Five years on, Hyundai has launched the successor to the car that most changed its image.
The i30 has helped make Hyundai the world's fastest-growing automotive company and one of the most innovative.
It is Hyundai's most awarded model and the car maker's best seller internationally.
The fresh model has a more up-market look, is more refined and has more cabin room.
It also has more features, including a sat-nav system in its mid and top-spec models. Prices lift from $400-$1450, with the cost of entry now $20,990 plus on-roads - a $1400 jump.
But gone is the smaller-engine entry car, so if you add up the cost of the additional standard features the value of every model has been significantly improved.
The SX, SLX and SR model line-up becomes Active, Elite and Premium. All come with the choice of a 1.8-litre engine - replacing the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol units offered on the previous generation - or 1.6-litre turbo-diesel.
Both come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, with a six-speed auto adding $2000.
The petrol engine's output lifts by 5kW to 110kW over the outgoing 2.0-litre, while torque is down 8 Newton metres to 178Nm.
Fuel consumption is 6.4L/100km for the manual and 6.9 for the auto, a 10 per cent improvement.
The diesel engine, which commands a $2600 premium on all models, produces 94kW (up 9kW) and 260Nm (unchanged).
Consumption is unchanged at 4.5L/100km for the manual and down from 5.8 to 5.6L/100km for the auto.
The length has increased to 4300mm (up 55mm) and width has grown to 1780mm (up 5mm).
The new model's rakish styling has not impacted on headroom.
All models have seven airbags as well as a full suite of safety gear that helped it score a maximum five-star safety rating.
Standard features include Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB input, a 5-inch touch screen, cruise control, rear parking sensors and a five-year warranty.
The $24,950 Elite adds 16-inch alloys, a 7-inch touch screen, sat-nav, SUNA live traffic updates, rear-view camera, auto headlights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, push-button start with a proximity key and full-size spare.
The $29,990 Premium gains a panoramic sunroof, leather seats (the front seats also get heating), xenon headlights, electric park brake, 17-inch alloys, premium soft-touch cabin trim and automatic transmission.