May 12: Hyundai i30 SR Long Term Review
The Hyundai i30 SR long termer’s inefficient headlights are driving Tony Bosworth to despair.
Car: Hyundai i30SR Date bought November 18, 2013 Price paid $28,000 driveaway Extras Phantom Black paint – $495 Delivery kilometres 38 Current kilometres: 15,940 Fuel consumption (mix of E10 and 91 octane, depending on availability), L/100km: best: 6.5, worst: 6.7, average: 6.7 Service costs $219 Faults None.
I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT to ask the dealer to check the headlights when I took the Hyundai in last week for its 15,000 service. As regular readers will know, I’m far from impressed with the lights – and I’m talking when they are on full beam – because the beam is set far too low and does not reach far enough either.
As winter approaches and the nights have drawn in I’ve been cursing the lights’ ineffectiveness every time I come off the motorway and ply the country lanes to my home.
Around town it’s simply not an issue and you won’t notice how poor they are but away from streetlights and the city it’s another story and I need to try and get something done to solve the problem. On full beam the light thrown ahead cuts off at far too low a height. It’s almost as if the lights are on dip but pointing straightahead.
And the reach ahead is far too limited. Okay, you shouldn’t be hurtling along country lanes at night – or probably at any time – but on one stretch near me the speed limit’s 75kph and I don’t feel comfortable travelling that fast. Frankly, I’ve never experienced this lack of forward night vision before and I’d rather take my other car out at night than the SR.
Anyway, as they say, mustn’t grumble… I need to sort this out and explore possibilities, though it’s a pain to have to do so, quite honestly.
One reader had earlier pointed out that the situation could be improved with the fog lights on (called driving lights here in Australia) but I’ve tried that and not found it a problem solver simply because the design of the front fogs means they are aimed at slicing through fog at close quarters rather than casting their beam far ahead (if the fogs’ beam did shoot far ahead in fog it would just be gauzy and actually make medium to long vision worse). So, you get a bit more flatter, wider light at the front, but it doesn’t solve the problem of the headlights’ lack of reach.
Some i30s have what Hyundai call a headlamp levelling device, which is fancy talk for a revolving switch that many car owners will be familiar with, but the SR does not have this feature. So, I’m assuming it has what Hyundai calls an “automatic headlight adjusting system”. It says in the owner manual that if the system does not adjust the headlights correctly “to suit the loading conditions”, in my case usually just me, then the system should be inspected by a Hyundai dealer. So, I’ll get it back in for a check and see if a dealer can help, and I’ll report back.
On the plus side, the SR is performing well overall and I’ve had the rear seats down a fair bit too – an easy enough operation – so I could get the kids’ two bikes on board. With the rear seats in place the boot is not massive but with the seas flat it’s a very useful cargo space indeed, and because there is a split fold arrangement you can still retain some seating space.
More next week.