A spacious and reliable alternative to the Astra, Focus, Leon and Golf
Hyundai has long since moved on from being a ‘cheap and cheerful’ choice. The Korean company’s second-gen (2011 and after) i30 offers a fine mix of comfort and affordable running costs and is a genuine contender in the white-hot Golf/Focus class.
What are the i30’s strong points?
Well, for a start it’s a good choice if you have a regular need to take rear-seat passengers. Space isn’t quite on a par with the Skoda Octavia or Nissan Pulsar but there’s loads of room in the back and a usefully non-intrusive transmission tunnel in the centre. You do miss out on rear door bins though.
It’s a similar story of space in the front compartment, where you get the kind of all-round room that will make the i30 a sensible option for taller families. There’s seat height adjustment as standard on every model in the range.
Once you’re all loaded up and on the road, the i30 feature that is most likely to impress you is its ride comfort. Non-geek passengers may even believe you’re doing well in life to be able to afford something so obviously ‘premium’. Big alloy wheels normally spell death to comfort, but the excellence of the Hyundai’s suspension means that your car can look good as well as ride nicely.
Kerb appeal is all very well, but the two things every cost-conscious motorist wants in the real world are reliability and low running costs. The i30 does well In both these areas.
Hyundai has a very good reputation for reliability. Even if you’re unlucky enough to suffer a big problem, the i30’s five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty should be able to come to your rescue.
That package also includes five years’ breakdown cover and free annual ‘check-ups’ for the same period.
Fuel economy and emissions aren’t quite as impressive as some of the opposition’s cars but the i30 holds its value well when it comes time to sell it on. If you’re buying used, you’ll need around £7000 for a three-year-old 1.4-litre petrol in Active spec.