Just before the Christmas break we added a new long-termer to the CarAdvice Melbourne garage: the Hyundai i30 SR.
It's been a well-regarded offering since its launch early in 2017, so we decided we'd get a feel for what it's like living with the current sporting flagship of the Hyundai range – at least for now, until the all-out i30 N arrives in a couple months time.
Here we have a DCT-equipped SR finished in 'Fiery Red' mica, equating to a list price of $29,445 before on-road costs.
There's also a six-speed manual version priced from a more affordable $25,950 plus ORCs, which would be the enthusiast's choice – though you forgo most of Hyundai's SmartSense suite which includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise etc.
Speaking of features, the i30 SR comes with plenty of kit, including 18-inch alloy wheels, multi-link rear suspension, dual exhaust tips, LED tail-lights, leather-accented trim with front sports seats, contrasting red interior highlights – including cool red seatbelts – an 8.0-inch satellite navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a rear-view camera.
Other highlights include a black headliner, dual-zone climate control, a 4.2-inch colour driver's display, rear air vents, smart key with push-button start, wireless phone charging and steering-mounted paddle shifters.
Exclusive to the DCT-equipped SR are an electric park brake, rear air vents, and the bulk of the SmartSense safety suite – which includes the aforementioned AEB and adaptive cruise control, along with blind-spot monitoring, driver fatigue monitoring, lane-keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Note: The SR manual gets blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard.
Under the bonnet is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol, which puts out 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque.
Peak power is available from 6000rpm, while maximum torque is on tap from 1500 to 4500rpm.
The dry-clutch seven-speed DCT sends drive to the front wheels only, with fuel use claimed at 7.5L/100km on the combined cycle.
Behind the rear seats is a 395-litre luggage area, which expands to 1301L with the second row folded. Under the boot floor is a space saver temporary spare wheel.
In 2017 the i30 range shifted 28,780 units, down 23.8 per cent on 2016. However, this is largely due to fewer $19,990 drive-away deals being done with the new 'PD' model.
For January 2018 the i30 managed a respectable 1850 sales, making it the third most-popular small car in Australia for that period.
Over the coming weeks, we'll explore the i30 SR's comfort, drive and handling, infotainment and more. Watch this space.