REVIEW: Hyundai i30 Tourer 2017

REVIEW: Hyundai i30 Tourer 2017
REVIEW: Hyundai i30 Tourer 2017

Sales in the estate segment that Hyundai’s i30 Tourer is competing have shot up by 40% over the last three years. The trouble is, it’s not an easy segment to find yourself in as it means doing battle with iconic names like Astra, Focus and Golf.

Hyundai i30 Tourer 1.4 T-GDi Premium SE 2017
Price: £24,740
Engine: 4cyl, 1353cc, turbocharged, petrol
Power: 138bhp at 6000rpm
Torque: 178lb ft at 1500rpm
Gearbox: Six-speed manual
Top speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 9.2sec
Economy: (official) 51.4mpg
CO2: 129g/km
★★★★

Still, Hyundai reckons it has the tool for the job in its Nürburgring-honed i30, and it’s a fair bet that those other manufacturers will be shifting uneasily in their seats at the sight of this well-specced i30 Tourer with an aggressive £17,495 entry price.

Remembering it’s an estate first and foremost, how does it do on cargo carrying? Rather well, is the answer. It boasts a healthy 602 litres of boot space with the rear seats up. The seats-down figure is especially telling, though: its 1650 litre stat is 30 litres more than that provided by the Golf, which is its biggest rival. Over and above the straight five-door i30 hatch you get an additional 309 litres.

To create that extra space, the Tourer has been given a longer profile that’s actually more attractive in some ways than the hatch’s. The cabin design is the same, so you get a clean centre console and a standard 5.0in infotainment touchscreen (optionable to 8.0in) available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus 3D satnav.

All engines are turbocharged, ranging in cost from the entry-level 118bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol to a 113bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel. The car we’ve been trying out is the mid-range 138bhp 1.4-litre T-GDI four-cylinder petrol, which has a 9.2sec 0-62mph time and a 130mph top whack.

These are decent numbers. The car certainly feels lively under acceleration and effective on the motorway, partly due to the useful presence of 178lb ft of torque at just 1500rpm. The optional seven-speed dual-clutch auto swaps gears quickly and efficiently but the six-speed manual would be the enthusiast’s choice as it locks you more conveniently into the punchy engine’s potential. The main downside of the i30’s inviting engine is that we only managed to get 40mpg out of it, which is more than 10mpg adrift of the ‘official’ combined economy.

That ‘perfected at the Nürburgring’ line is becoming a bit old hat now, but as far as the i30 Tourer is concerned there’s evidence of sood good chassis work having been done there. The ride is compliant, absorbing and keyed into most of the average road’s foibles. It’s a well-judged catchall mix that works well on both motorways and B-roads.
Hyundai reckons the i30 Tourer tops the class for the number of driver assist programmes available. This range-topping Premium SE model has blind spot detection plus driver attention and lane departure warning technology as part of its armoury, along with standard cruise control and lane keep assist. This stuff takes a lot of the stress out of long trips.

So does refinement, and in respect of its road noise the i30 is genuinely competitive with the excellent Golf estate. The only wind noise is a tiny bit coming off the door mirrors at motorway speeds. Given that the SE Premium has a panoramic sunroof – a common noise generator – this is pretty impressive.

This model’s perforated leather seats combine good lumbar support and big adjustability, and there’s plenty of space in the back. Surprisingly there was only one USB charging point, in the front part of the cabin – not ideal for those with children. The six-speaker sound system is very good though.

There are perhaps a few too many hard grey plastics on the dash and doors taking the edge off what would otherwise be a well-crafted interior. At least the major driver control surfaces are covered in leather.

All in all, the Hyundai i30 Tourer is handsomely equipped and a cultivated, comfy drive, especially in this top-spec Premium SE guise. What may hurt it in the battle against the competition is pricing. A 1.4-litre Tourer costs £24,740 in this trim, once you’ve added the metallic paint. You can pick up a high-spec Golf estate for that, with badge snobbery thrown in.

Then again, the Hyundai does have a more extensive selection of standard driver assist features. These haul it up to the level of the class leaders in terms of driving relaxation.

Admittedly, you wouldn’t buy it for standout character or charisma, but you might well buy it for practicality and quality. It’s an adult option.

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