Here are my thoughts on the Hyundai i30 Sport Nav after my week-long test drive.
Day – 1 First Impressions
Taking a first look at the i30 was a very pleasant surprise for me. Up close the car looks very appealing. From the front the car has a well-crafted face that gives the car a sporty but friendly look. I was very happy with the 3 door body shape from the side; it looks like a fairly premium car.
The only down point for me was the chrome inserts in the wheels that gives the car a slightly cheaper look than I would have liked considering how good the rest of the car is.
Day 2 – Taking it for a Drive
Taking the car out for its first decent drive is a great time to start to understand what the car is all about. The model on test has the 1.6-litre diesel engine in with a 6 speed manual gearbox. This creates 128bhp that goes to the front wheels. The car feels very smooth to drive. The pedal weighting is nicely balanced and the clutch has a very smooth and soft feel that brings a nice element of gentleness to the driving experience of the car. In heavy traffic the i30 is pretty easy to stop and start, and on the motorway the i30 creates plenty of torque to help you change speeds to keep up with the movement of traffic.
The thing that most impressed me about this car is the engine efficiency; I averaged over 50mpg all week. Driving it hard or soft the car still returned great mpg, and it appears it will go for miles and miles on a single tank.
Day 3 – Driving at Night
Taking the i30 out at night gives you a whole new arena of things to test with the car. The car was fitted with halogen based headlights which do work well, but I did feel myself sometimes wanting a little bit more light on really dark roads, it would be great to have a Xenon light option on this car. One of the good features of the lighting is when you turn a tight corner the car will automatically light the fog light on that side of the car to illuminate the road at a wider angle than the standard headlights to enable you to see more. It’s a very effective safety feature.
Another thing that I liked about the car was the daylight running lights; they really help give a modern look to the already pretty curvy front end and also have the added benefit of the safety feature.
Day 4 – What Features do you Get Inside
The inside of the i30 is pretty good indeed. The model on test is the Sport Nav version which comes with the integrated Sat Nav system. Often car Sat Navs can be slow and difficult to use, but this one was actually super responsive and very easy to use and follow. I was really pleased and pleasantly surprised with the Hyundai’s navigation system.
The overall design of the interior was very good. It’s clear that the car is built to a price, as with any car, but from a design perspective they have done a fantastic job with the budget.
Day 5 – It’s a Great Everyday Car
After spending some time with the i30, it was clear to me that this Hyundai is a great every day car. The Sport Nav has reasonable performance for nipping about town and does ok on the motorways too, with staggeringly high MPG figures at the same time. Everything about the car is easy to use and the space inside is perfect for everything you need to get in and out, including plenty of room for shopping bags in the boot.
Day 6 – Sunrise Photo Shoot
Shooting cars in December in the UK is slightly more difficult than it is in the summer. I was pretty pleased with the look of this car and we wanted to try and create the best possible backdrop for the car. We decided to try and capture a nice urban sunrise picture. Getting the car ready for the shoot we even had to wash it down in the dark prior to the sunrise to remove the ice off it from the wintery night.
Setting up in the dark at a spot previously scouted out we just had to wait for the right 10 minute window of light that we wanted. We created the nice soft looking picture that we wanted and I’m really pleased with it. Shot by lying face first in a puddle we created quite a compelling picture of the i30 looking at its best.
Day 7 – Looking back on the week
I was certainly sad to see this car go. The Hyundai i30 Sport Nav was certainly one of the friendliest cars that I have driven and made for an enjoyable drive for the week.
During my time with the i30 I had done around 350 miles and there was still quarter of a tank left in a the car, so I was very impressed with just how efficient this super hatchback had been for the week. If you are looking for something faster the i30N is available.