1 Oct 2007
BASED on the HD Elantra sedan, the FD five-door hatchback is Hyundai’s European-devised C-segment combatant against the established Volkswagen Golf, Holden Astra and Ford Focus.
Of course, in Australia, the Korean small car is priced significantly less. It also happens to be the best car the country has ever exported.
The i30 arrived in late 2007 boasting the cheapest diesel hatch in the small car segment. It also offers safety features such as side curtain airbags and stability control.
In fact, Hyundai ensured i30’s compatibility to this market by bringing out engineers and prototypes to calibrate the suspension properly for our requirements.
The result is a chassis that seems to ride well and has the steering precision, tyre grip and body control to carve up corners in a satisfying manner.
he i30 employs all-independent coil spring suspension with McPherson struts at the front and an upper/lower arm at the rear. The rear dampers are fitted independently of the springs to maximise cargo-carrying capacity.
The i30 is powered by either a 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder or a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine. Both are available with a five-speed manual driving though the front wheels.
A four-speed manual-mode automatic is available for the 2.0 for an additional $2000 but the CRDi will not be available as an auto until next year.
The CRDi’s 1.6-litre develops peak power of 85kW at 4000rpm and 255Nm of torque between 1900rpm and 2750rpm.
The engine is a 16-valve, common-rail unit with a variable vane turbocharger and low-friction balancer shaft. According to the ADR 81/01 test, the i30 achieves 4.7L/100km.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine is a derivative of Hyundai’s “Beta” engine, and is a 16-valve, DOHC CVVT inline four-cylinder that develops 105kW at 6000rpm and 186Nm at 4600rpm. Fuel consumption is 7.2L/100km for the manual and 7.6L/100km for the auto.
Hyundai claims that it has paid special attention to quality of interior materials to ensure it conveys a “European” feel.
The i30 measures 4245mm long, 1765mm wide and 1480mm high and carries 340 litres of load volume with the rear seats upright or 1250 litres with the rear seats folded.
Three specification grades are offered for the i30: SX, SLX and SR.
In early 2009 the i30 CW (for Crossover Wagon) arrived, styled at Hyundai’s design and engineering centre in Russelsheim, Germany.
Devised from the onset to be a wagon, the i30 CW boasts a larger body that is 230mm longer at 4475mm and 40mm taller at 1565mm (with the standard roof rails) than the hatch, enabling rear headroom to rise 7mm to 987mm.
The CW’s 2700mm wheelbase represents a 50mm stretch for a 36mm increase in rear-seat legroom (rated at 926mm), while rear overhang extends by 180mm (or 25 per cent) over the i30 hatch to 900mm.
All the upsizing leads to a 415-litre cargo area with split/fold rear seats up (up 75L or 22 per cent over the hatch), which can then be increased to 1395L with them folded, compared to 1250L in the hatch.
The CW’s rear doors have also been redesigned, but everything forward of the B-pillar is shared with the i30 hatch, as are the transverse drivetrain choices, built on Hyundai’s fourth-generation front-wheel drive small-car platform that also underpins the HD Elantra, the Kia Ceed small car of Europe, and a variation of the TD Cerato.
This means the 105kW/186Nm 2.0-litre Beta four-cylinder petrol and 85kW/255Nm 1.6-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine applications, along with the five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearboxes.
The petrol engine’s combined average fuel consumption figure is 7.3 litres per 100km (auto: 7.7), compared to the diesel’s 4.9L/100km (auto: 6.0), while the carbon dioxide emissions ratings stretches from 183 grams per kilometre for the petrol-auto i30 CW (manual: 174) to 128g/km for the SX diesel manual (auto: 159).
Like the hatch, the CW’s suspension is by MacPherson struts and coils up front and an independent multi-link arrangement in the rear.
Wagon-specific features include roof rails, extendable cargo cover, a cargo mesh barrier that connects to the roof immediately behind either the front or rear seats to keep items flying forward in an emergency stop from striking the car’s occupants, and a 12 volt rear power socket.
In September 2011 Hyundai tweaked the diesel i30, boosting the torque output of its 85kW engine from 255Nm to 260Nm and supplanting the five-speed manual with a new six-speed transmission.
The revised engine and manual transmission combination resulted in improved fuel economy, dropping from 4.7 litres per 100km to 4.5L/100km.
Consumption for automatic versions, retaining a four-speed transmission, fell by as much as 0.3L/100km, with claimed consumption for the self-shifter dropping to as 5.7L/100km.