If you require a practical and well built car that’s manageably sized and won’t break the bank, Hyundai have something that is well worth a look.
The i30 Tourer may not be the most charismatic choice in the sector but it could be the most sensible. It scores strongly for build quality and no-nonsense utility.
The Koreans have pared back the engine choice when compared to the i30 hatch. Whereas customers of that body style get no fewer than six engines to select from, i30 Tourer buyers are left with a stark choice: 1.6-litre petrol or 1.6-litre diesel. Perhaps that’s simplifying things a little because the diesel engine is available in 110PS or a higher-powered 128PS variant. The 110PS diesel and the 120PS petrol engine are available with an automatic transmission, otherwise it’s a six-speed manual shift. In the UK, Hyundai expects a 50:50 split between petrol and diesel models, with its 1.6-litre variable geometry turbodiesel unit set to be the most popular engine in the range. The 128PS diesel develops its peak power at 4,000 rpm and this upgraded engine will accelerate the i30 from rest to 60mph in 10.9 seconds, with a top speed of 122mph.
The petrol powerplants offer a balance between performance and economy and represent a cost-effective choice for the motorist who covers lower mileages. The 1.6-litre unit is a lightweight affair that helps the i30’s handling.
With most small estate cars, the designer has been given the unenviable brief of working with the existing ‘hard points’ of the hatchback model, merely grafting a conservatory on to the back and hoping that it looks halfway cohesive. The i30 Tourer is a very neat piece of styling, with a sharply rising beltline giving it a poised, aggressive look. There’s plenty of luggage space too.
In years gone by, we would have been dumbstruck by this car’s styling, its engineering and its finish, largely because it was a cheapie and wasn’t expected to be particularly special.
In pitching the i30 against talented mainstream contenders like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, however, the marking scheme just got a whole lot tougher. By and large the i30 Tourer succeeds. It’s big enough and capable enough at the right price to win enough orders.
Where the car falls a little flat is in terms of personality, interior design and the sophistication and cleanliness of its powerplants. Remember that these judgements are against the very best in the class and when price and equipment levels are taken into account, the i30 Tourer states its case quite eloquently.