A well-thought-out vehicle. It was originally purchased to fit three child seats across the back. It has a wide body and has the same specs internally to the ix35.
Used as a tow vehicle for holidays, it has towed a loaded 7x4 trailer with no problems. Don't be afraid to give it throttle and use the revs. The engine doesn't use much more fuel.
Depending on driving type and your vehicle maintenance history, you'll get a maximum of 700km per tank. This is based on my 70% highway, and 30% traffic experience. When suburban driving, expect around 600-650km to a tank, while leadfoots might get down to 550-600km. When fully loaded with 500kg in the trailer, you'll get 500km.
For those using it as a tow vehicle, expect standard springs to sag. Some aftermarket camber correction rods (Hardrace) are recommended for good tyre life.
It's 9 years old, and the clutch is still good! Don't ask how that's possible, because I'm not always nice to it. It must have an inch thick clutch plate. So don't be afraid of buying a second hand manual.
This model in particular has 5-star safety ratings with side airbags. I've always felt safe with a full car load of occupants and cargo. Cargo nets and retractable covers are provided standard, so check that these are available, if shopping used.
There is plenty of storage in door pockets for books, maps, and drink bottles. Hyundai have the best drink bottle holders going around. They are dynamic, they can hold a small latte or a 1.25-litre bottle of Coke. They are located low down, so you can still make full use of the centre console armrest. I now own a 2017 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed and it has less storage than my i30CW! It's actually frustrating because the vehicle looks like a mess with only adequate storage.
I test drove the automatic i30 back when it was a 4-speed, and frankly we weren't impressed. It was sluggish, the shifts weren't smooth, and it was noisy as it revved high. The manual was a totally different car, so obviously we bought that!
The engine has been around since the Hyundai Excel days, and they're still hopping around. I've clicked up 240,000 trouble-free kilometres, and I'm on my third set of tyres.
For existing owners or prospective owners; don't let a rough idle or slight miss at low RPM deter you from holding onto it. It's a maintenance issue that mechanics can overlook. In my case, faulty aftermarket ignition leads caused by a faulty ignition module. Buy quality leads (Bosch $150 or factory), change the ignition module (trident $75) and you must run Iridium spark plugs (Denso best at $75). Some mechanics will just pop any cheap shit in, and you're left wondering why your car loses power. It's all in the ignition with this engine.
Plastics have stood the test, and clean up well. Paintwork is also pretty good quality, but expect stone chips on highway vehicles. Some clean shopping carts are still around.
Halfway through its life we got a Santa Fe 2009, and the i30 went from family vehicle to my highway commuter, which has been cost effective. The boot is huge, so tradies with tools would find this surprisingly useful and economic. It can tow 1200kg with a brake controller. I carry tools permanently and achieve the fuel figures quoted earlier.
The only thing I dislike now is that I have to use an aux cable for audio. 2011 models had Bluetooth, so maybe shop for one of those. Try to stay with the 2.0-litre engine; it's a proven motor. I'm banking on traveling more than 500,000 kilometres with mine.