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Hyundai is set to make further waves in small-car market with impressive new i30

16 Aug 2012

KOREAN car-makers have made huge strides in recent years in terms of design and execution, with the second generation of the Hyundai i30 a shining example of a car that genuinely challenges the established Japanese brands.

While most previous Korean small cars felt like cheaper imitations of more premium rivals, the latest i30 looks, feels, drives and rides like a car you would be happy to have parked in your driveway.
Model release date: 1 June 2012 to 1 March 2015

Previous model

Released: October 2007
Ended: May 2012
Family Tree: i30

THE FD-series five-door i30 hatchback was Hyundai’s European-devised C-segment combatant against the established Volkswagen Golf, Holden Astra and Ford Focus, but in Australia was priced significantly less and competed head-on with cars such as the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla.

It arrived in late 2007 boasting the cheapest diesel hatch in the small-car segment and Hyundai ensured its suitability to Australia by bringing out engineers and prototypes to calibrate the suspension properly for our requirements.

The i30 employed all-independent coil spring suspension with MacPherson struts at the front and an upper/lower arm at the rear, and was powered by 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder or 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engines driving the front wheels through a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic.

The diesel developed 85kW at 4000rpm and 255Nm between 1900rpm and 2750rpm, while the petrol produced 105kW at 6000rpm and 186Nm at 4600rpm.

The i30 measured 4245mm long, 1765mm wide and 1480mm high and had 340 litres of load volume with the rear seats upright or 1250 litres with the rear seats folded.

Three specification grades were offered: SX, SLX and SR.

In early 2009 the i30 CW (for Crossover Wagon) arrived, with a larger body that was 230mm longer and 40mm taller (with the standard roof rails) than the hatch, providing 7mm more rear headroom.

With a 50mm-longer wheelbase of 2700mm, wagon passengers in the back seat gained an extra 36mm in legroom while cargo volume increased to 415 litres with the split/fold rear seats up (up 22 per cent over the hatch), increasing to 1395L with them folded (up 12 per cent).

Wagon-specific features included roof rails, extendable cargo cover, a cargo mesh barrier and a 12 volt rear power socket.

In September 2011 Hyundai tweaked the diesel i30, boosting the torque output by 5kW to 260Nm and replacing the five-speed manual with a new six-speed unit, improving fuel consumption from 4.7 litres per 100km to 4.5L/100km (5.7L/100km for the four-speed auto).

Get the full story: Euro looks, diesel donk and Aussie suspension tune auger well for Hyundai's new i30

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