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The Hyundai i30 is a great family car. A few years ago if someone had suggested I buy a Hyundai I would have turned my nose up at them but not anymore. The Korean manufacturer has a growing reputation and the quality of its cars is reflected in the 5 year warranty it gives away with each one. After all, if you have a poorly built, unreliable car then you certainly wouldn't be confident about offering a 5 year warranty now would you!
The i30 really looks the part with its sleek lines and the newest models have been redesigned again to give an even sleeker look all round. The quality of finish is excellent and with the metallic finishes, you will find yourself wanting to keep it as clean as possible (or maybe that's just me).
The handling of the i30 is excellent, with the suspension soaking up all that our pot holed roads can throw at it. The ride is superb and transports you and your passengers to your destination in comfort, although faster drivers may find it a touch softly set up if you want to get a move on. Having said that if that's the way you drive then it is highly unlikely that this would be the car you would go for in the first place!
There is ample room for both front and rear passengers and I have had people over 6 feet tall in the car who are amazed at the head and leg room they have and the car seats 5 people in reasonable comfort. Talking of room the boot is ample too and the i30 passed my golf club test with aplomb, taking a couple of sets of clubs plus caddy cars and associated bits and pieces.
If you like your gadgets, then this car has plenty for you and the addition of Bluetooth connectivity as well as a usb slot is a nice touch for those of us who like our music and don't want to carry stacks of cd's in the car.
Safety wise, the car has 6 airbags for your peace of mind and if you combine this with the anti-lock braking system and the electronic stability programme you have one extremely safe car, with it being awarded the highest 5 star rating from Euro Ncap.
The 1.6 diesel engine is extremely economical and its emissions are so low that believe it or not you will pay a grand total of £0.00 for your road tax. Not only that, the engine pulls cleanly throughout the rev range and allows for effortless overtaking if the mood takes you.
All in all the i30 is a great all rounder with a cracking 5 year warranty to back it up.
This is the second Hyundai that I have had the pleasure of driving. The first was a Getz and I needed to upgrade to a larger car. After having had a Hyundai prior to the i30 I knew I could expect quality, especially with the warranty. When I first drove the i30 I was exceptionally pleased with the handling, the ride and the lack of noise. I have opted for the 1.6 5door edition which gives me the right pulling power for the loads I expect it to carry. It is sporty looking with it's fake exhaust grills, tinted windows and front fogs and to be honest it could be mistaken for an Astra. Inside it is roomy, there is adequate leg room for anyone over 6ft, and the boot space is more than ample for the week's shopping plus all the usual stuff associated with being a working mum - rugby kit, boots, balls, school bags etc. If needed the boot would take a large dog. The drive is superb but after a 1.1 engine it took a little getting used to. It does exactly what a family of four possibly five would want it to and more.
An excellent buy for a mid-sized car, backed with a brilliant warranty and not too hefty on the insurance and road tax either.
Over the years I've come to appreciate Hyundai cars more and more, having driven no less than four Accents and an Elantra. What started out as flimsy, low riding cars that hurt your back getting in and out of them, became solid, reliable and comfortable. The i30 is - so far - the best of the bunch.
According to Hyundai's web page (see below), the new i30 is "the 2010 Model Year i30 mid-size hatchback from Hyundai - from £12,300 on the road... Combining style, comfort and a high specification that delivers genuine value for money, the i30 is the intelligent choice for 2010. Spot on when it comes to safety, this dynamic hatchback sports [an] exceptional level of equipment, including six airbags, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and active front head restraints". Well, that's it in a nutshell, but as far as I'm concerned, that's not the half of it.
First of all, it really is comfortable to drive. The driver's seat has a range of adjustment of the height that is so great that I can adjust it to my diminutive 5'2" height as perfectly as my 6' tall son. What's more, the shape of the seats makes you feel like they're firmly hugging you, helping reduce road weariness even if you're hours behind the wheel. This is a huge improvement over even my 2002 Accent and I find it even more comfortable than the 2008 Toyota Corolla that my husband had from work. There's even a little bit of a "Tardis" effect, as the car feels larger when you're inside it than it looks from the outside. Admittedly, three large people will be a bit cramped in the back seat, but if one is a bit slimmer, they'll feel much less smashed together than in my old Accent and with far more leg room even when there's a taller person driving. Since my family are all very healthy in that respect, this makes a group trip far more enjoyable.
This also handles so nicely. I feel it really grabs the road, even when it is slippery, and sharp curves feel secure even when I take them a bit faster than I should (okay, so I'm a wild woman on the road). This is very reassuring and it feels solid and steady even on fast roads or through high winds. Whenever I took my Accent on the big motorways, and was passed by a large truck coming the other way, I always felt like I could be blown off the road by the backlash. Not so the i30, that truly holds its own - you can hardly feel anything when a truck goes by.
Of course, there are some cute extras that make this even more of a pleasure. For instance, having a USB port for your MP Player is one of them. This is great for people like me who like to listen to whole operas but don't want to fill up all the pockets with thick CD cases. I've taken some old flash drives and loaded them up with my favourites, and it really makes listening convenient because you don't have to change disks. Another nice thing is the glove compartment has a vent from the air conditioner in it. This is great for the summer because you can put your cooled bottle of water in the compartment and then turn on your AC and the water will stay cold. I wouldn't trust it to keep milk products from going bad, however, but it is a nice extra.
Finally, the finishing of this car is really lovely. It has a stylish look to it that from the front has a nice, smugly smiling face. From the thick covers on the seats, to the padded steering wheel that doesn't get hot in the sun, to the easy-open boot, to the radio/CD/MP Player that you can access from the steering wheel, they've really thought about almost anything you could want, and it all works very well. Moreover, the petrol mileage is very good and it is one of the cleaner and safer cars on the road today. I happen to have one of the simpler models, but the only things available I would have wanted more than I got would have been automatic folding side mirrors and reverse sensors. It would also have been nice to get side mirror defrosters but this isn't an available option - although fancier models do come with rain sensors for the windshield wipers. But at least there is a rear window wiper in addition to the defogger, since it is a hatchback.
I can't think of anything I don't like about this car, except that everyone wants to drive it and I hardly get a chance to get behind the wheel anymore! Well, that and that it beeps when someone doesn't use their belts, but I don't mind that - I insist everyone belt up anyway. So I can't give it less than five stars, and considering the price and what comes with it (see below), I highly recommend this car.
Davida Chazan © June 2010
PS: Servicing Hyundai cars isn't, from my experience, expensive at all. These are Asian cars, and their parts are far less expensive than European ones. Hyundai are actually among the most reasonably priced cars for repairs on the market today.
The webpage for this car can be found at http://www.hyundai.co.uk/newCars/i30/
According to that site, this car's price tag is "from £12,300 - £13,250 on the road, which includes" (my additions are in square brackets):
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)
Electric front windows [mine has four electric windows]
USB and Aux connections [the latter is for an iPod, but my son says it doesn't work so well with that]
Remote central locking [I added that the windows close when you use this]
Front, front side and full length curtain airbags
Active front head restraints [the rear ones are active on mine]
15'' steel wheels
Trip computer [mine is digital]
Height and reach adjustable steering column
Driver's seat height adjustment
Body coloured mirrors