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Hyundai i30 Active 1.6 CDTi Blue Drive road test

  • Hyundai i30 Active Blue Drive driven
  • Fleet choice is far cheaper than rivals
  • Costs just £78 per month in BIK tax

The new Hyundai i30 is set to become an incredibly popular company car.

The Korean firm is expecting up to half its cars to go to fleets. So, what exactly is so endearing about these cars to company car drivers? We’ve been testing the new Ford Focus rival to find out.

Expected to be the most popular fleet model, the i30 Active 1.6 CDTi Blue Drive is an ultra-low-CO2 derivative that promises low running costs and the improved build quality we’ve come to expect from Hyundai products.

How much will this car cost to tax?

This version emits 97g/km of carbon dioxide, which slots it into the 13% Benefit-in-Kind band for the next two tax years. With a P11d value of £17,940, a 40% tax payer will pay out £78 per month.

To put this into some sort of perspective, let’s compare it to the equivalent Ford Focus. The most similar version is the Zetec 1.6 TDCi 115ps. Thanks to the extensive equipment list on the i30, however, you’ll also need to tick a few boxes on the optional extras list.

You’ll need rear parking sensors (£395), rear electric windows (£170), Bluetooth (£220) and USB (£160). So that’s £945 on top of the Ford’s P11d value of £18,540. This equates to a monthly tax cost of £97 on the 40% pay scale for 2012/13, and £104 the year after. That's substantially more expensive than the i30.

What’s it like on the road?

The i30 we tested was powered by a remarkably refined 1.6-litre diesel engine. It’s smooth and very little noise finds its way into the cabin. Power is rated at 109bhp, while the car’s 260Nm of pulling power is enough to mean decent progress can usually be made.

You do have to drop a gear or two when overtaking, or when driving up steep inclines, but motorway speeds can be reached with ease. Official figures for this car state 0-62mph is possible in 11.5 seconds, while it's top speed is claimed to be 115mph.

On the road the i30 has a remarkably smooth ride. Hyundai has obviously spent a lot of time working to make sure the car works on the UK’s less-than-amazing road surfaces. Bumps and pot-holes don’t fluster the chassis and there’s very little body-roll through corners.

In fact, there’s not a huge amount to complain about here. It isn’t the final word in race-car handling, but no-one is going to drive an i30 like Lewis Hamilton on a Sunday afternoon.

Thanks to the excellent ride and extremely supportive seats it is also incredibly comfortable. As a result, it’s a great car for long distance driving. The 53 litre fuel tank, and claimed economy of 76.3mpg, means a theoretical maximum range of almost 890 miles is possible on one tank of diesel.

The new Hyundai i30 Active 1.6 CDTi Blue Drive is available to order now, with a P11d value of £17,940.

Also consider:

Ford Focus

Extremely popular and packed full of clever technology, the Focus has long been one of the best-selling cars in the UK.

Volkswagen Golf

Incredibly refined and fantastic to drive, with a huge range of engine options offering something for almost anyone.

Vauxhall Astra

A fleet favourite, the Astra gets a range of very efficient engines and price tags designed to appeal to those looking for a great value proposition.