New contender for the hatchback kings

2010-04-03 11:00

HYUNDAI is one of the official sponsors for the Soccer World Cup and while their campaign phrase “We bring the teams, you bring the Gees” might sound a little cheesy, their new i30 definitely is not.

The Korean company has seriously upped their game – the i30 is a very nice car and real value for money. Not only does it look cute, it delivers a smooth ride in a good quality build.

This medium-sized family hatch is the third product in the i-stand. It will give rivals VW Golf VI, Ford Focus and even the recently launched Toyota Auris X a good run for their money.

The i30 range includes the all­aluminium 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre models, mated to five-speed manual gearboxes.

The 2.0 litre model also boasts variable valve timing (VVT) to enhance the width of the power band and provide good driveability.

Built in Korea, the i30 has a five-star NCAP safety rating and features loads of standard goodies that motorists usually have to add as options. Both models come standard with black leather interiors and dual and full curtain airbags on the 1.6- and 2.0- litre models.

The tilt and slide sunroof is added as standard on the 2.0-litre model.

On the styling front the i-series cars have a similar resemblance. It has a chromed bar on which the H logo hovers in the centre, along with the elongated headlamp ­clusters. It also has a low-lying bonnet line which carries through to the steeply raked windscreen. The coloured-coded bumpers and door mirrors also add to the smooth lines.

At the rear the styling is solid and rounds off the sleek lines from the front. A rear roof spoiler, high brake light and an integrated washer nozzle add to the look.

As with Volkswagen models where the boot opens by the incorporated logo, Hyundai has done the same with a hidden soft touch boot release.

Inside, the car is neat and tidy with loads of storage compartments. The equipment is all in its place with no unnecessary buttons.

The centre console is integrated with a radio/CD player and aircon controls. The instrument cluster has a blue illuminated lighting.

The blue backlighting theme is carried through the rest of the interior on the liquid crystal display for the multifunction trip computer, sound system and air conditioning; as well as on the window switches.

Other safety features include an electronic stability program (ESP), anti-lock brake force system with electronic brake-force distribution. 

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