tail is a smooth, sculpted tailgate complete with a VW-style hatch release and logo combination offset by a short ‘bee-sting’ aerial mounted on the roof.
Paint finish is first rate (Metallic Paint $300) and matched with superb panel fit and smart sixteen inch alloys, I would go so far as to say that with the badges covered, you would not pick this car as Korean.
The modern, ergonomic lay out of the dashboard abounds with features and the quality of materials is well above average. Reserved décor, contemporary sculpting and sensible colour toning make i30's interior a very pleasant place to be.
Cargo space is very generous, even with the rear seats up, but when folded down the true fold flat floor lends munificent proportions that are as practical as they are adequate. The rear seat folds completely out of the way and usability of the whole package is very easy to employ.
NVH is minimal and overall engine noise is unobjectionable until pushed hard. I did notice a little vibration at idle with the climate switched on, but this was not evident during the course of driving the vehicle and did not seem impact upon the performance of the vehicle at all.
Claimed fuel economy is 7.6l / 100km (combined) with my worst total for the week being a respectable 9.8l / 100km in heavy stop-start traffic. Out on the open highway i30 managed to achieve a 6.1l / 100km average.
Surprisingly the ride provided by suspension ‘tuned for Australian conditions’ was the first thing I noticed about driving the i30. Although not revolutionary (MacPherson struts upfront and multilink IRS behind) it compliments the all new more rigid body superbly and provides a solid ‘larger car’ feel over all but the biggest of craters.
Braking is very sure and has a positive pedal feel providing accurate feedback, even in repeated hard application. Fade was negligible and wet weather application was superior to many same class rivals I have tested.
Visibility is excellent all round, with the possible exception of the small rear window in the C pillar, which did pose occasional hindrance when reversing from 45 degree angle parks.
Safety has come along way since Hyundai’s conception, and rightly the i30 has not been left begging. Side intrusion beams, TCS (Traction Control System), ABS (with EBD), Front, Side and Curtain Airbags are all included. As mentioned, the ESP is optional, and although I feel this should be standard on all new cars, is in my opinion worth the extra money.
The i30 narrowly missed out on the coveted five star crash rating (achieving four stars) with testers citing "potential driver’s knee and femur injury in the event of a serious frontal collision" as the reason for falling short.
Perhaps driver’s knee airbags, as seen on models such as Toyota’s Corolla and Mitsubishi’s Lancer, should be a future inclusion. The body structure did however remain stable through the impact.