The 2016 Paris Motor Show was the perfect occasion for Hyundai to reveal their brand new i30 model. The compact hatchback is a definition in the automotive world and is one of the brand’s best-selling models. Although SUVs are the most popular type of car nowadays, smaller hatchbacks are much better sold, due to their relatively friendlier price. The 2017 Hyundai i30 has now been revealed and sports tighter looks than its predecessor. Also, the inside brings us many great features to improve our driving experience and safety on the road, on top of a revamped dash and seats.
Finally, an honourable mention deserves the upcoming 2018 Hyundai i30 N, Hyundai’s first powered up hot hatch. Of course, we are all familiar with racing editions of for example the VW Polo or the sportier and more modern 2018 Renault Megane RS, but an i30? We’ve never seen that before. We are curious to see how Hyundai handles this segment and excited to add another small but feisty vehicle to the list of cars we want to drive.
The outside of the i30 underwent a massive redesigning, according to Hyundai’s most recent design language which we first met on the i10 and 2017 i20. Only the i30 does it better. Obviously, the i30 is one step bigger than the i20 and remarkably enough, all its design cues therefore come out much better. Also, the general line of the 2017 Hyundai i30 is the sporty look, more so than on the other two models. Twelve exterior colours are available for option!
First of all, the frog-eyed headlights made way for more streamlined units. These new headlights are reminiscent of Honda’s lamps, coincidentally also Hyundai’s main competitor on the American mainland.
The car is wider, which makes for a more relaxed front view of the car. The grille has been sized down a bit and has an altogether different shape and grille pattern. The chrome outline has been retained and the logo in the middle only changed insignificantly. The lower air vent is centralized and looks sportier than the last one’s. Also, the left and right air vents including the Daytime Running Lights sport a whole new look.
2017 Hyundai i30 side and rear
On to the side of the i30, which has been straightened out. There’s still a long crease from front wheel to rear fender, but it is now straight, with no bends. Also, the side windows follow a straighter line and don’t go up diagonally anymore. A chrome outline on the side windows is added.
The rear of the car shows some changes as well. The whole rear starts off with being lower to the ground. Then, there are the expected newly shaped taillights and the rear window is a more vertical one. Together with the longer wheelbase, this makes for more interior and trunk space, an always welcome feature. Finally, the air vents have been bundled into the lower bumper and the hatch door is extra creased.
We only just came to from all the exterior changes, but the interior of the car will surely blow us away just as easily. We’re not sure where to start because everything is different. It is difficult finding any clues from the old interior.
To start off with the eyecatcher, there is a much bigger infotainment screen. It now stands on top of the centre stack instead of being incorporated in it. The odd silver-coloured stack pillars besides it fortunately disappeared, leaving a uniform dashboard. Most of the centre stack buttons have been removed, only the infotainment screen, radio and gear shifting stick now catch the eye.
The steering wheel is completely new, also without silver touches, yet looking more ergonomic and robust.
Most noteworthy is that the 2017 Hyundai i30 dashboard looks made out of one piece completely. This brings a serene and modernistic atmosphere to the interior. Lovely addition are the aluminium racing pedals.
Standard upholstery comes in a cloth execution to retain the affordable price sticker. However, leather upgrades are optional, a blue/black colour combination even being leather only. The other colour options are all black or grey/black, both either in cloth or leather.
European i30 buyers get the choice of four engines. Standard engine is the familiar 1.4 liter four cylinder that carries over from the 2016 model. The engine comes with a six speed manual transmission and makes 99 horsepower.
Next up is a 1.0 liter three cylinder that we’ve already seen on the contemporary hatchback, the 2017 Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition. Here there’s also the six speed manual transmission and the engine makes a bit more horsepower than the standard engine, namely 118.
Then comes a turbocharged 1.4 liter four cylinder engine with 138 HP on the count. This engine is completely new and hasn’t been put in another vehicle before. The transmission can either be the six speed manual or a seven speed dual-clutch automatic one. The engine comes with direct injection for improving fuel efficiency.
Finally, there’s the obligatory diesel engine, which actually comes in three different editions. The base is a 1.6 liter turbodiesel engine and various tuning lay-outs make it either 94, 108 or 131 horsepower. Not bad for a diesel! Here is also the choice between the six speed manual or seven speed automatic transmission. We think it’s enough choice for all potential drivers.
Let’s start off with the nicest tech features of the 2017 Hyundai i30. When the driver chooses the optional 8 inch infotainment screen, that comes with a free subscription to TomTom LIVE, 3D maps, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seven years consecutively.
For those out there that feel more secure with semi-autonomous driving features, the 2017 i30 has the most active safety features of any Hyundai model up till now. A comprehensive list of available safety features include: Autonomous Emergency Braking with Front Collision Warning and Intelligent Cruise Control. Furthermore, there’s Blind Spot Detection, Speed Limit Information, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keeping Assist and High Beam Assist. Finally and new for Hyundai is Driver Attention Alert.
Other amazing tech features are the presence of a dynamic rear-view camera, a wireless charging station for your phone, Bluetooth and multiple USB-ports.
Price and release date
The 2017 Hyundai i30 first goes on sale in Europe, somewhere at the beginning of 2017. Prices are unfortunately not yet disclosed, but we expect a starting price of around €16,000 (Germany pricing). Seeing as direct rival, the completely revised 2018 Ford Focus will start at around $18,000, we expect the i30 to have a price below or around that one.
The United States will definitely see the i30, or as it is there named: the Hyundai Elantra GT. It will probably be a 2018 model and will only come with the one gasoline engine.