The brilliant Hyundai i30 is cleaning up its act! An eco-friendly model has joined the line-up, featuring an all-new version of the Korean firm’s 1.6-litre diesel engine.
The i30’s design remains unchanged inside and out, so the new variant retains the standard model’s distinctive looks – with body-coloured bumpers and door handles – and impressive build quality.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Hyundai i30
Under the skin it’s a different story, though. The five-speed manual gearbox now has longer ratios to make life easier for the engine. As a result, the i30 emits only 119g/km of CO2 – that’s 1g/km more than the best performing i20 hatch, and the same amount as the cleanest i10 supermini.
Not only is that good news for the environment, it’s also a big incentive for buyers, as the 120g/km figure means an annual road tax bill of only £35. Company car drivers are also set to reap rewards, too, with a huge saving of £655 each year for a top-rate taxpayer.
You’ll be hard-pressed to notice any differences from the outgoing i30 diesel, either. There’s still 255Nm of torque and the 0-62mph time remains at 11.6 seconds, while average fuel economy jumps from 60.1 to 62.8mpg. The handling is still sharp and the ride remains pliant, although it does feel firm on rough roads.
We drove the mid-spec Style trim, but the new engine will also be available on the base-level Comfort and flagship Premium models.
What’s even better is that all three will be £85 cheaper than the comparable versions fitted with the outgoing engine, if you take the reduced road tax into account.
Throw in the firm’s five-year unlimited mileage warranty and generous standard equipment and the greener i30 is an appealing and affordable all-round package.
Rival: Kia Cee’d 1.6 CRDi
THE Cee’d uses the same platform as the i30, and has similar performance, but it is cheaper and has a seven-year warranty.
* Price: £14,295
* Engine: 1.6-litre CRDi, four-cyl
* Power: 113bhp
* 0-62mph: 11.6 secs
* Economy: 62.8mpg
* C02: 119g/km
* Equipment: Air con, 16-inch alloy wheels, iPod connectivity
* On sale: Now