Mild makeover a new chapter in the Hyundai i30’s success story
Hyundai has facelifted its strong selling i30 range to help it keep pace with fresher and newer rivals. Changes have been modest but effective: a sharper front end that draws similarity to the i30’s Genesis and Sonata relatives, a reversing camera is now standard across the range and perhaps most crucially, Hyundai has married its seven speed dual-clutch automatic to its 1.6 litre turbo diesel, to create a refined and economical drivetrain.
A new specification level the Active X-which we’ll be testing next week- replaces the Elite model and bridges the former gap between the base Active and more luxurious Premium model.
We’re testing the base Active model with the 1.6 litre turbo diesel with the dual-clutch transmission (DCT).
What we like:
- Quiet and efficient engine and dual-clutch transmission combo
- Updated styling
- Rear camera now standard
Not so much:
- Engine could do with more torque
- Transmission can be caught out by quick bursts of acceleration
- Gimmicky tri-modal steering
- A package that is solid, but a little uninspiring
Price and Equipment
The Active opens the range with standard equipment that includes a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, front fog lights, a five-inch touchscreen infotainment system with media ripping and Pandora capability through a compatible smartphone, Bluetooth handsfree and audio streaming, cruise control, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, seven airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control.
The recommended retail price for our test car is $26,385 inclusive of the $495 for the Sleek Silver metallic paint.
The cabin of the i30 Active Series II’s cabin remains relatively unchanged from the Series I version we tested last year. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The interior materials and build quality are excellent and the use of silver, grey and black hues throughout the cabin are still tasteful, if restrained.
The instrument cluster is bright and clear, although a digital speedometer is absent. Disappointingly though, Hyundai has still neglected to move the phone system Answer and End Call buttons from the centre stack to the steering wheel, a change which could’ve been implemented as part of the update and a simple but useful convenience and safety measure.
The updated multimedia system is easy enough to use, the graphics are sharp and most of the system’s functions can be accessed from the steering wheel. And unlike our previous i30 test car, the Bluetooth system in the newer model paired with our smartphone seamlessly.
While system graphics and navigation are good, the sound quality from the six speakers is mediocre.
Oddment storage is ample with a good-sized and well-shaped centre console, the clever recess beneath the 12V power outlets and USB port on the centre stack are untouched; an ideal spot to charge a smartphone or other media devices.
Head, leg and shoulder room are generous front and rear, and the backseats are still some of the most comfortable we have sampled, offering soft but very supportive under thigh cushioning.
The rear cargo area is 378 litres with the backseats up, and 1,316 with the 60:40 split rear seats folded.
Engine and Transmission
The i30’s 1.6 litre turbo diesel develops 100 kW @ 4,000 RPM and 300 Nm @ 1,750-2,500 RPM together with that seven-speed DCT gearbox, the driveline is very smooth, incredibly quiet-and not just by diesel standards either-and a fuel miser.
Diesel clatter and vibrations are largely absent, only making themselves felt and heard under sharp acceleration. That DCT makes for an excellent partner in crime, shifting smoothly and quickly, although we did notice the gearbox could become a little clunky when executing quick overtaking manoeuvres, where it felt it was caught off guard.
The engine’s maximum torque figure of 300Nm is commendable for a motor of this size, although we would have preferred greater amounts of torque lower in the rev range. Generally speaking though, the drivetrain impresses immediately, and average fuel consumption during test was around 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres.
On The Road
The i30 has always delivered a pleasing and predictable driving experience. The Australian tuned ride is well dampened and composed, and the suspension setup works well in sifting out road imperfections. The electronic steering still allows drivers to choose from three modes: Normal, Sport and Comfort but the programme is gimmicky-Sport is too heavy and cumbersome and Comfort is too woolly. Best to leave it in Normal, then.
Braking performance is strong too, pulling the car up quickly and the well-judged pedal offers the driver good feel and feedback.
Road noise is also very well suppressed and the cabin is hushed and well insulted, with sophistication levels comparable to that of much more expensive cars.
The entire i30 range has been awarded a five star ANCAP safety rating and standard active safety equipment includes: Anti-lock Brakes, Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM).
The now standard rear camera projects clear images and features guidance lines to help take the sting out of reversing.
Passive safety equipment includes: driver and front passenger SRS airbags, driver and front passenger side (thorax) SRS airbags, driver knee SRS airbag and side curtain SRS airbags.
Servicing and Warranty:
All Hyundai models are covered by a five year unlimited kilometre warranty and Hyundai’s lifetime capped price servicing program. Scheduled annual services for the i30 diesel as tested are around $289.
Hyundai i30 Active CRDi Series II Specs
Make and model: Hyundai i30 Active CRDi Series II
Engine type: 1580cc turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with double overhead cam with four valves per cylinder
Power: 100kW @ 4000rpm
Torque: 300Nm @ 1750-2500rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual clutch transmission with front wheel drive.
Fuel consumption: 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres
Dimensions: 4300mm long, 1780mm wide, 1470mm high and 2650mm wheelbase
Suspension: Front: MacPherson Strut Rear:Torsion beam axle with high performance monotube dampers
Steering: Rack and pinion
Country of Origin: Korea
Options: Sleek Silver metallic paint for $495