Hyundai i30 Tourer elegant estate with understated appeal
Hyundai’s new i30 Tourer has loads more style to go with its space which makes this understated family estate hard not to like, says motoring editor Andy Russell.
A fellow motoring hack and I were discussing what people look for in a car – we concluded it was more space than pace, MPG than MPH and green than mean.
Can it carry people and loads comfortably? What about economy and emissions? Does it drive all right? Can I afford to run it? For many people a car is just an extension of their family, lifestyle or work so head rules heart and they put plain common sense, practicality and peace of mind warranty over dynamics and desirability.
That’s why so many people have woken up to the Hyundai brand.
Looks and image
The old i30 Tourer was dull and dumpy compared to the new model, with its tapering roofline, rakish rear screen and chrome trim framing the side windows.
Add Hyundai’s new family face and cascading grille and it’s now one of the better-looking medium-sized family estates, especially with a set of smart, two-tone alloy wheels.
Under the bonnet
It also has an attractive range of turbo engines with 120PS 1.0-litre and 140PS 1.4-litre petrol and 110 and 136PS 1.6-litre diesel and seven-speed automatic gearboxes available on the more powerful units.
If you do the miles, the 110PS diesel with a six-speed gearbox is relaxing to drive long distances. With tall gearing, it munches motorway miles in top gear, keeping the engine so muted that tyre noise is more noticeable. The downside is you have stir it into life with the light, smooth-shifting transmission, often dropping a couple of gears to get the engine on the boil. That probably accounted for my 50mpg overall – a lighter foot would have helped economy.
Ride and handling
The suspension is firm enough to give decent body control but supple enough to take the sting and buzz out of most road surfaces. You feel little tremors through the soft, supportive seats over big bumps and potholes but progress is acceptably smooth and comfortable most of the time.
The i30 Tourer is also competent through corners with well-weighted steering and good poise and balance so you can confidently tackle winding cross-country routes.
Space and comfort
With the same distance between the front and back wheels as the five-door hatchback, there’s enough space for four adults to stretch their legs, even six-footers won’t feel the pinch, but three across the back seat is cosy.
Where the i30 Tourer will win fans is on load space with the extra 245mm over the hatchback creating one of the biggest boots in its class at 602 litres. It’s easy to load with a sill-level floor, with useful storage compartments under it for stowing small items out of sight and stop them rolling around.
Rear seat backs split 60/40 and fold down to create a long, flat-floored 1,650-litre load bay but you realise how heavy the seat backs are when you lift them upright again.
The cabin shows good fit and finish with soft-touch plastics at important contact points and even the harder ones lower down look good.
At the wheel
The fascia cascades down in a series of swoopy contours and curves and is uncluttered and understated. It’s also user-friendly, easy to find your way round and take in information with big, clear instruments and simple heating and ventilation controls with many functions controlled via an intuitive, responsive, high-level, eight-inch floating touchscreen.
There’s also good cabin storage with a large glovebox, lidded locker between the front seats and big doorbins with bottle-holders.
The Hyundai i30 Tourer’s higher-end models have loads of creature comforts but you pay the price while lower trim levels are still well equipped so offer better value.
Whatever you go for, the i30 Tourer does everything you ask of it effectively and efficiently and that makes it hard not to like.
SPEC AND TECH
Price: Hyundai i30 Tourer Premium 1.6 CRDi £23,065 (range £17,495 to £25,785)
Engine: 1,582cc, 110PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel with six-speed manual transmission
Performance: 0-62mph 11.3 seconds; top speed 117mph
MPG: Urban 67.3; extra urban 78.5; combined 74.3
CO2 emissions: 99g/km
Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 21pc
Insurance group: 12E (out of 50)
Warranty: Five years, unlimited mileage
Will it fit in the garage? L 4,585mm; W (excluding door mirrors) 1,795mm; H 1,475mm