Years built: 2007 to 2012
Bodystyles: Five-door hatch and compact estate
Hyundai i30 - What is it?
Remember when Hyundai was a no-name bargain-bucket brand that we all kind of laughed at a bit? When it made cars that were cheap, not very cheerful and bought by people who just didn’t care very much about cars? Wow, those days have gone and the hinge point of that change, the tipping point after which all Hyundai's have been at the very least competitive and in some cases outright class-leading is this, the first generation i30 hatchback and i30 CW estate.
True, it’s not the sharpest looking car ever made and you could easily accuse it of looking rather too much like an old Mazda 323 from some angles, but the i30 has a major trick up its sleeve – it’s brilliant to drive. It stands an easy comparisons with a contemporary Ford Focus or VW Golf, and if it’s not quite as nth-degree sharp as those to drive, then it’s not so far away that the Ford or VW can afford to relax.
Inside, it’s very well-made, very spacious and very hard wearing. In other words, an ideal car for the growing family.
Which one should I buy?
As ever, we’d advise you to buy the estate. It’s not rare to find that the wagon version of a given car is the best looking version and we’d say that’s certainly the case with the i30. Besides, it means you get a massive 500-litre boot that will easily swallow all the chattels and goods you can think of cramming into it.
Best engine is the powerful and economical 1.6-litre diesel, which scores a 124g/km Co2 rating so costs just €270 a year to tax. The 1.4-litre diesel version isn’t really worth considering – it’s slower and noisier than the 1.6 and has an identical emissions rating.
How much should I spend? Around €14,000 for a 2011 1.6 diesel in Comfort spec.
Here’s one we found:
2011 Hyundai i30 1.6 diesel CW Estate Comfort, SIMI registered main dealer, 48,000km, one owner, €14,500
What goes wrong?
Not much. We’ve heard reports of the petrol engines giving trouble, even outright failing entirely, and apparently the tyre pressure monitoring system can give some issues too. The touch-screen stereo can also be bit finicky, so make sure that’s working alright.
Of course, one of the major appeals to buying an i30 is that, certainly for a 2010-onward model, it will still have some time left to run on its original manufacturers’ five-year unlimited mileage warranty. That’s some serious peace of mind, but you have to make sure that the previous owner has kept up the service record, used only genuine original Hyundai parts and also had the car inspected by a Hyundai dealer at regular intervals, otherwise the warranty can be voided. Check the car’s paper-work very, very carefully for this and perhaps get in touch with your local Hyundai dealer as they may be able to check and see if the car’s warranty is still valid.
Want to keep your running costs low? Then this is the car for you – that 1.6 diesel can crack 60mpg in daily driving if you tickle the throttle gently enough. Combine that with the warranty and the motor tax rating and you have a very appealing package for families on a budget.
And when you’ve found your perfect i30, don’t forget to get its history checked out by Motorcheck.ie.