Safe, grown-up, low-cost family hatchback
- Low running costs
- Lots of safety kit
- Impressive 1.4 petrol engine
- Quiet, refined cabin
- Improved infotainment
- Some rivals more entertaining
- Rear seats don’t fold flat
If you’re looking for a likeable workhorse that is practical, reliable and cheap – both to buy and run – then the 2017 Hyundai i30 should be on your shopping list.
On its march to become the largest Asian car company, the Korean firm has been working hard to improve its brand image. The i30 is a clear statement that it’s more than capable of keeping up with the Joneses in a sector of the market dominated by some of the UK’s bestselling models such as the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.
Cabin quality has leapt forward
The cabin is nicely finished and incredibly quiet, while a choice of three engines means there’s something there to sate the financial needs of private and company car drivers in equal measure. Automatic and manual gearboxes are on offer, and while the handling isn’t as engaging as the Astra’s or the Focus’s, it feels safe and confidence-inspiring on the road.
Hyundai i30: Safe and practical
That assuredness is accentuated by the introduction of a raft of safety systems, bringing the i30 into line with the top players in the field, while in typical Hyundai fashion the trim levels feature lots of kit as standard, which means there aren’t many optional extras to choose from.
We found it a practical car too: while it’s unable to match the Octavia’s capaciousness, it’s more than adequate for a family hatchback in terms of cabin and boot space.
It also comes with Hyundai’s five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and the firm’s reputation for building incredibly reliable cars.
So what’s not to like? For the majority of car buyers, not a huge amount. It isn’t the last word in exciting driving – there’s a hot hatch version coming for that – and the rear seats don’t fold flat, but in the main we can see great appeal here.