HAVING been an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup since 2002 Hyundai is more than used to taking the applause of the football world.
But the South Korean car maker is also a great supporter of family motoring and, at the dawn of 2010, Hyundai’s hugely successful i30 range received a major makeover with new engines and trim levels being introduced to make this neat and tidy family hatchback an even bigger rival to the Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus, VW Golf and the like.
In fact, so impressed were the nation’s drivers the i30 shot to the number one slot in the Auto Express Driver Power survey, naming it the most satisfying car to own.As a brand, Hyundai also made the biggest overall leap up the survey charts, jumping 12 places to finish in sixth position overall.
The latest Hyundai i30 range is offered in five-door hatchback or estate car form. The range of engines includes two petrol, 1.4-litre 108bhp and 1.6-litre 124bhp, while diesel urge comes via 1.6-litre 114bhp and 2.0-litre 138bhp oil burners.
Generously fitted out trim levels on offer include Comfort, Style and Premium variants with a special, individually kitted out offering which is actually called “Edition” which is driven here.
It was powered by the 1.4-litre engine paired with a five-speed manual gearbox which offered a combination of quite user friendly fuel economy which promised some 54.3mpg over mixed driving miles, while delivering a decidedly spritely performance from its 108bhp.
Cornering, the i30 felt nicely composed and had a reassuring approach to its corner work. Response was pretty sharp, helping to deliver some quite satisfying handling while a neatly damped suspension set up contributed to a comfortably supple ride in all parts while on the cruise.
All Hyundai i30 models are generously kitted out and the Edition model boasts a standard equipment manifest which includes the likes of air con, privacy glass, front fogs, sports pedals and smart chromework, electric windows all round and heated door mirrors.
Drivers whose experiences behind the wheel have included tyre problems on occasions will applaud the provision of a tyre pressure monitoring system as standard, while a six-speaker sound system with auxiliary connections and steering wheel controls, six airbags with passenger airbag switch off.
Nicely effective ABS braking with electronic brake assist and electronic brake force distribution are also on hand to bring matters to a halt when necessary while electronic stability programme with traction control helps to keep drivers on the right road.
The well put together interior, with some good quality plastics much in evidence, affords comfortable seating positions for driver and occupants.
There is plenty of rear legroom available and the well shaped boot is a decidedly practical proposition, providing some 340 litres of stowage space with all seats taken which extends to 1,250 litres with the rear seat empty and folded flat.
Overall, the i30 is a very good hatchback taking Hyundai to a new level in the family car sector. Its very user friendly, plus, a five-year unlimited mileage warranty comes as standard - how’s that for a confidence in the product statement?
Hyundai i30 Edition 1.4
Mechanical: 108bhp, 1,396cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 116mph
0-62mph: 11.6 seconds
Combined mpg: 45.6
Insurance group: 4
CO2 emissions: 145g/km
BiK rating: 17%
Warranty: 5yrs/ unlimited mileage