Hyundai i30 Estate review
The Hyundai i30 Estate builds on hatchback's strengths and adds a larger boot
The i30 hatchback, the car on which this estate is based, has some serious pedigree. It won our 2010 Driver Power survey outright and took a category win in 2011 for the best compact family car. The Estate shares the same excellent bulid quality, low running costs and easy-to-use layout, but adds an even bigger boot. For those looking for maximum practicality though, the Kia Cee'd SW offers more space for less money.
Our choice: Hyundai i30 Estate 1.6 CRDi Comfort
From the A-pillars forward, the Hyundai i30 Estate is identical to the hatchback. Beyond that, the longer roofline and sharply cut-off boot have been intergrated well into the overall design. The shoulder line runs all the way from the front headlights to the rear clusters giving the car an even greater sense of length. It does compromise on spaciousness, but if loading area isn't your number one priority then this car strikes a good balance between style and practicality. Roof rails are fitted as standard which add a dash of ruggedness to the otherwise bland looks.
Being an estate, it's the diesel models that make more sense – the extra torque really pays off when the car's loaded to the rafters. The 113bhp 1.6-litre CRDi diesel has 255Nm of torque, while the 108bhp 1.4 and 124bhp 1.6-litre petrol engines only manage 137Nm and 157Nm respectively. On the move it's not a sporty car to drive, but performance is adequate for safe overtaking manoeuvres. Body control is good too – considering the extra 50kg the estate adds to the kerbweight – and the steering is well-weighted if a little artificial in feel.
The general build quality of the Hyundai i30 is excellent - although look carefully and cost-cutting scratchy plastics can be found.ESP and six airbags are standard across the range, and the i30 Hatchback on which the estate is based scored a full five-star rating in its Euro NCAP crash test. Its phenomenal track record in our Driver Power reliability survey - it won our 2010 Driver Power survey outright and took a category win in 2011 for the best compact family car - speaks for itself.
While not the largest estate on the market there's still 415 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place and 1,395 litres with them folded - plenty for most buyers' needs. The walls of the loading space are near vertical too, helping the i30 to swallow particularly bulky objects. There’s also a shallow oddments tray beneath the floor and a power socket to the side, while the cabin is littered with extra storage including a sunglasses holder, an air-conditioned glovebox, map pockets in the seats and luggage nets in the boot. A benefit of the estate's longer wheelbase is a few cm of extra legroom for rear passengers - addressing one of our critisisms of the hatch. The seats are comfortable and the driving position excellent, thanks to reach and rake adjustment on the steering wheel. All models come with air-con as standard.
Choose the i30 Estate over the Hatchback and it will set you back around £1,000 more but running costs are near identical. Hyundai's five-year warranty and roadside assitance package could save you a fortune, while visits to the petrol pump should be minimised with the 1.6-litre CRDi model returning 62.8mpg with stop-start fitted as an optional extra. Adding stop-start cuts CO2 emissions by 14 per cent, from 124 to 119 g/km – saving customers £85 per year in road tax and dropping company car drivers from 18 per cent to 13 per cent benefit-in-kind.