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2015 Hyundai i30 Active CRDi Review: Speed Date
Mitchell Oke
By Mitchell Oke
Quick Specs
5-year, unlimited KM
See the full specs Read the full review
Mitchell Oke
By Mitchell Oke

So, where did you go on your date?

Spent the weekend taking care of the usual domestic duties. Headed to a busy shopping centre, visited some family and did a lot of running around.

Ideal first date?

For sure. The Hyundai i30 Active is a great everyday car in diesel auto form. It's super frugal around town and, on longer drives, the dual-clutch auto takes care of the cog-swapping in the background. It's got all the features you'd expect in a base hatch and then some.

On the stop-start 20km trip home from work the average fuel figure sat at a miserly 5.9L/100km, climbing to 7.0L/100km over a weekend of low speed urban driving and shopping centre exploration.

Hot or not?

Nobody is buying a Hyundai i30 Active CRDi to set their world on fire, they do it because they need a comfortable, practical and affordable way to get their family and themselves around, and in this role the i30 is a peach.

The updated design is far more upmarket than before too, with a fresh new grille that channels the Genesis luxury sedan.

It's what's inside that counts, what do you think of the interior?

Very comfortable and well laid out. There is a quality feel to the i30 cabin regardless of specification, and there are just enough niceties to make it feel like something more than a base model.

The touchscreen media system is fast and easy to use and features well-placed USB and AUX inputs. It's nice to have the volume control on the drivers side too, a lot of other Hyundai's have it placed just out of reach on the passenger side.

Standout features?

Standard reversing camera and rear parking sensors are a brilliant inclusion. Sure people will decry them as unnecessary and skill-sapping on a car of this size, but every little bit helps when you're parking in an over-crowded shopping centre. With kids and other pedestrians everywhere, a camera could literally be a life saver.

The new dual-clutch transmission also deserves a fair bit of praise. This 7-speed box is surprisingly smooth and refined, with very little of the hesitation and low-speed stumbles that accompany dual-clutch autos in cars that have featured them for far longer. Hill start assist makes takeoff from inclines a no-fuss affair too.

Annoying habits?

A little bit of diesel clatter at low speeds, but you get that with pretty much all diesel four-pots.

Ready for a family?

Absolutely. While the i30 Tourer would probably be a better choice if you have kids with larger sporting equipment, the i30 hatch features a large 378-litre boot, 60:40 split folding seats and generous accommodation front and back.

The ride on the 16-inch steel wheels is supple, and road and wind noise are more than acceptable.

High maintenance?

With a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and lifetime capped-price servicing, the i30 will be cheap and predictable to run, though it will be interesting to see how the dual-clutch fares after the warranty period. Unfortunately, we just don't know yet.

Any deal-breakers?

The Hyundai i30 Active CRDi hits the mark as a comfortable, practical and economical hatch, what more can you ask?

So, is it serious or just a one night stand?

I'd be torn between the i30 Active CRDi and the SR. The two are separated by $2000 in auto form, with the SR retaining the conventional 6-speed auto mated to a 2-litre petrol engine.

You pick up some decent equipment like satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control and leather steering wheel, but it really depends on how much you value the frugal fuel consumption.

Keeping your options open?

Competing hatchbacks offer diesel options, but most only offer it in the high-spec models that cost significantly more. To achieve a similar fuel figure and the same low-end torquey grunt you could also look at the Volkswagen Golf 90TSI DSG. I previously owned a manual version of the 90TSI and it was both frugal and fun to drive.

If it's not for you, who would you recommend it to?

I have recommended the Hyundai i30 to family and friends in the past because it offers quality, comfort, plenty of features and an excellent warranty. In Series II, that equation has only improved.