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.

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9 years ago

Hi. Certainly not an encouraging prospect if planning to buy a car with a GPS, and to use it for long family holiday drives in the future… but I’ve read here and there that many car GPSs get twitchy like that from time to time. But in this case if two different Hyundai models (with same GPS) did the same thing, it must be a map error. I bought a cheap Aldi GPS years and years ago and it showed a cross street near my house that does not exist nor ever did. As for the car GPS and holidays, I’d go to the smartphone GPS for backup; there’s bound to be at least 2 of those in a family these days. Of course that doesn’t fix the problem with the car… but I guess all you can do is report it to the dealer and hope that they can fix it with the next map update. (Personally I’d bring the car for dealer service ONCE, get the free update, and then go to trusted personal mechanic thereafter. Local maps won’t change that much in a few years. And I don’t believe car value will be thousands more IF you service there AND chose to trade at very same dealer later).

Tony Bosworth
Tony Bosworth
9 years ago

David, I think you make some excellent points there. Yesterday in Sydney we were looking for an address and using the navigation system in a Hyundai Santa Fe (the last of a string of Hyundai test cars, and soon to be written up) and at one stage it wanted me to take a left, but it was a one-way street (and certainly not a new one-way street) and couldn’t therefore be entered. In tandem with the car’s navigation we were using Google Maps on an iPhone and that correctly told us to take the next left.

9 years ago

I’ve just bought a manual SR with sunroof (pick it up in a couple of weeks) after driving an 09 i30 slx diesel for 5 years. Loved the diesel, but wanted a change. Hoping I’ve made the right decision???????? Almost bought a new mazda 3 2 litre touring, but 3 year warranty and space saver ruined it for me. I’ve never used or owned a car with Sat Nav before, so this may be a stupid question, but do you have to have it on every time you drive, or can you turn it off? Also interesting about the clutch and first gear. I’ve test driven 2 SRs from different dealerships and stalled them both. With the diesel, I could let the clutch out slowly in first a not even touch the accelerator and it would not stall. Again….. I hope I have made the right decision??????

Tony Bosworth
Tony Bosworth
9 years ago
Reply to  Graham

Graham, I think you have made the right choice, not least because of the five year unlimited kilometre warranty, though certainly the Mazda is a very worthy rival too. I’d maintain no car – cheap or expensive – is perfect and certainly my experience so far with the SR is, yes, the clutch action is a definite minus (at least in first gear – the other changes are pretty much fine) and as I’ve said elsewhere in this long term report, the headlights are dreadful on full beam and Hyundai really should sort that out. You can turn the navigation system off, for sure.

Owen Holleran
Owen Holleran
9 years ago

We got rid of our big cars and bought a Veloster Turbo in November 2013 (8,000 kms on clock now) and an i30SR in January 2014 (5500 kms now).Both cars needed to have wheel alignments (done by a really good alignment shop – not a place that sells tyres). Inflation pressures around 40 psi also reduce tyre wear and aid handling. Both cars are great to drive. The Veloster must run on 98 octane to avoid pinging, the SR a mixture of 91/95. Driving the Great Ocean Road last month was great in the i30 if you drove the auto like a manual. Local dealer in Shepparton has been very helpful. Not sure about servicing the i30 every 7500k’s however. (The Veloster must be every 7,500). Sat-Nav has needed to be reset a number of times. Bloody nuisance but it is a computer. Look forward to reading more of you reviews.

Isaac Bober
9 years ago
Reply to  Owen Holleran

Hi Owen, nice to hear from you. We’ll be restarting Tony’s long-term reports from next week… you can sign-up to our weekly newsletter from the site to make sure you know when the latest long-term i30 report is posted. Cheers, Isaac (Editor).

Practical Motoring

Practical Motoring