Hyundai i30 Review logo

Hyundai i30 Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2017
      Body type
      Family hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Sensible and good value hatch”

Best bits

  • Better value for money than a Volkswagen Golf
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Lots of standard safety equipment (including a spare wheel)

Not so great

  • Entry-level S models are a bit drab
  • Kia Ceed has a flashier interior with more tech
  • Not as good to drive as rivals

Read by

Hyundai i30 2017 frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Hyundai i30 2017 front interior

On the inside

Hyundai i30 2017 frontright exterior

Driving

Hyundai i30 2017 backright open

How much does it cost to run

Hyundai i30 2017 rightside exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Hyundai i30 is the automotive equivalent to a white good. If you buy your car like you buy a washing machine - looking for something that ticks all the boxes, represents good value for money and has a decent warranty, the i30 could be the family hatchback for you."

Hyundai i30 2017 frontleft exterior

It’s not as desirable as a Volkswagen Golf, doesn’t drive as well as a Ford Focus and lacks the premium cabin of the Mazda 3 - but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of your consideration.


It’s closely related to the Kia Ceed. By that we mean it shares a platform and engines, yet each sport different badges and are marketed slightly differently. While they’re both value offerings, the i30 undercuts the Ceed thanks to a more affordable entry-level model.


Badged the S, the most affordable Hyundai i30 is very basic. It does without a whizzy infotainment screen, there are no shiny chrome finishes or leather trim, and you’re on your own when it comes to parking. This’ll appeal to some buyers, but we’d recommend narrowing down your search to SE models or above.


The engine line-up is made up of two petrols (a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit and a 1.4 four-cylinder) and a diesel (a 1.6 badged the CRDi). We actually rate the littlest 1.0-litre highly, but you’d be better with a 1.4 if you regularly drive out of town. The diesel is very efficient and will do the job for high-mileage drivers, but there’s nothing spectacular about it. It’ll cost more to buy, too.


The Hyundai i30 is pretty soft in the way it drives, soaking up bumpy road surfaces and wafting along in comfort. Even bigger wheels won’t really upset the ride. On the downside, it doesn’t feel very agile in the bends, but it’s fairly planted and feels safe to drive.


Talking of safety, it scores highly on that front. There are loads of safety assist systems fitted as standard, even on the most affordable models. Lane guidance systems will nudge your steering if you stray from your lane, while a driver attention alert will tell you to take a break if you appear to be getting tired.


There are Isofix points for fitting child seats in the back, which is pretty easy thanks to wide-opening rear doors. Space in the back isn’t that great for adults, but it’s spacious enough for occasional rear-seat passengers. The boot is slightly bigger than alternatives like the Golf, while an adjustable boot floor and dropping rear seats help versatility.


No one’s going to get excited about the Hyundai i30, but it’s a very competent car that puts the focus on comfort and value for money. A transferable five-year, unlimited mileage warranty makes it a sensible used proposition, too.


While the Hyundai i30 perhaps doesn’t excel in any particular area, it also isn’t shockingly bad in any way. It just quietly does the job, saving you money thanks to its low running costs and affordable used prices. We like how comfortable it is and the amount of kit you get as standard, provided you avoid the cheapest S trim level. It’s certainly an easy car to recommend, even if it lacks the appeal of a Volkswagen Golf.


If you're looking for the older version, you need our Hyundai i30 (2012-2017) review.

Is the Hyundai i30 right for you?

The Hyundai i30 isn’t a car that’s going to make a statement about your success in life. It won’t attract admirable glances on your driveway like a Volkswagen Golf, nor will it impress on the school run in the same way as a crossover SUV like a Nissan Qashqai.


But as a car for getting from A to B, it ticks all the boxes. It’s comfortable, represents good value for money, and doesn’t feel as cheap and nasty as you might expect for a budget Korean offering. With frugal engines, low servicing costs and an extensive warranty, the Hyundai i30 is ultimately a very sensible choice.

What’s the best Hyundai i30 model/engine to choose

We reckon the middle trim levels represent the best combination of affordability and relative plushness. Avoid the cheapest S model, but the SE and SE Nav models are well-equipped and cheap to buy. N Line models are a bit sportier while Premium trims are classier, but if that’s what you’re after you should probably look at more conventional alternatives.


In terms of engines, don’t bother with the diesel unless you cover mega miles. The 1.0-litre petrol will be powerful enough for a lot of drivers, but the 1.4’s a more refined choice if you plan to use the i30 but motorway journeys. No Hyundai i30 will be expensive to run.

What other cars are similar to the Hyundai i30?

Don’t buy a Hyundai i30 without considering the closely-related Kia Ceed. It’s actually better-equipped for the money and comes with a longer warranty (albeit limited to 100,000 miles). 


The Vauxhall Astra is as dull as ditchwater but another competent (and affordable) family hatch, as is the newer Skoda Scala. Then there are the slightly classier choices, including the Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Leon, Ford Focus and Mazda 3. All have slightly better interiors and are more enjoyable to drive, but you don’t get as much for your money as with the i30. If outright practicality is important, we’d recommend a Honda Civic or Skoda Octavia.

Learn more

Hyundai i30 2017 front interior

On the inside

Hyundai i30 2017 frontright exterior

Driving

Hyundai i30 2017 backright open

How much does it cost to run

Hyundai i30 2017 rightside exterior

Prices, versions and specification