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Driven: Hyundai spices up sporty i30 SR

Sporting chance: Hyundai’s i30 SR Series II is immediately recognised by new grey metallic 17-inch alloys and ‘Phoenix Orange’ exterior paintwork.

Sports seats, paddle-shifters for i30 SR upgrade as Hyundai pushes model upstream

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Hyundai logo15 Jul 2016

By DANIEL DEGASPERI

HYUNDAI Motor Co Australia (HMCA) has moved to spice up interest in its sporting i30 SR Series II range with a host of detail changes, including new leather-trimmed sports bucket seats and the addition of steering-mounted paddle-shifters for automatic versions.

With the i30 on a fast track to becoming Australia’s Top Model, leading Toyota’s Corolla and HiLux and the Mazda3 in the sales race at the halfway point of the year, HMCA has shifted gear away from the entry-level Active model – priced at $19,990 driveaway with free auto up until the end of last month – and on to the mid-series SR twins.

The company claims the addition of paddle-shifters adds extra driver involvement to its most dynamically focused i30 model grade, while the new seats add extra side bolstering compared to aid front occupant support through corners.

Other changes to both the SR and SR Premium include a new grey metallic finish for the carryover 17-inch alloy wheels, the introduction of a ‘Phoenix Orange’ exterior colour and, inside, black rooflining and graphite dashboard fascia replacing the previous white and silver finishes respectively.

The i30 SR no longer features satellite navigation, however it gains Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, while red/black leather trim replaces the previous cloth facings.

The SR also now has a panoramic sunroof – fitted standard to the SR Premium – available as a $2000 option.

The SR Premium shares the new coloured trim change and has satellite navigation fitted but, disappointingly for buyers, misses out on CarPlay connectivity on its identically sized 7.0-inch touchscreen.

Price increases accompany the specification changes to both variants, with the standard i30 SR rising $960 to $26,550 plus on-road costs, and i30 SR Premium moving northwards $660 to $28,890 plus on-roads.

A six-speed automatic transmission continues to add $2300 over the standard six-speed manual.

No mechanical changes have been wrought on the SR models, both of which stick with a 124kW/201Nm 2.0-litre direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine.

The SR range is positioned above the Active and the Active X models that offer a choice between a 1.8-litre petrol or 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine, but the sporting twins sit a rung below the flagship diesel-powered i30 Premium CRDi.

Over the Active X, the i30 SR continues to also add as standard auto on/off headlights and wipers, LED daytime running lights and tail-lights, dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning and keyless auto-entry with push-button start.

The i30 SR Premium further includes Xenon headlights, colour trip computer display, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 10-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, rear centre armrest and console air vents, an electrically operated parking brake and two-tier boot floor with luggage net.

There is no change to the SR’s locally tuned suspension set-up and all i30 variants include seven airbags, electronic stability control (ESC), a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

HMCA admits that selling the entry-level i30 Active automatic for $19,990 driveaway over the past four months has skewed the model mix for its small hatchback, with 62 per cent of i30 buyers picking the discounted car.

Only five per cent of buyers have bought an i30 SR this year.

With the entry-level deal rising to $22,990 driveaway from July 1, however, the company believes sales of higher-spec models will increase, particularly the non-Premium SR with the big-ticket addition of leather trim as standard.

2016 Hyundai i30 SR pricing*
i30 SR$26,550
i30 SR (a)$28,850
i30 SR Premium$28,890
i30 SR Premium (a)$31,190
*Excludes on-road costs

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