New Hyundai i30 Tourer 2017 review
The Hyundai i30 Tourer estate is comfy and spacious, but can it ditch the flaws of the hatch it’s based on?
There’s no doubting that the i30 Tourer is a comfortable and spacious cruiser on the motorway – important given that this is where this car will invariably spend most of its life. Practicality rates high too, but it carries over the same flaws as its hatchback sibling, namely an un-engaging driving experience from a car designed to pitch Hyundai further upmarket.
The latest generation i30 is one of the most ambitious family cars Hyundai has ever built, given the firm will expand the range twofold with the addition of a hot hatch i30 N version plus a new five-door coupe styled car.
The regular hatchback sits at the core of the range, but it’s no longer alone – an estate has arrived in the form of the new i30 Tourer. It’s on sale now, following on from its unwrapping at March’s Geneva Motor Show.
It’s designed to take on rivals such as the Ford Focus Estate, the Peugeot 308 SW and Skoda Octavia Estate. Practicality sells in this segment, and Hyundai has boosted the bootspace on the i30 Tourer by a decent chunk compared to the previous generation model – 74 litres to be exact. The wheelbase measures the same in length as the hatchback, but the body is 245mm longer against the tape measure. Every extra millimetre of bodywork is found at the back though, to create that new larger boot.
The cargo area swells from 395-litres in the hatchback to 602-litres in the new Tourer. That luggage area places it comfortably in the middle of the pack compared to its rivals, pipping stylish choices like the recently refreshed SEAT Leon ST, but lagging compared to the market leader – the Peugeot 308 SW, which boasts 660-litres. As ever with cars in this class, folding rear seats mean that the cargo bay can expand, and flattening the back row opens up a 1,650-litre loading bay. While the i30 Tourer can’t keep up with the market leaders, it remains a practical family estate nonetheless.
Car group tests
On the move and on the motorway, the range topping petrol powertrain found in our test car – a turbocharged 138bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine – doesn’t feel the strain. High-speed refinement is very impressive and it’s an easy car to munch motorway miles in, while the optional seven-speed DCT gearbox is smooth and easy-going. All in all it’s a very calm cruiser, with suspension that irons out bumps at speed for an easy ride.
It does, however, place the i30 Tourer in danger of being a one-trick pony. As easy and relaxing as it is to drive on the motorway, it inherits the lack of dynamism that lets the i30 hatchback down. When the roads get twisty the steering feels vague, and even the most powerful 138bhp petrol engine doesn’t feel all too brisk when coaxed into action.
In the cabin, things are carried over directly from the hatchback. As such, it’s a mix of soft touch materials on the surface with cheaper, scratchier plastics found if you go looking for them. The interior of this Premium SE model is spruced up with luxuries such as a heated leather steering wheel, real leather on the seats, a vast panoramic roof plus range-topping infotainment features, including an eight-inch touchscreen sat nav display and a 4.2-inch driver display in the instrument panel.
These additions do the job of making the i30 Tourer feel more upmarket, but it comes at a premium – this model starts at £24,115, significantly higher than the £17,495 price of the most basic model and almost £4,000 more than the 1.0-litre SE Nav model – our trim/engine combination of choice on the hatchback. We feel it blends the correct level of equipment and price, and the near £4,000 saving on list price translates into a far better monthly PCP deal.