As you'll soon learn, the Hyundai i30 SR has a well laid out, logical interior. That same user-friendliness extends to the infotainment system, which is shared with the wider i30 range.
Central to the system is a freestanding 8.0-inch touchscreen mounted high on the dashboard. With its gloss-black surround and (almost) aftermarket look, it could have been nicked from a Mercedes-Benz – although Hyundai has opted for a set of physical buttons around the screen in place of the rotating, touch-sensitive controller favoured by the Germans.
The screen is bright and clear, and the software on board is dead easy to navigate. Even the navigation is relatively reliable, although it's no match for the latest Google Maps software when it comes to traffic-dodging smarts.
Your home screen is a split display showing navigation, media and a third, customisable field. There's also a customisable 'my menu' shortcut button on the right-hand side of the screen. Unfortunately, there's no quick-and-easy way to get your phone up on the screen from the touchscreen or surrounding buttons.
Along with the main screen, the system is supported by a black-and-white display in the instrument binnacle. It offers all the information you'd expect, including music information and a big digital speedo.
With no hard button, and no shortcut on the home screen, you need to press 'all menus' and then 'phone' on the touchscreen, which involves too much eyes-off-the-road time for my liking. There's a shortcut on the home screen when connected to CarPlay or Android Auto, but accessing your contacts is still a multi-press game.
If you're not keen to use the touchscreen, there are a few options. You could plug your phone into Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which opens the door for the help of Siri or Google Assistant – the voice control button is a dead-end when you're not phone mirroring – or use the logical steering wheel controls to change music sources, answer or block calls and fiddle with the volume.
There's a 12V socket, a USB plug and an AUX plug in the storage bin below the touchscreen and climate controls, along with Qi wireless charging. That's not much use for me and my battered iPhone 6, but is relevant to Android or iPhone 8 and X users.
Along with smartphone mirroring, AUX and USB connectivity, i30 owners can stream their music over Bluetooth. The system connects quickly when you start the car, and rarely drops out on the move. Music quality is good – no better or worse than rival systems to these non-audiophile ears.
Other points to note? The reversing camera is crystal clear, and the screen itself doesn't attract fingerprints like some rival systems. Both good things, you'll agree.
There are a few cons, too. In-built voice control would be nice, and it should be easier to access your phone through the touchscreen. Besides that, the i30's set-up is easy to use, good to look at and feature-packed. Well done, Hyundai.
Stay tuned for our next update, where we look into the i30 SR's manners around town.