Hyundai i30: Second report

Our Hyundai i30 family hatch is the perfect training partner

The London 2012 Olympics may be over, but it’s not the end of sporting interest in the Grant household – and our Hyundai i30 is proving a great help with training.

My 18-year-old daughter Natasha is running Nike’s Run To The Beat half-marathon in October for the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC), and it’s a cause close to our hearts, as my mum suffered with MS throughout her adult life. During our rather wet summer, EJ12 WDF has come in handy as a refuge when Natasha has been training in Richmond Park in south west London.

I’ve been able to time her runs from the comfort of the car, while the roomy interior has plenty of space for a quick towel-dry and some respite from the rain. And now the sun has been shining more frequently, I’ve tried to take a more proactive role. I’m no runner, but I’ve been cycling along behind Natasha, shouting encouragement.

And getting my bike to the park is a breeze. I don’t even have to remove the front wheel, as the i30’s rear seatbacks tumble at the push of a button to give a huge 1,316-litre load capacity, with a wide opening. In fact, the car feels spacious all round.

Up front, the cabin is light and airy with plenty of space to put any loose items, and even with my six-foot-plus husband driving there’s still enough rear legroom to keep everyone happy.

The i30 also has plenty of equipment as standard, including a simple Bluetooth system and a voice-recognition function that operates via a steering wheel button. The latter is more user-friendly now I’m familiar with it.

However, it’s the small details that let the Hyundai down. I still haven’t decided whether I like the car’s styling. It’s a huge improvement on its predecessor, but some of the details are a bit fussy. The standard reversing sensors have been left unpainted, too, which makes them look like an afterthought.

Another bugbear is the driver’s one-touch auto-down electric window; it doesn’t rise back up automatically. This is surprisingly frustrating on a day-to-day basis, and my husband never fails to point out that “even my van does that”.

Natasha, meanwhile, is not happy with the lack of cabin lighting in the front, as the sole interior lamp is positioned towards the back of the cabin. Both an auto-up window and extra cabin lights are standard on the Style+ model, which is £1,000 more expensive. So it might be worth spending the extra to get these and the other toys that come with the range-topper.

The stop-start function on our Blue Drive model is great on my commute. I particularly like the timer, which tells you how long you’ve been stopped with the engine off. Nevertheless, fuel economy still isn’t great.

The engine ought to have loosened up now that there’s over 2,000 miles on the clock, yet 38.9mpg isn’t brilliant. It’s an improvement on the 33.9mpg from my first report, but I’m hopeful of doing better next time around – once we get a long run under the i30’s belt.

Our view

"While the i30 has a comfortable and spacious interior, the jittery ride is a disappointment on a car that’s used mainly for short urban commutes."Paul Bond, road tester

Your view

"With efficient engines, top quality, reliability, looks, equipment and affordable prices, I don’t think any other maker can offer a competitive alternative.”kirra1 via www.autoexpress.co.uk

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