Designed and built in Europe, three body styles are offered on the latest generation i30 – a five-door hatchback, estate and saloon-cum- coupé aka Fastback. Hyundai has also updated the i30 N Line range and given it a sportier look. At the front, our N Line model has a wider central grille and new style headlamps. The lower central grille has increased in size and dominates the bumper area, expressing a bold road stance. The side openings feature floating wings which enhance aerodynamic performance.
Connectivity and infotainment
With the facelifted i30, Hyundai has introduced eCall, automatically dialling emergency assistance if airbags are deployed or when the call button located above the rearview mirror is pressed. Relevant information (car information, time of accident, driving direction, airbag and impact sensor information) sent to the local emergency service.
In addition, Hyundai Live Services are available for the sat-nav which offers updated data on weather, traffic, speed camera warning, on- and off-street parking, as well as identifying nearby charging stations and live POI Search.
The 10.25-inch split tablet-style touchscreen features Cloud-based voice recognition. It provides two home screen versions and the ability to edit displayed widgets and icons. In addition to standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, drivers can connect two phones at the same time to listen to each phone’s music through Bluetooth streaming. So that rules out any chance of arguments when deciding whose Spotify to stream en route from A to B.
The crisp and clear central touchscreen comes with a split-screen function and some Bluetooth connections. It also features the carmaker’s Bluelink upgrade, which includes a User profile, Last Mile Navigation, Connected Routing, and Live Parking Information.
Drivers can have a personalised User profile which can be transferred to other Hyundai vehicles providing the same feature. Last Mile Navigation helps drivers continue the journey to their final destination even after the car has been parked, using either Augmented Reality or Google Maps. Connected Routing is Hyundai’s cloud-based navigation system. Live Parking Information gives users real-time information on the location and price of nearby available parking spaces. In addition, the Bluelink upgrade features Free Text Search for users to enter addresses or points of interest.
Hyundai’s upgraded Bluelink also features a new user interface with a black screen and updated blue icons that display the time, weather and map guidance. The map interface offers a choice between three colour schemes and an enhanced dark night mode. It displays a range of GPS-based information to aid drivers, including the current speed of the vehicle and various information about traffic density. For a more tranquil driving experience, drivers can also select from various audible atmospheres called ‘Sounds of Nature’. These include ‘calm ocean waves’, ‘rainy day’, ‘open-air café’, ‘warm fireplace’ and ‘snowy village’.
Beneath the touchscreen, the HVAC control panel has been redesigned with a glossy black surround. A mix of physical buttons and touch-sliders allow for intuitive climate control operation.
Other interior design updates include refined air vents and a new interior garnish colour – Pewter Grey. This is in addition to the existing Black. The seats can be covered in cloth, or a combination of both cloth and leather, allowing four possible options.
Comfort and convenience features include front and rear cupholders, power-folding wing mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, rear camera view and guidance system plus automatic headlight dipping.
In the ADAS department, Hyundai’s SmartSense technology package includes front collision warning and avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection, driver attention warning, lane-keeping assist and high beam assist and smart cruise control.
Also available is lane following assist which keeps the car in the middle of a lane so drivers can navigate safely even in heavy traffic. A further feature is an intelligent speed limit warning using the front camera and information from the navigation system to identify road speed signs, and displaying the speed limit and no-passing signs in real-time.
A new option of leading vehicle departure alert notifies the driver when the vehicle in front has driven away from a stop. Other options include blind-spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic collision warning.
On the road
On balance, the interior is a little so-so in places, yet the quality of the materials and pleasing finishes more than make up for it. It also has plenty of smartphone connectivity. Finding a comfortable driving position is easy with a combination of seat and steering wheel adjustment. Head and legroom for all occupants is great no matter your height. The N Line that we took out and about this week was powered by a 1.5-litre T-GDI engine with 160 PS, which comes standard with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology (available only on N Line in the UK) mated to a 7-speed DCT transmission. Officially, it will achieve 52.3 mpg although our real-world test returned a very agreeable average of 51 mpg. Rival models include the VW Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus.