4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Grown-up family hatch is packed with equipment

Hyundai i30 Hatchback Review Video
Enlarge 1 videos Enlarge 84 photos

At a glance

New price £17,400 - £29,810
Lease from new From £223 p/m View lease deals
Used price £7,180 - £23,280
Used monthly cost £179 - £581
Fuel Economy 34.0 - 60.1 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £150
Insurance group 8 - 28 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Low running costs on most models
  • Lots of driver assistance and safety kit
  • Bright and simple infotainment system

CONS

  • Unsporty models aren't very entertaining
  • Entry-level versions are plain inside
  • Rear seats cramped for tall adults

Hyundai i30 Hatchback rivals

Written by Keith WR Jones on

If your idea of a small family car isn’t a compact SUV, then let us draw attention to a car that should be on your shopping list, even if you haven't heard of it - the Hyundai i30 Hatchback.

Why is it so often forgotten or overlooked? Its biggest problem is the established heavyweights in the class that have essentially become default choices, such as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf.

>> Browse through hundreds of used Hyundai i30s for sale

And that's before you consider all of the other good but seldom talked about alternatives, including the i30's close cousin, the Kia Ceed, among a wide range of others.

So what's the the South Korean manufacturer done to make the i30 stand out? Not only has it made a really good compact hatch - and an even better high performance i30 N version to boot - it's now set about making the styling more enticing with an attractive facelift. Those models should be on sale in autumn 2020, COVID-19 permitting.

Simple interior is packed with kit

While the i30 isn't an upmarket proposition in the same way as the Audi A3 Sportback, we’re nevertheless impressed by the quality of the latest i30, particularly the robust nature of its construction. 

Its interior is nicely finished in the areas your hands come into contact with the most, with a large central touchscreen perched on top of the dash. Overall it's a simple design that makes it very easy to get used to and operate on the move thanks to large, clear buttons and a solid feel to everything. It could do with a bit more colour and flair though, it's all very grey and ordinary to look at.

It’s also incredibly quiet on the move whichever engine you choose. There are three available in the regular line-up - a 1.0-litre T-GDi three-cylinder petrol, a 1.4-litre T-GDi four-cylinder petrol and a 1.6-litre CRDi diesel, all of which are turbocharged. Automatic and manual gearboxes are on offer, and while it's not quite as entertaining to drive as a Focus or Mazda 3, it’s not far behind and feels safe and confidence-inspiring on the road, much like the Golf.

Lots of safety gear and space

That assuredness is accentuated by the introduction of a raft of driver assistance and safety systems, with lane-departure warning, traffic sign recognition and autonomous emergency braking available. These combine to bring 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.

There's plenty to choose from, the range consisting of S, SE, SE Nav, Premium, Premium SE, N Line and N Line Plus. If you're indecisive, you may want to go elsewhere. It’s a practical car, too, with enough space for four adults and a generous and flexible boot - one of the biggest in hatchbacks of this type.

Hyundai five-year warranty

The i30 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 and the rear seats don’t fold flat, but in the main we can see great appeal here.

Hot Hyundai i30 N

While the regular i30 can be criticised for being a bit vanilla, the same definitely can’t be said for the i30 N – the brand’s first proper hot hatch, producing 275hp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the spiciest N Performance form. There was also a 250hp standard model, but that was discontinued to focus attention on the quicker of the pair. It takes the fight to a raft of incredibly capable, engaging and exciting hot hatchbacks, with the help of the man who used to be Vice President of Engineering at BMW’s M division. Hyundai’s not messing around here.

Despite Hyundai's slightly applicance-like reputation, the i30 N offers an involving driving experience that feels more than a match for some of the best in class - alongside the more traditional Hyundai pillars including value, generous equipment levels and of course a five-year warranty. It is genuinely exciting on the move, with pin-sharp responses and a ferocious sound to the exhaust.

Read on for the full Hyundai i30 Hatchback review and discover whether it should be your go-to family car.

Hyundai i30 Hatchback rivals

Other Hyundai i30 models: