The decision to purchase the Hyundai i30 wasn't hard to make.
A combination of price, features and quality make this one of the stand-out choices in the Australian new car market at the moment.
Initial impressions of the i30 are quite good. When the original i30 came out in 2007, the styling was quite cutting edge (especially considering Hyundai’s previous bland attempts). After five years, though, it was starting to look dated. Thankfully the latest model once again brings the i30′s styling up to date when compared to other small cars.
Fit and finish is reasonably good, the doors give a nice solid 'thunk' when closed and the plastics used inside are decent quality. All the buttons and dials have a nice feel and you can easily tell the difference between settings without having to look down.
Performance is as expected for a car in this class. Acceleration is okay, though, you have to get the revs going to get up hills. Even with five adults in the car, acceleration and braking are still quite good.
The seats are reasonably supportive and comfortable but they could do with a bit more bolstering on the base (or maybe I should just lose some weight). Head room in the front is more than adequate, even for a six-foot-plus driver, however, rear headroom is slightly compromised due to the tapering roof line at the back of the car.
My favourite feature by far is the excellent media system. Even on the base model you get a five-inch touchscreen and steering wheel controls. The stereo will play MP3 and WMA files from a CD, USB, iPod, auxiliary input or even via Bluetooth from your phone. If you have album art with your MP3s it will show up on the display. The resolution isn't fantastic, but it’s more than adequate considering it doesn't play video. The speakers themselves are okay, but could probably benefit from a small sub-woofer to give more punchy bass.
The standard list of inclusions, even for the base model (Active) is quite impressive, as is the amount of storage space. It’s also nice to see that Hyundai hasn’t skimped to save costs. They even include an auxiliary input cable for use with any media player or phone, and a full-size spare wheel in the boot.
All in all I've been really impressed by the new Hyundai i30. No longer is Hyundai one of the 'cheap' brands.
And with an excellent five-year warranty and an impressive list of standard equipment being the icing on the cake, the competition should be worried.