WE all need something to look forward to, don’t we? Well, I was doing just that, with the imminent arrival of a Hyundai i30 Tourer. A few months ago I had spent an enjoyable week in the company of the larger i40 Tourer, so I was eager to run the rule over the estate’s smaller sibling, a Premium 1.6 CRDi A/T, on behalf of Flush. As I found, the words I wrote then, for another publication, hold good for the i30, with the car “heading the style stakes, with its sleek and elegant design.
“There’s a sculptural feel to the exterior, with lines that are both sophisticated and distinctive.
“And the accent on style continues with the inside story. The cabin is roomy, welcoming and smart, with attractive, pleasantly tactile finishes and comfortable leather upholstery. Fit and finish are first class throughout.”
In the load-carrying department, the i30 Tourer has a cargo capacity of 528 litres available with the rear seat backs in place, extending to 1,642 litres with the rear seats folded fully flat. There are also under-floor storage compartments, and the deep tailgate and low floor level make loading easy.
The car had a feast of standard equipment, including keyless entry, rear view parking camera with parking guidance system, front and rear parking sensors, follow-me-home headlight function, halogen headlights with static cornering lights, electrically-folding (with automatic function) and adjustable heated door mirrors, LED daytime running lights, chrome exterior door handles with illumination, seven-inch touch-screen satnav, dual zone climate control, automatic de-fog system for windscreen, leather-covered steering wheel and gear knob, and much more.
On the safety front, features include anti-lock brakes, six airbags (front, side and curtain), an electronic stability programme, emergency stop signal (which flashes the brake lights when an emergency stop is detected), hill start assist control to prevent roll-back, and vehicle stability management.
There’s a choice of two engines, a 120bhp petrol unit and a 1.6-litre diesel with 110bhp or 128bhp. My test car had the last of these, and a smooth and responsive motor it proved to be, well mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox giving silky changes. There’s a six-speed manual version too. One of the things that most impresses about Hyundai models is build quality, and the i30 Tourer has that well-made, built-to-last feel about it throughout. There’s innovative technology, too, including the Flex Steer system, which has three operating modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport, allowing the driver to vary the level of steering support and feedback to suit the driving conditions.
Comfort offers a ‘lighter’ steering wheel and minimal effort to reach full lock, a great aid to parking. Normal is intended to be used most frequently, and Sport offers the driver the most feedback. The steering feels more weighted, offering a more driver-focused experience.
My week with the i30 Tourer was made up of a variety of road conditions on a wide mixture of routes, with around-town driving, twisty country roads and motorway hauls, and the car felt at home in all of them. The driving experience ticks the box marked ‘refined’.
Make/model: Hyundai i30 Tourer Premium 1.6 CRDi A/T.
Technical: 1,582cc DOHC, 16-valve diesel engine with six-speed automatic gearbox.
Performance: 0-62mph, 12.1 seconds; Top speed, 115mph.
Fuel: 50.4mpg (combined).
Price as tested: £25,645 (inc options: Pearl paint and panoramic sunroof).