Hyundai I30

Authentically Impressive

"The i30 has gained likes in terms of quality, performance and running costs - a genuinely impressive car."

Again and again, we have been testing Hyundai's lineup over in Beirut. Just after KIA, Hyundai is number #2 in the Lebanese market in terms of sold yearly units. Today we lay our hands on the all new i30. With its gorgeous interior, sharp styling and some of the highest equipment levels, the Hyundai i30 is unquestionably the competitive rival that Hyundai hoped for years ago for the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. 

Driving Impressions
Nowadays, Hyundai's compel to contend on concrete grounds with both Ford and Volkswagen means that its cars have also progressively moved away from low prices, with the i30 more costly than the previous version. It's now roughly at the same level as the Focus, but don't undervalue how much better Hyundai's vehicles are now. The i30 itself has improved drastically.

How does it drive?

First, the driving position brings no grumble. A 1.82 meter tall driver like me leaves respectable legroom for the passenger travelling behind me. Headroom front and rear is good too. The new 1.8 liter engine petrol 4-cylinder shows that Hyundai is not doing a bad job these days in terms of engine technology. It replaces the previous i30's 2.0 liter engine yet produces more power and consumes less fuel. The conventional six-speed sequential automatic transmission clearly does an efficient job.

At cruising speeds on highway, the i30 drives pretty gently and with smoothness. At 100 kph the 1.8 liter is spinning at a relaxed 2100rpm, contributing to both cabin stillness and fuel economy. Tap into sequential mode or plant your feet in and it will act in response with suitable compliance.

Lebanon had input in to the i30's road manners. The effect is a somewhat firm ride that pays off in terms of general handling and steering reaction. It deals well with a long and winding road, although with a little too much nimbleness.

Speaking of which, the i30's hatchback trunk is bigger than before, but still doesn't make it a leader in its category. The rear trunk is pretty practical and profound, enlarged by the usual 60:40 split-fold rear set backrest.

If I want to speak about its pros, well, the car has a tidy and trendy styling and is well equipped with instruments plus well positioned in terms of pricing. It has pleasant road driving, feels extremely quiet and is smooth. My concern was regarding the engine's tardy performance, especially on mountainous roads and with the rear vision which is a bit unclear.

I've been overwhelmed by the new Hyundai i30. This model is such an enhancement in many ways; fit and finish, seat comfort, handling, standard features and styling are all much nicer. The outstanding build quality is to some extent surprising. No longer is Hyundai one of the "cheap" brands, but even with the upper list price, the Korean manufacturer can hold its own aligned with most rivals.

South Korea seems to have become the new Japan. Brands like Hyundai, Kia and Samsung are showing that high quality products and pioneering features don't need to go hand in hand with high prices. It's apparent that buyers are rightfully impressed, with speedily growing sales figures for all Korean car manufacturers. The contestants should be worried!

Verdict
I can totally recommend the i30. It provides an extremely tempting mix of talents, and all for an affordable price. It's worthy of serious consideration as the standard equipment is similar to ones with the icing on the cake!

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