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New Hyundai i30: prices and specs revealed

Hyundai's new high spec and high tech i30 will cost from £16,995 when it goes on sale in March

Hyundai has revealed launch prices and specifications for its new i30 family hatchback, which will go on sale in the UK from 1 March.

The new Ford Focus and Volkwagen Golf rival was revealed in full at last September’s Paris Motor Show, and it will start from £16,995 when it goes on sale in just under two month’s time.

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For that money buyers will be getting the new i30 with a 118bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, mated to a six speed manual gearbox. Other markets will get a cheaper 99bhp 1.4-litre.

The new i30 has to build on Hyundai’s improved profile in Europe to deliver mainstream sales - and its styling is clearly aimed at the masses. The firm’s design chief Peter Schreyer says, “To create a car for everyone, we focused on a wide range of different people.” The overall look is neat but conservative, with less of the dramatic bodywork surfacing of the old i30 but what Schreyer calls a “more mature approach”. The i30 also gets an inverted curve in part of its hexagonal front grille; this is going to be a trait shared between all future Hyundai cars.

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• Best hatchbacks to buy now

The new model is 4,340mm long, and a little longer and wider than the car it replaces, though its roofline sits slightly lower. Its wheelbase remains the same, though, at 2,650mm, so we’d expected the packaging to feel pretty similar to the outgoing car’s. The boot capacity is 395 litres - or around 15 litres more than a VW Golf’s - and 1,301 litres with the rear seats folded down.

New Hyundai i30 engines and 'RN30' hot hatch

Offered with a manual gearbox only is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo producing 118bhp and 171Nm. Its extra shove helps it to reach 62mph in 11.1 seconds, and can be had from £16,995 for the new i30 in S trim. 

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The range-topping petrol is a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo with 138bhp and 242Nm. With this motor you’ll be able to choose between the six-speed manual gearbox and Hyundai’s newly developed seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. As a manual it can crack 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds, while the DCT takes 0.3sec longer. It's priced from £20,395 and available on cars SE Nav trim and upwards, while the DCT gearbox is a £1,000 premium.

Only one diesel option exists at launch. It's a 1.6-litre four-cylinder, boasting 109bhp and 280Nm torque from £19,685 in SE trim. The seven speed DCT gearbox is also available on this engine, priced from £21,645 for the car in SE Nav spec. 

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Later in 2017, there will be a hot hatchback version of the i30, likely to be called RN30. The first model to be produced by Hyundai’s newly founded N performance division, it’s likely to get a highly tuned motor producing in excess of 250bhp and a more focused chassis set-up that’s been honed at the famous Nurburgring race circuit.

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A preview image shown at the car’s launch event hinted at three further body styles that will be added to the i30 family - and while Hyundai officials declined to provide any further details on the cars shown, they appeared to be an estate, a crossover and a coupe-like vehicle that could have three or five doors.

• Best hot hatchbacks 2016

Hyundai i30 weight saving and mpg gains

Although much of the new i30’s construction makes greater use of high-tensile steel to shed kilos, the overall weight of the car is roughly the same as the old model’s - a result of extra sound deadening and the addition of extra safety equipment. Still, Hyundai’s revised engines and transmissions help the new i30 to achieve improved efficiency figures. 

The official figures for the launch lineup that the 118bhp 1.0-litre turbo petrol will return a claimed 56.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 115g/km. The 138bhp 1.4-litre it lines up against gets a claimed 52.3mpg on a combined run with tailpipe emissions of 124g/km CO2. Add the DCT gearbox, and the figures change to 51.4mpg and 125g/km.

As for the launch diesel, 74.3mpg is claimed with 99g/km CO2 when mated to the manual gearbox. Pluck for the automatic and expect bills to rise - it gets 68.9mpg and 109gkm CO2. 

2017 Hyundai i30 interior

Inside, the i30 finally does away with the old car’s LCD display and adopts a central touch-screen display. Even entry-level editions will get a 5in colour screen, incorporating a rear-view camera and Bluetooth connectivity. There will also be an 8in system, mounted high up and ‘floating’ in the centre of the fascia. It brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility along with navigation with TomTom live traffic updates. There’s also an induction charging mat for smartphones.

Hyundai claims the new i30 has the strongest line-up of safety kit it has ever offered. In addition to autonomous emergency braking and a driver fatigue monitor, the arsenal of equipment includes blind spot monitoring, radar-assisted cruise control, rear-cross traffic alert (which warns you of approaching traffic when you’re reversing out of a tight space) and lane keep assist. 

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Forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking plus hill start assist will all feature as standard safety and assistance technology on all models, alongside DAB and Bluetooth.

Q&A with Hyundai i30 design boss Peter Schreyer

The new i30 has cleaner, simpler lines than the outgoing model. Is this an intentional shift towards a more sophisticated look?

I think the new car has matured a lot over its predecessor. The actual measurements of the vehicle are pretty similar, and yet somehow it looks more substantial. I think we’ve introduced a different sort of design quality - not just in areas like perceived quality, where we know we have improved - but also in the impression the i30 makes.

The old car certainly had a lot of complex surfacing - and that distinctive rising glass line. Have you moved away from that?

Deeper and deeper doors have become popular, but part of me often looks at things like that, where lots of people are doing it, and intentionally moves away from it. We have lowered the window base line so the cabin becomes more airy and children sitting in the rear seats can see out. In any case, with the wedge rising towards the rear, at which point do you stop raising it? The new line allows us to have more of a prominent shoulder above the rear wheels.

Hyundai has already confirmed there will be a hot version. Have you been able to experiment more with the i30’s shape for its N edition?

It’s not so much about design; it’s about the type of car. It’s still going to be recognisable as the i30, but it’s very exciting that Hyundai is entering that segment of the market. It’s a really interesting time, in fact, with the performance side, the Ioniq and the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and then there’s [luxury division] Genesis as well. I’m not likely to get bored.

Can the new Hyundai i30 beat the Focus and the Golf? Let us know in the comments section below...

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