2017 Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDi Premium review
Facing increasingly formidable opposition, the Hyundai i30 has been overhauled for 2017. The result is a recognisably mixed bag
Hyundai’s presence in Europe is now so extensive that you’d be forgiven for thinking that the family-sized i30 hatch has slipped somewhat in importance – trumped by cooler products (the ioniq) or else more profitable ones (the Santa Fe). Not a bit of it, though. The first i30, launched in 2007, effectively set the firm on its current trajectory on the back of a Euro-centric development programme.It insurgency into the continent’s biggest single segment continues with this the third generation; shown in Paris last year, with the accompanying tagline: “the people’s car” – a broadside statement of ambition if ever there was one. The company (as usual) makes no bones about its approach: the competition – all of it – has been ruthlessly benchmarked with the intention of seeing the i30 measure up to the best.As a result, while the old car’s architecture remains, it has been comprehensively overhauled; doubling the amount of high-strength steel in the body and shedding weight along the way. Rigidity, unsurprisingly, is up too – as is size, the model being marginally bigger as well as lower. Lower is good because Hyundai wants the i30 to look better too, citing design as one of the primary reasons why buyers chose the previous model.Increased dynamism is also on the agenda. The last i30 was worthy enough, but largely forgettable to drive. This time round, while it has retained the front MacPherson struts and rear multi-link, the firm claims to have opted for more performance orientated dampers and quickened up the steering by around 10 percent.Also quicker is the all-new engine added to the lineup: a 138bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol four-pot to replace the outdated Gamma unit and supplement the 1.0-litre three-pot and 1.6-litre diesel carried over. Until the N-badged performance materialises later in the year, it’ll be the quickest accelerating version and the direct competitor for a raft of like-minded options. We sampled it in Premium trim (or what passes for that grade in Spain) with the standard six-speed manual gearbox.
Source: Autocar Online