FEW cars make more sense than the Hyundai i30 diesel.
The multi-award-winning hatch, which continues to change perceptions about Korean-built vehicles, is what we should all be driving.
It’s a wonderfully-crafted small-but-not-too-small car that exudes style and grace, is packed with comfort and safety features, and rarely has to stop to be refuelled.
And now it’s even better.
The line-up includes the entry-level SX, mid-specification SLX and super-sporty SR.
They range in price from $19,390 to $28,540, but even the base model is packed with goodies.
For 2009, SX comes with ESP stability control, incorporating Traction Control System, as standard. Safety is a huge plus for i30, which has attained a 5-star result in the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) _ a first for the brand.
It also has ABS, dual front airbags, air-conditioning, power windows, heated door mirrors, remote entry with alarm, variable driver’s seat height, tilt-and reach adjustable steering wheel, deluxe centre console with armrest, USB audio input with iPod compatibility, and 60/40 split rear seat.
SLX adds side and curtain airbags, 16 inch alloys shod with wider 205 tyres, fog lights, cruise control, automatic climate control, leather wrapped steering wheel, trip computer, body colour door handles, driver’s lumbar support, aluminium effects in the cabin, and steering wheel mounted audio controls and 6 speakers.
The range-topping SR has all this plus leather and cloth seats, 17 inch chrome finished alloys fitted with 225/45 performance tyres, a body kit comprising side skirts and rear roof spoiler, alloy sports pedals, and 6-stack CD player.
A 2.0-litre petrol engine is available in SX, SLX and SR models and the 1.6 CRDi turbo-diesel powertrain is on offer in SX and SLX versions.
Petrol and diesel offerings come with choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions.
Economy is outstanding in all i30s _ the petrol versions sipping 7.2 litres of fuel for every 100km travelled and the diesels an amazing 4.7 litres/100km (manual) and 6 litres/100km (automatic).
Created in Hyundai Motor Europe’s design studio in Russelsheim in Germany, the i30 oozes style, with its modern lines resembling BMW’s 1 series hatch.
The cabin is intelligently designed and all controls are close at hand.
Leg and head room are generous and four adults are easily accommodated,
The i30’s suspension and steering have been specially calibrated for Australian driving conditions, which involved refining the hatch’s European settings to accommodate our lumpier, bumpier roads.
A relatively long wheelbase and wide wheel tracks give the hatch plenty of poise on the road.
Our CRDi test subject was a little slow off the mark but once up and running was a delight to pilot. Its ability to cruise frugally and comfortably on the open road makes it a dream for commuters.
The Hyundai feels solid and secure on the road and corners with conviction.
Front and rear disc brakes are large at 280mm and 262mm respectively.
Backed by its economy, safety, style and compelling price tag, the enhanced Hyundai i30 hatch will be one of the cars to shine in 2009 in what shapes as a challenging year for the motoring industry.
The feature packed 2009 i30 hatch continues to offer Australian motorists an excellent package. With the addition of ESP Stability Control incorporating Traction Control System on ‘SX’ and ‘SLX’ model variants the i30 range sees a small increase in RRP:
i30 SX 2.0 petrol 5 speed manual
$19,390 RRP (+$400)
i30 SX 2.0 petrol 4 speed auto
$21,390 RRP (+$400)
i30 SX 1.6 CRDi turbo Diesel 5 speed manual
$21,890 RRP (+$400)
i30 SX 1.6 CRDi turbo Diesel 4 speed auto
$23,890 RRP (+$400)
i30 SLX 2.0 petrol 5 speed manual
$23,890 RRP (+$400)
i30 SLX 2.0 petrol 4 speed auto
$25,890 RRP (+$400)
i30 SLX 1.6 CRDi turbo Diesel 5 speed manual
$26,390 RRP (+$400)
i30 SLX 1.6 CRDi turbo Diesel 4 speed auto
$28,390 RRP (+$400)
i30 SR 2.0 petrol 5 speed manual
$26,540 RRP (+$50)
i30 SR 2.0 petrol 4 speed auto
$28,540 RRP (+$50)
Optional i30 SX Protectz pack (side and curtain airbags)
Optional metallic / mica paint