Hyundai i30 Estate (2012 - ) Expert review
Read the Hyundai i30 Tourer estate (2012 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives
- Decent standard equipment levels
- Generous passenger space
- Completely undemanding to drive
- Diesel engine lacks grunt
- Thick C-pillars restrict rear visibility
- Some rivals are more fun to drive
At a glance
The i30 Tourer is available in five trim levels: Classic, Active, Style, Style Nav and Premium. Even the entry-level Classic is well specified, coming with air-con, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, tinted windows and LED daytime running lights. Move up to Active and you’ll get rear parking sensors, cruise control and Hyundai’s Flex-steer system, which can be used to alter the weighting of the power steering. Style models are further bestowed with dual-zone climate control, front parking sensors and an upgraded stereo, and, as its name suggests, Style Nav adds a touchscreen sat-nav with traffic updates and also a reversing camera. Premium models have 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery and a TFT ‘Supervision’ instrument cluster.
The i30 Tourer is a quite a handsome car as small estates go. The sharply styled front end gives real road presence and even the hatchback’s swept-back profile hasn’t been altered too much in the transformation to an estate car. Importantly, you can park next to a Ford Focus estate or Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer without feeling short changed.
The heavily stylised dashboard is constructed from solid plastics, and the buttons, switches, and sharp dials all feel like quality items. The seats are comfortable enough for extended journeys, while providing enough support to keep you in place in tight corners. The cabin doesn’t exude some of the flair or attention-to-detail you get in some rivals, but the i30 can certainly mix it in terms of quality and refinement. Road and engine noise is distant and unobtrusive, giving the car a really relaxed, easy-going nature.
We haven’t yet driven the 118bhp 1.6 petrol engine, but we’ve sampled both the 1.6 diesels. Even the lower-powered 109bhp version gives decent flexibility thanks to its muscular low-down pull, and because revving it out doesn’t make it go all that much faster, you’re better off short-shifting and keeping things relaxed. The more powerful 126bhp version feels a little sprightlier, but again, it’s best to adopt a more leisurely driving style.
The elongated hatchback shape of the i30 Tourer hides a very large boot, which can be expanded to a maximum of 1,642 litres with the rear seats folded flat. Loading large or heavy objects is a doddle thanks to a lack of boot-lip, meaning you slide awkward items straight in with no extra lifting required. In the cabin both leg and headroom is generous, even in the rear, with enough space to accommodate tall adults for longer journeys. Rear visibility is compromised by a thick rear pillars, but as all but the most basic models come with rear parking sensors, it won’t cause a problem for the majority of buyers. Those particularly worried about manoeuvrability should go for the top model, which comes fitted with a rear view camera.
There have been no serious recurring faults that have surfaced with the i30 Tourer, so you shouldn’t be unduly concerned about it packing up on you. All Hyundais are backed with the manufacturer’s five-year triple care package, which includes an unlimited mileage warranty, roadside assistance and annual vehicle health checks, for extra peace of mind.
Ride and handling
The i30 Tourer has clearly been designed with long-distance travel in mind, as it’s on the motorway that it feels happiest. The ride is supple and comfortable, with only the severest craters being brought to passengers’ attention. Things are a little lumpier at low speeds, but it’s still comfy. The handling is grippy and predictable, but while the steering is reasonably faithful, it feels rather vague and lifeless.
The i30 Tourer is very temptingly priced, and is great value for money. The petrol-powered version is a little disappointing of fuel economy and emissions, but the diesels do much better. In stop and start-equipped ‘Blue Drive’ configuration, it’ll return 67.3mpg and give low CO2 emissions of 110g/km. That makes it the best choice for company car drivers. Even the more powerful 126bhp version manages to return 64.2mpg. However, opting for the automatic gearbox significantly worsens both emissions and fuel consumption.
The Hyundai i30 Tourer hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but the hatchback achieved the full five-star rating. It came in for particular praise for its outstanding adult and child occupant protection and also for the amount of electronic safety aids fitted. The i30 Tourer gets six airbags, Anti-lock Brakes with Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control and Hill Start Assist as standard. The only real area for improvement is in pedestrian safety, where the i30 scored a (still reasonable) 67 per cent.
Because it has all the essential merits you really want from an everyday family estate. Thanks to its refinement, integrity and practicality, the i30 Tourer will make a handy and hassle-free companion for many years. True, it isn’t quite as well rounded as some rivals, but it’s still great value for money.