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Car reviews - Hyundai - i30 - cw 5-dr wagon

Overview

Hyundai’s popular i30 small car is now available as the intriguing 'crossover wagon’

Hyundai logo16 Mar 2009

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

REMEMBER the Hyundai Lantra Sportwagon of the 1990s? Well, the i30cw is nothing like it, being light years ahead in design, quality, driveability and value. Indeed, as an extension of the lauded i30, it might even be the best new Hyundai that Australians can buy right now. While the i30cw is not perfect, it stands as the sort of car that can change people’s minds about a brand. And after sampling the European-designed ‘crossover wagon’, we wonder why more manufacturers don’t offer fun and affordable family cargo-friendly runabouts like this.
Model release date: 1 March 2009 to 1 May 2012

Previous model

Hyundai FC Elantra La Vita

Released: October 2001
Ended: June 2004
Family Tree: i30

FORGET the Lantra Sportwagon. The i30cw’s real predecessor was the La Vita – an unorthodox hatch-cum-wagon misfit styled by Italy’s Pininfarina, with heaps of space inside and a refreshingly compact footprint outside. And although it was based on the rough and ready XD Elantra small car from 2000 to 2006, the La Vita was somehow much more appealing, perhaps because of its high seating position and great all-round vision afforded by those deep window lines. Or maybe because nobody loved this ugly-but-friendly little duckling when it was new. Yet it proved ideal as a city family runabout, while equipment levels were high and its performance from the 90kW/161Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed auto) strong. However, sales tanked, and the La Vita, with its strange looks and ridiculous name, disappeared without anybody noticing … except probably us and the few happy owners who took a punt on this likeable little runt of a car. We feel vindicated by the knowledge that – as the Hyundai Matrix – the La Vita is still on sale in other parts of the world.

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