Our Cars

Week 5: Hyundai i30 SR long-term update

Admittedly no fan of in-car navigation systems, Tony Bosworth wonders why our long-term Hyundai i30 SR’s delivered him to an industrial estate when he was trying to get home.

Car Hyundai i30 SR
Date bought November 18, 2013
Price paid $28,000 driveaway
Extras Phantom Black paint – $495
Delivery kilometres 38
Current kilometres 6203
Fuel consumption (mix of E10 and 91 octane, depending on availability), L/100km: best: 6.5, worst: 6.7, average: 6.7
Service costs Nil
Faults None

Yes, I’m a map man. I like to get the book out and use my finger to trace the route. I like to see where I’m going. I like to plan a trip. Call me old fashioned but once I have that route, that picture in my mind, I’m off. Sometimes I might stop and re-check it, but by and large it works for me just fine.

Now, I’m not so much of a Luddite that I don’t see there’s a place for in-car navigation systems. For example, after a year of travelling the same work route to and from home, my wife was completely lost if there was a road work detour. If she hadn’t had the navigation system I don’t know if we’d ever have seen her again.

Me? I’d just mentally reset the compass in the front part of my brain and it would take me home around the road work. My wife is good with maps – folding them – but not reading them, so a navigation system is a must.

Away from the city our i30's sat-nav becomes confused.

Anyway, our long term Hyundai i30 SR comes as standard with a navigation system and when the car is serviced – as long as it’s through a Hyundai dealer – they will automatically update it. All well and good, but that assumes it works properly in the first place…

Here’s the story – so we go off for a week’s holiday down the south coast and though I broadly know my way we need to find this specific small township and its beach where we are to spend a week in a beachside cabin.

But, there are two beaches with the same name – one is on the Central Coast, north of Sydney, the other is where we are going, south, near Batemans Bay.

When we try – I am talking both myself and the wife, with some chipping in from the kids too, who frankly already know too much about electrical devices – we only get one option of the two and of course it is not the one we want.

We try everything, putting the postcode in – doesn’t recognise it – trying to continue to overtype the original – it doesn’t let us.

Now, in the city the SR’s navigation system seems to work fine. It alerts you up to three times that, for example, you need to take the next left to get to your destination. The Hyundai system is seemingly efficient and I’d have to say far less annoying than many standard systems which sometimes leave you half guessing whether it’s the approaching left, or maybe the next one you need to take…

Hyundai’s system features the big seven-inch screen which is standard on the SR (lesser i30 models get a paltry five-incher), so it all looks good.

On the holiday trip what we did in the end was punch in Batemans Bay which we knew was only half an hour or so away from our destination. When we got closer I got the map book out – no problem, my finger traced our route and the map and my brain compass took us there.

On the way home, I switched the navigation system back on when we were 25km from Woolongong. I put the home address in – and there is only one place in Australia with that destination name, so you’d have thought there’d be no problem.

But that compass in my head got jittery when on the approach to the Gong the navigation system asked me to take a left. My wife hates these moments because I start shaking my head and groaning and saying things like, “there is absolutely no way that is correct.” But in the interests of you, dear reader, I quashed the disbelief and gritted my teeth, and we found ourselves in a dead-end totally deserted industrial estate.

We went back out and I tried it again and it wanted to do the same thing. If I could wrench these things out of the dashboard I probably would.

But…this last week I’ve been driving a Hyundai i40 Tourer (a brilliant car – full road test soon…) so I thought I’d take it down that way again and see if its navigation system (of course it’s the same as the SR’s) was any better. No, is the answer, it did all the same stuff.

Now, I’m not saying it is Hyundai’s fault – there are satellites involved here and some generic map software, and who knows, maybe that industrial estate had some worm hole or black hole which once entered would have transported us instantly to our driveway, but probably not – but what I will do when I’m at the wheel of a different brand is try the same trip and see how that goes, then we’ll have a proper comparison.

Meanwhile, my advice is, if you’re thinking of leaving the city, buy a map book.

We want to hear from you, so, if you’ve had a similar problem, drop us a line.

Practical Motoring

Practical Motoring