Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Much improved from previous version 
  • Simple and easy-to-use controls
  • Slick infotainment system

The latest refresh hasn't altogether changed the look and feel of the i30's interior. So it's still a solid and comfortable place to sit. There's little wow factor - it certainly doesn't dazzle like a Volkswagen Golf, rather, it concentrates on ergonomics. That means everything, from wipers to lights, is easy to find. Plus, the all-important heating controls are still via buttons and dials - no swiping through menus to turn the aircon on.

While we're on the subject of swiping, the i30 has a new infotainment system too. It's a 10.25-inch unit featuring Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and wireless phone charging. It's simple to use and a logical step up from the older, smaller version.

It now has Hyundai's latest Bluelink connected car services too. This is essentially a system that allows you to connect to your i30 via an app on your phone. It can alert you if the alarm is going off, tell you whether your car is due any maintenance, and remembers where you parked too. You can also lock/unlock the car from the app. It's all pretty intuitive and easy to use.

We’re particularly impressed by how quiet the cabin is at motorway speeds – especially when fitted with a petrol engine. All of the parts of the interior you regularly touch have a quality feel, and now the i30 doesn’t feel any worse than its rivals in this respect. In fact, some of the ageing models in the class will fall behind here as the i30’s cabin is a very pleasant place in which to while away the miles.

It’s also very easy to find a comfortable driving position, thanks to plenty of adjustment in both the steering wheel and the seats, while visibility is good thanks to pillars that aren’t too chunky. 

Inside the i30 N

There are a few notable changes inside the Hyundai i30 N hot hatch - namely the extra buttons on the wheel. One of these turns the rev-matching system (to enable smoother gearchanges when going down the ratios to maintain balance) on and off for the gearbox, while the other two control the car's drive modes. On the left you can select between Eco, Normal and Sport, while the right button cycles between N and N Custom performance modes.

Comfort

  • Quiet and refined interior
  • Comfortable seats and good ride
  • Should the Golf be worried?

The Hyundai i30 is a comfortable car on all roads. The front seats are good, with enough adjustability and bolstering to keep you feeling secure when cornering.

The diesel’s clatter does intrude, but not as markedly as on some other cars in the class. In the main, it’s every bit as refined as a Volkswagen. The ride quality is excellent on various road surfaces, if a fraction firmer than the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf, but overall it strikes an impressive balance as it’s composed in corners yet comfortable for when you’re just cruising.

Sporty i30 N remains comfortable

Even the hot i30 N is a comfortable daily cruiser. The sports seats on both N models provide excellent comfort on longer journeys.

Pick one of the non-performance drive modes and the adaptive suspension absorbs bumps well, while the standard i30 N rides slightly better thanks to the smaller 18-inch wheels - the Performance model comes with 19-inch items instead.

You’ll have to endure a fair level of road noise on both versions on the motorway, but the exhaust on the standard model isn’t switchable. This means you can’t permanently set it to the louder setting, unlike the Performance model, but that does mean it’s far less intrusive when you just want to drive around gently. While it’s less childish for everyday use, it still provides all the pops and bangs under spirited driving when the exhaust has warmed up.

You can see how the Hyundai i30 N stacked up against the Peugeot 308 GTi here after living with them.