Our Cars

Hyundai i30 long-term test

The third-generation Hyundai i30 is billed as the brand’s best small car yet, so, will the SR Premium impress us over the coming months?

What are we testing: The Hyundai i30 SR Premium

Who’s running it: Isaac Bober, Founder & Head of Content

Why are we testing it: The Hyundai i30 is one of the best-selling cars in the country, and this new model needs to build on that and out-step the competition.

What it needs to do: Handle everything from long-distance commutes into the Big Smoke, to the school run, the weekly grocery trip, runs to the hardware store and given its sporting bent, be entertaining into the bargain.

2017 Hyundai i30 SR Premium

Pricing From $33,950+ORC Extras: $495 metallic paint; Warranty five-years, unlimited kilometres Safety five-star ANCAP Engine 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol Power 150kW at 6000rpm Torque 265Nm at 1500-4500rpm Transmission seven-speed DCT Drive front-wheel drive Dimensions 4340mm (L); 1795mm (W); 1455mm (H) 2650mm (WB) Boot Space 395L/1301L Spare Space Saver Fuel Tank 50L Thirst 7.5L/100km (combined)


18 August 2017 – Into the city, the country and to the soccer

THIS WEEK the Hyundai’s been busy but not quite as busy as I’d hoped… it had a quick run out on one of my favourite stretches of road in the Blue Mountains; the road that runs from Blackheath down into the Megalong Valley. Interestingly, this is the one of the roads that Hyundai uses when testing its ride and handling combinations.

Indeed, if you read our recent news piece on the Genesis G70 testing in the Blue Mountains… well, it was this road the G70 was being driven along. Moving on.

The road carves its way down from the mountain top to the valley floor dropping down several hundred metres. It’s steep, tight and twisting, is filled with humps and bumps and is one of the best roads I know for finding all the weak spots in a vehicle’s chassis and steering… and brakes. And then, on the way up, how well the engine copes under the strain of the steep climb and constant corners.

Our Hyundai i30 SR Premium is still very new with less than 600km now on the clock, so my drive down into the Valley was a little bit less enthusiastic than if the thing had at least 1000km under its belt. But the big revelation for me was just how well the front-end handles both hard mid-corner holes and bumps without shimmying off line or jolting through the steering wheel. The compliance of the suspension in general coupled with the fact that it rides on 18-inch alloys show just well this thing has been tuned for Australian roads.

After my drive down into the Megalong Valley, a meeting in the city meant the i30 had to ferry me into the guts of the Big Smoke. While there’s been some moaning about dual-clutch transmissions, I’ve got to say the thing proved smooth at low speeds as we crept through Sydney’s usual all-hours-of-the-day gridlock. I could have used the native sat-nav to guide me to my destination, but with the address already pre-loaded on my phone, connecting via Apple CarPlay made the whole trip very easy.

For those who spend weekends schlepping around from child’s sports game to child’s sports game, I’m happy to report the i30 SR Premium works a treat as a soccer mum or dad car. I coach my son’s soccer team and so have to carry around the kit bag and all the balls. They fit easily into the back of the i30 as you can see.

Hyundai i30 SR Premium long-termer with soccer balls in the boot

This week’s highlight: This week I want to briefly touch on the Lane Keeping Assist functionality in Hyundai’s SmartSense active safety suite. Only available on variants fitted with a DCT, the lane keep will alert you if you’ve wandered while also gently steering you back into your lane… I took my hands off the wheel, not something you should be doing, and watched the wheel turn to describe a fairly long corner. It held the turn for a few seconds before letting go quite abruptly which saw the steering spring back to the straight ahead. It’s a good set-up and one that’s designed to assist if you’re momentarily distracted, like checking in the rear vision mirror or adjusting the air-con, but it doesn’t mean you can take your hands off the wheel and think the i30 will actively steer you around a corner… you need to keep your hands on the wheel.

11 August 2017 – The Hyundai i30 SR Premium joins our fleet

IF YOU’VE READ any of our Hyundai i30 reviews you’ll get the distinct impression that we’re just a little bit impressed with the third-generation model. And we kind of liked the second-gen i30, too. But, driving around in a car for a week and then giving back the keys is a little different to living with one for any real period.

In the week, we have our test cars we try and do as much with them as possible to replicate an ownership experience. But, there’s no substitute for time and so we’ll be living with the new Hyundai i30 SR Premium to see if, as I’m on record as saying, that it’s the new small car benchmark.

Last week when I tested the entry-level i30 Active I said how much I enjoyed it and that if you didn’t want, need all the fruit or were shopping on a budget then it represented real bang for your buck. And while I’ve been happy to live with that car for a few months, I’m secretly very happy indeed that Hyundai decided to offer the top-spec SR Premium instead. Besides offering more kit and a nicer interior there’s a lot more to explore and talk about with this thing.

Hyundai i30 SR Premium

Recently we received a question about how well the new i30 will hold together compared with, say, a Toyota Corolla over a five-year period. Well, I won’t be able to answer that question definitively, but I will be able to get part way there with this weekly series of updates on our long-term i30 SR Premium.

I’ve only just picked up the i30 and have only added around 110km to its delivery specification odometer reading of 196km. And those kays were all freeway from Hyundai’s head office in Sydney to my home perched on top of the Blue Mountains. But, before we get into my initial impressions, let’s explore the i30 SR Premium and look at what you get for your $33,950+ORC (see the image below that details the step-change from SR to SR Premium).

Hyundai i30 SR Premium long-term test

Hold your hand over the name of the car and look through the features list and you could easily be forgiven for thinking you’re looking at a premium brand vehicle. The SR Premium offers heated and ventilated front seats; I can remember testing an E63 AMG half a dozen years ago that had these fitted and now they’re being fitted to a $30k Hyundai i30… Our long-termer comes with plenty of standard kit to the point that there aren’t any extra cost options except for metallic paint at $495.

So, what do I think of the i30 SR Premium SR so far. Well, I like it. I’m going to drive it responsibly during the run-in period but I did give it a bit of a squirt on the drive home and I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with this car. The turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder is a very nice little engine with a decent amount of shove offering 150kW and 265Nm of torque; although it feels like more torque. Our car has the seven-speed DCT that we also tested this week in the i30 Diesel. Obviously, because it’s bolted onto a different engine, the DCT in the SR Premium has none of the hesitancy in on-off throttle situations and responds cleanly to the paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Hyundai i30 SR Premium long-term test

The leather seats are nice and grippy without being too tight and, even with the front seats set to suit me I’m still able to sit comfortably behind. The middle seat is a perch but the flattened off transmission tunnel means an adult could use the seat in a pinch.

The boot offers 395 litres of storage space but the floor can be set at two heights, meaning there’s a little bit of hidden storage space on top of the space saver spare when you raise the floor. There’s a net latched to the tie-down points which makes for a mess-free drive home when the boot’s full of groceries.

This week’s highlight: It would be remiss of me not to mention the panoramic glass roof on our i30 SR Premium. I’m not generally a fan of these things as the sun-blinds are generally sub-par at keeping the sun out. But, the blind in the i30 is excellent, so much so, that if you didn’t point out the roof passengers probably wouldn’t notice. So, full marks to Hyundai for fitting a proper sun blind to the panoramic roof.

Next week: The i30 SR Premium will get a baptism of fire as it spends a week on the school run and gets put through its paces on my ride and handling road. I might even get to put a short video together.


  • Three Pedals Only

    It will be refreshing to read (hopefully) some ‘real world’ relevant reviewing and useful comments for this vehicle. For example, how strong are the headlights and high-beam at night on an unlit road, what is the reversing camera display like in a dark area, how does the vehicle handle and brake in the wet, does an optional full-size alloy spare fit OK under the raised boot floor and what is the effect on power with four persons on board? Just to name a few.

    A test drive doesn’t allow one the opportunity to check those noted – and other – ‘real world’ situations.

    I look forward to reading your future updates (and comments).

    • Hi Three Pedals Only, I’ll do my best to make sure I cover off on all the real-world aspect of this vehicle. – Isaac

      • John John

        Isaac, any word on that full size spare yet? I asked on a different artcile some weeks ago.

        • Three Pedals Only

          John John, as regards a full size spare for the 2017 Hyundai i30 SR; type ‘2017 Hyundai i30 SR with full sized spare wheel upgrade’, you will see a YouTube video titled Going Spare.

          • John John

            Thanks for that! John Cadogan says Hyundai are about to introduce an optional full size spare for the SR – you beauty! Coincidentally, I test drove the SR just yesterday, it’s a pretty good thing – with a full size spare it would meet all of my requirements.

  • Lozan Haynes

    Thoroughly disappointed that at 175cm height, I can’t sit in the rear of sunroof equipped variants without touching the roof lining. I really want the top spec model, why couldn’t the sunroof be optional as in the mid spec model?

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.