Engineers get a handle on Australian roads
Engineers get a handle on Australian roads

The original i30 was the first Hyundai to have its suspension and steering tuned specifically for the Australian market. The second-generation model is a car that is hard to fault in this area.

At the national launch in Victoria's Yarra Valley I drove the Premium diesel and a mid-spec manual Elite powered by the 1.8-litre petrol engine. After spending time behind the wheel of both it was hard to walk away with a definite preference.

The diesel had better mid-range torque but the petrol model had better acceleration and was more fun to drive, provided you kept the engine spinning enthusiastically.

The manual variant struggled on even the slightest incline if left in fifth or sixth gear.

The updated suspension absorbed most road imperfections but was firm enough to enable cornering with confidence, even on the more slippery hinterland roads, and to prevent body roll.

The steering, which has often been criticised in Hyundais, was precise and sensitive.

Debuting for the brand is Flex Steer, which enables the driver to choose the steering feel they prefer- Comfort, Normal or Sport. I am not convinced it is a technology that many will use.

Maybe Hyundai would have been better off adding stop/start technology, which can reduce fuel consumption by up to 5 per cent.

The new i30 offers more leg, shoulder and head room for front and back-seat passengers compared with its predecessor. Cargo space has been increased by 38 litres.

The interior finish is now as good as any competitor, including the outstanding VW Golf.

The layout is sophisticated and practical while the finish has a premium feel, with soft-touch plastics and black-and-chrome trims.

The sat-nav graphics are very clear on the 7-inch screen, and it is easy and intuitive to use.

The Hyundai i30 is already one of Australia's top sellers but this new model will make life even more difficult for the Mazda3, Toyota Corolla and Holden Cruze.


As well as the new Hyundai i30 hatch, we’ve assembled its nine bestselling rivals.
Though designated as small hatches, these cars have grown up to now deserve a midsize tag.
With their liftbacks and folding seats, they’re extremely versatile.
For each car, listed is the entry price for the range and details for the usually popular mid-spec petrol auto.


Entry price: $20,330
Mid-spec: Maxx Sport
Price: $26,490
Engine: 2.0L, 108kW
Shift: 6-sp auto
Thirst: 8.2L/100km
Crash rating: 5 stars


Entry price: $20,990
Mid-spec: Ascent Sport
Price: $24,490
Engine: 1.8L, 100kW
Shift: 4-sp auto
Thirst: 7.7L/100km
Crash rating: 5 stars


Entry price: $21,490
Mid-spec: 1.4 SRI
Price: $27,990
Engine: 1.4L turbo, 103kW
Shift: 6-sp auto
Thirst: 6.9L/100km
Crash rating: 5 stars


Entry price: $20,990
Mid-spec: Elite
Price: $26,590
Engine: 1.8L, 110kW
Shift: 6-sp auto
Thirst: 6.9L/100km
Crash rating: 5 stars


Entry price: $21,990
Mid-spec: Trend
Price: $26,790
Engine: 2.0L, 125kW
Shift: 6-sp auto
Thirst: 6.6L/100km
Crash rating: 5 stars


Entry price: $21,690
Mid-spec: VR
Price: $28,890
Engine: 2.0L, 110kW
Shift: CVT auto
Thirst: 7.3L/100km
Crash rating: 5 stars


Entry price: $21,990
Mid-spec: 1.4 TSI Trendline
Price: $27,490
Engine: 1.4L turbo, 90kW
Shift: 6-sp auto
Thirst: 6.2L/100km
Crash rating: 5 stars


Entry price: $19,640
Mid-spec: Si
Price: $22,240
Engine: 2.0L, 115kW
Shift: 6-sp auto
Thirst: 7.7L/100km
Crash rating: 4 stars


Entry price: $23,990
Mid-spec: 2.0i-L
Price: $29,490
Engine: 2.0L, 110kW
Shift: CVT auto
Thirst: 6.8L/100km
Crash rating: 5 stars


Entry price: $22,650
Mid-spec: VTI-L
Price: $29,990
Engine: 1.8L, 104kW
Shift: 5-sp auto
Thirst: 6.5L/100km
Crash rating: 5 stars

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