Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Should you buy a Hyundai i30 Hatchback?

For the majority of car buyers, there’s not a huge amount to fault with the i30. 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.

It’s easy to overlook the i30, especially in such a crowded segment of the market with an enormous range of other options out there. The Hyundai is an appealing choice though, thanks to a generous standard equipment list, frugal engines and an enviable reliability record.

We can recommend it if you’ve looked round the Volkswagen Golf or SEAT Leon, and found the lack of switches too confusing or annoying to live with day in day out.

There are only four engines (including the hot i30 N) powering the entirety of the range, so there should be a model suitable for most buyers. It’s the 1.0-litre T-GDI that you should look to if you want to keep costs down. While it won’t return quite the same great mpg as the diesel, it’s much cheaper to buy, and is still economical in its own right with low CO2 emissions, meaning taxing it won’t be too expensive, either.

Base model SE Connect, with its Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity will be enough for most people, but if you want the flashy 10.25-inch (rather than 8-inch) infotainment screen you’ll need to cough up for the Premium model.

Those looking for the most thrills should go straight to the i30 N, providing impressively strong performance and delivering an exciting and involving driving experience that more than matches its fiercest rivals.

Add to this a comprehensive warranty and plenty of space, and it surely deserves to be on your list of potential family hatchbacks. But if you’re looking for the best hatchback for your money, then go for a Mazda 3 if practicality isn’t your ultimate priority. And if it is, then head towards a Ford Focus (it drives better), Volkswagen Golf (it’s plusher) or Kia Ceed (it has an even longer warranty).

Further reading:

>> Want Hyundai reliability in a greener form? Read about the Ioniq

>> How good is Hyundai’s i30-sized SUV? We review the Tucson

>> Our Parkers star ratings explained