The 2021 model of the Hyundai i30 barely keeps up with rivals in its class, including the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus. Although it won’t win any stylish points from car enthusiasts, it does look extremely well-built, economical, and refined with a good combination of standard equipment.
This isn’t a one-size-fits-all car either since buyers can choose from the Tourer or Fastback body styles. Drivers looking for a more fun experience can opt for the i30N hot batch that adds a sporting feel without the associated expenses.
Every i30 also comes with a 5-year unlimited-mileage warranty and Hyundai is reputed for going above and beyond. With this in mind, buyers can opt for a safe choice for their families.
The 1.0 T-GDi petrol engine offers a great, if not perfect, driving experience. It’s capable of producing a respectable 118bhp power. Like other engines in this range, it features a small electric motor and battery. It takes 11.2 seconds to go from 0 to 62 mph, which is not superfast (at least not compared to rivals like the Ford Focus and Seat Leon), but it will get the job done.
You can choose the 1.5 T-GDi Hybrid which has a 158bhp that improves the 0-62mph time to a noticeably faster 8.6 seconds. The 1.5 engine is only available with the N-line trim and is relatively quiet, even at high revs. The 1.6 CRDi Hybrid diesel engine, which is a bigger upgrade, can handle 0-62 mph in 10.2 seconds.
We prefer to use the 1.0-litre engine because it is very economical thanks to the 6-speed ‘intelligent manual transmission’, which can save you a lot in the way of fuel. This type of technology is usually reserved for cars with automatic gearboxes.
One pet peeve we have with the i30 is lane centering. It doesn’t feel properly optimized and constantly tugs at the steering wheel in normal driving. This can quickly get annoying for drivers. The good news is that you can switch it off by pressing a button on the wheel. For most scenarios, lane-keeping assist feels too aggressive likes to take charge from you. By comparison, the best assist systems are smooth and subtle, which isn’t something we can say about the i30.
The Hyundai i30 is known for its ergonomic dashboard and comfortable interiors. A high-end 10.25-inch infotainment system delivers a crisp user interface (if you can put up with the slightly outdated graphics). You can integrate the system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto link, and there’s an option to charge your phone wirelessly. Users also get access to a seven-year free subscription to Hyundai’s Live Services.
If you opt for the ‘premium’ version of the car, you’ll get a lot of upgrades, including a heated steering wheel, heated seats, and an adjustable electric driver’s seat. When it comes to a premium feel, though, the i30 pales in comparison to the highly successful Golf. The gear shifter and steering wheel feature premium leather and the seats are wrapped in cloth.
The Hyundai i30 is only 4.34m long, which is slightly shorter than its rival, the Vauxhall Astra. While this makes it easy to drive in tight spaces, you can tell that there is a tradeoff with passenger space. Most adults will find enough space, but those over six feet may have to sit awkwardly with their heads touching the roof.
The Hyundai i30 is one of the safest family cars out there. It comes with the standard safety kit you would expect with an i30, with all cars getting Front Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), and Driver Attention Alert. Opting for the premium trim will get you the Rear Cross-Traffic Alert that helps users scan the rear of the car to identify hazards while driving in reverse.
Overall, the i30 scored five stars in ANCAP testing.
Verdict – It’s a Great Choice for Families
The 2021 i30 hatchback hasn’t changed much with the latest iteration. Our takeaway from this iteration is that it is practical, convenient, and is adequate for life in the city. In terms of style, however, the i30 has a long way to go because the 2021 version has only benefited from a small facelift that is very hard to notice.
You’ll notice that most Hyundai i30 reviews complain of the lack of style in the 2021 trims. They lack the wow factor compared to other sedans in this range, such as the Mazda 3 and the Toyota Corolla. With that said, if you’re looking for a perfect family car, the i30 makes for an excellent choice.