Hyundai i30 Tourer vs rivals

The new Hyundai i30 Tourer meets its rivals from Renault and Volkswagen

Estate versions of big-selling compact hatchbacks aren’t very glamorous, but they’re a practical and cost-effective choice for business and family use. And there’s a new contender ready to load up and take on the best the class has to offer.

The Hyundai i30 Tourer builds on the accomplished and stylish hatchback, and the company is confident the more practical estate will deliver a winning blend of space, low running costs and fuel efficiency.

We’re big fans of the i30 hatchback, which only narrowly missed out on a debut road test victory back in April. So can the Tourer go one better and become our class favourite? It certainly has all the credentials to succeed, including a large boot, low emissions, decent standard kit and a great-value price tag.

We pitch the model that Hyundai expects to be the best seller, the 1.6 CRDi Active Blue Drive, against the evergreen VW Golf Estate and updated Renault Megane Sport Tourer to see if it can carry away class honours.

Verdict

If you look past their workaday image and boxy proportions, compact estate cars make a lot of sense as versatile family runarounds.

And after many years of ruling the roost, the VW Golf Estate is no longer the top choice. It’s still hugely desirable, but it’s also the most expensive car here, has the least standard kit and the smallest load area with the seats folded flat. It finishes third.

The recently revised Megane Sport Tourer looks good, has incredibly low emissions, an excellent aftersales package and represents good value for money. It also boasts a spacious and well thought-out load area, with a super-low load lip. Yet it has to give best to the Hyundai in the final reckoning.

While the i30 is the cheapest car here, the solid and well equipped cabin ensures it doesn’t feel like a bargain basement choice. Composed handling and a refined engine mean it also drives well. But most importantly, it has the biggest and most practical boot in the class.

Winner: Hyundai i30 Tourer ★★★★

A well deserved victory for the practical and well engineered Hyundai. It isn’t as clean as the hatch, but it’s still a frugal, refined and comfortable car. A big boot and decent passenger space make it a great family choice, while a strong five-year warranty is the icing on the cake.

2nd: Renault Megane ST ★★★★

The facelift has revived the Sport Tourer’s fortunes. Its sleek looks add flair to the estate market, while the well shaped boot is practical. Weak residuals are a concern, but are offset by the excellent 4+ aftersales package and generous kit count.

3rd: Volkswagen Golf Estate ★★★★

The Golf Estate isn’t quite as desirable as the hatch. It has a smaller boot than the Hyundai and is more expensive to buy, while the 1.6-litre TDI engine is no longer the last word in refinement. Excellent residuals and a composed chassis are highlights.

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