Hyundai says it refuses to treat i30 owners as second-class automotive citizens and says it gives potential buyers of its third-generation goodies usually within the domain of more expensive models.

The entry-level Active variant, starting at $20,950 plus on-road costs, is $500 less than the model it replaces, despite having $2000 of extra standard features.

These include a fully integrated satellite navigation system with 8.0-inch touch screen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and DAB+ digital radio.

It also has16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlamps, hill-start assist and tyre pressure monitoring.

New i30 Active has a 2.0-litre direct-injection engine developing 13 kW more power and 28 Nm more torque than the 1.8-litre MPi engine it replaces.

As well as the i30 Active there are also Elite, Premium, SR and SR Premium variants. Alloy wheels debut as standard across the i30 range, with 16 and 17-inch alloys on comfort models (Active, Elite and Premium) and 18s on sports variants (SR and SR Premium).


The powertrain starts with i30 Active’s standard 120 kW / 203 Nm 2.0-litre GDi (Gasoline Direct Injection) four-cylinder petrol unit mated with either six-speed manual or six-speed torque convertor automatic transmission.

Active and Premium variants can be bought with Hyundai’s 1.6-litre CRDi (Common Rail Diesel Injection) engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) in all models except the Active which gets a six-speed manual.

Exclusive to i30 SR sports variants is Hyundai’s 150 kW / 265 Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol petrol engine with either a seven-speed DCT or six-speed manual.

The new i30’s on-road dynamics have benefited from exhaustive development for Australian conditions and driver preferences by Hyundai Australia’s chassis development team.

Greater use of lightweight high-strength steel has increased body rigidity over the outgoing model while achieving a 28 kg lighter body-in-white weight and use of aeronautical industry-style structural adhesives contributes to the i30’s lighter, stronger body.


The latest version of Hyundai’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ styling introduces the company’s new cascading grille, which is we are told is designed to represent the flow of molten steel.

The grille is piano black with a contrasting chrome surround. In Elite, Premium and SR variants, the grille incorporates chrome-plated dots and a satin chrome surround.

A long(ish) bonnet is reinforced by a line running from the new-design headlights to the shapelier, Tucson-style tailgate. A roof-mounted shark-fin antenna and swept-back roof spoiler add a look of prestige. This is amplified by machine-faced wheels for Elite and Premium, and sporty twin-spoke 18s on the SR and SR Premium variants. Both the latter boast twin exhaust tips in the blacked-out rear lower area.

The sporting intent is extended to the passenger cabin with exclusive sports front seats with extended bolsters offering greater lateral support, and distinctive red seatbelts.

The 8.0-inch tablet-style multimedia display, mounted high on the dashboard, is within reach of both driver and front passenger. Also in full focus of the driver is the Supervision dash cluster, featuring a 4.2-inch colour TFT LCD display, which displays a range of trip computer information, as well as system status and visual alerts from SmartSense and other safety systems. It can also show turn-by-turn directions from the on-board satellite navigation. Supervision cluster is standard on SR, SR Premium, Elite, and Premium models.

Versatility carries through to the boot, where on SR, Elite, and Premium models the rigid floor can be mounted at two different heights. The lower position maximises the 395-litre cargo volume, while the upper height allows the rear seats to be folded completely flat.

New i30 carries Hyundai’s comprehensive SmartSense driver assistance package offering significant passive and active safety technology upgrades.

These include autonomous emergency braking (AED) and forward collision warning, blind spot detection with lane change assist, driver attention alert, lane keeping assist and rear cross-traffic alert. Smart cruise control and emergency stop signal are also in the mix.

Also across the i30 range is electronic stability control, which includes traction control, anti-lock braking with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and hill-start assist.

A rear-view camera with guidelines is complemented by rear park assist sensors, while Premium variants add four-sensor front park assist.

Seven airbags include driver and passenger airbags, front side (thorax) airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and driver’s knee airbag.

During a launch drive zig-zagging the border between NSW and Victoria near Albury a selection of new Hyundai i30s were put through their paces and generally lived up to expectations.

We began with the i30 Active and enjoyed the 2.0-litre petrol engine’s extra power and torque over its 1.8 predecessor to produce a spritely-yet-stress-free cruise in the country.

The 1.6D auto slowed the pace, and with a heavier feel to the front end, it also tended to be at the mercy of undulating surfaces where it gently bounced at times.

Settling into the sports seats of an SR manual lifted the spirits as the i30 provided a satisfying throaty engine note.

Hyundai i30 Active 2.0 GDi 6sp manual: $20,950
Hyundai i30 Active 2.0 GDi 6sp automatic: $23,250
Hyundai i30 Active 1.6 CRDi 6sp manual: $$23,450
Hyundai i30 Active 1.6 CRDi 7-DCT: $25,950
Hyundai i30 Elite 1.6 CRDi 7-DCT: $28,950
Hyundai i30 Premium 1.6 CRDi 7-DCT: $33,950
Hyundai i30 SR 1.6 T-GDi 6sp manual: $25,950
Hyundai i30 SR 1.6 T-GDi 7-DCT: $28,950
Hyundai i30 SR Premium 1.6 T-GDi 7-DCT: $33,950
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Hyundai dealer for drive-away prices.

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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