Hyundai i30: Third report

12 Nov, 2012 12:15pm Dawn Grant

We bring our Hyundai i30 hatch together with the Tourer version, and find a lot of similarities

Is the grass greener on the other side? A Hyundai i30 Tourer estate recently paid a visit to Auto Express, so I took the opportunity to see how it compared to my i30 hatchback.

If you’re playing spot the difference, good luck – as these two cars are virtually indistinguishable, apart from the estate’s white paint. As well as being the same from the nose to the back doors, the Tourer we had in was in the same Active spec as our model, and also featured the 1.6 CRDi diesel with Hyundai’s fuel-saving Blue Drive tech.

I think Hyundai has done a great job with the styling of the i30 Tourer. It doesn’t look that much longer than the hatch, with the 185mm of extra length neatly integrated into the design. In fact, my husband preferred the estate when he saw them parked together.

The i30’s looks have grown on me, too. I’ve been put off by the big grille in the past, but on the way to our photo shoot I caught sight of the Tourer’s nose in my mirror, and thought it looked good on the road – those LED daytime running lights add a stylish touch, too.

One minor niggle I’ve mentioned in past reports is that the reversing sensors on our hatch have been left black. But as you can see, the colour-coded sensors on the white Tourer are a real improvement.

The two i30s are virtually identical inside, too. The only significant difference I noticed while sitting in the Tourer was the addition of front interior lights. They’re a real bonus, and I wish they were included in my hatch – it only has lights in the centre of the headlining. With the shorter winter days upon us, I now do both legs of my daily commute in the dark, and a bit more visibility in the front would be so helpful when you’re searching for something in the bottom of your bag.

The luggage capacity of my hatch was put to the test recently, when my daughter moved out to university. The 378-litre boot easily swallowed Natasha’s boxes of books, clothes and kitchen equipment, but it was defeated by her wish to take her own mattress. We just couldn’t quite squeeze it in – but as you can see, there was no such problem with the Tourer. Once the rear seats are folded, the estate offers 1,642 litres of space to play with, which is 326 litres more than the hatchback. So the mattress slipped in easily, with no great effect on rear visibility.

From behind the wheel, the i30 hatch and estate are very similar, which means composed handling and decent refinement. Sadly, they share the same long gearing, so you have to use the six-speed box a lot around town.

If you’re likely to need a bigger boot, it could well be worth shelling out the £1,100 extra on the Tourer. But the hatch still has the edge for me, as it has more than enough space for my needs – so bigger isn’t better in this instance.

Our view

“The i30 is a handsome, solidly constructed and cost-effective family hatch. With more dynamic sparkle, it could be a class leader.”
Tom Phillips, Web reporter

Your view

“Even the VW Golf can learn from the car’s quality, while styling is refreshing after bland original i30.”
giorikas81, via www.autoexpress.co.uk

Disqus - noscript

Why wouldn't you find "similarities" - its just an alternative-bodywork version of the SAME car.

Key specs

  • On fleet since: June 2012
  • Price new: £17,995
  • Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 109bhp
  • CO2/Tax: 97g/km/£0
  • Options: Metallic paint (£445)
  • Trade-in now: N/A
  • Insurance group/quote: 12/£669
  • Mileage/mpg: 3,672/39.9mpg
  • Costs: None so far
  • Any problems?: None so far
AEX 1334
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