Road Test: Hyundai i30
Mild hybrid technology and a clever gearbox marks out the refreshed i30, says Martyn Collins.
SECTOR Lower Medium PRICE £20,695-£27,445 FUEL 45.6-61.4mpg CO2 119-141g/km
Hyundai will be hoping a facelift of its Focus rival will help it stand out against the opposition. The updated range again includes hatchback, estate and fastback and now brings a choice of three mild hybrid engines.
These include the former 120hp 1.0-litre turbocharged T-GDi petrol and 136hp 1.6-litre CRDi 48V diesel, which both get new 48V mild hybrid set-ups plus a new, larger 159hp, 1.5-litre petrol, again with 48V mild hybrid tech and only available in the i30 N-Line fastback and hatchback.
Design changes bring new LED headlights, with distinctive LED daytime running lights, as well as a reprofiled front bumper, plus new LED lights and bumper at the back to complete the revised look.
For the interior, the addition of updated analogue instruments alongside a TFT screen, new SE Connect trim and an all-new infotainment system – which features up to a 10.25-inch screen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility – are the main changes.
The i30 also boasts more kit for its SmartSense safety kit, including optional Lane Following Assist, Rear Collision-Avoidance Assist and even Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, where an alarm chimes if the car in front moves and you don’t after a few seconds.
The 120hp 48V mild-hybrid 1.0-litre petrol is expected to be the most popular with its 52.3mpg combined consumption and CO2 emissions of 119-121g/km.
Performance is willing rather than quick, with the mild hybrid system giving a welcome torque boost at low speeds. If that mild hybrid system wasn’t interesting enough, this i30 is fitted with a neat drive-by-wire manual gearbox. It can automatically disengage the drive and coast, whether the engine is on or off, to save fuel and is almost unnoticeable. If you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t think twice, as the changes are smooth and slick.
Despite this clever kit, the efficiency gains are relatively small but the improved i30 remains a spacious, comfortable, tidy-driving and well-equipped hatch.