Jacob Hall purchased this Hyundai i30 new with additional options for $36,490 (including all on-road costs). Jacob Hall would buy this car again because: “Its fun driving dynamics and endearing yet simple personality are truly hard to come by in the modern age of gimmicky cars and I find that the i30 N Line is perfectly understated yet still carries such a great experience.”
Over 24,000 kilometres driven in just over a year and a massive range of driving from work runs, carving up corners down the coast and everything in between the car has never thrown up a warning light, never failed to start and has been as dependable as you could possibly ask for as an owner.
The ownership experience of this car has been wonderful as a young lad’s first new car purchase I have found each day of owning this fun entry level hot hatch to be a joyous one.
It’s an all rounder with a added spice that makes almost all day to day driving a little less dull whilst maintaining its dependable daily driver habits.
The aftercare experience a year in to ownership has been great. Servicing reminders and dealership flexibility in regards to servicing the car have been super easy to organise and the car’s guaranteed eight-year warranty really takes a lot of stress out of the ownership experience for someone who rely’s so heavily on this particular vehicle.
Price wise the days of sub $30k hot hatches are pretty much gone and while that does disappoint me the $36,490 I paid for this car heavily undercuts European offerings like the Polo GTI and even contemporaries from Kia in the Cerato GT.
The features I’ve found refreshingly simple in that it’s got Apple CarPlay, digital gauge cluster, sports leather seats, and steering wheel, modern safety tech that one expects from a new car in this day and age and who could forget red seat belts!
At the same time it has all physical controls for climate and doesn’t over crowd the interior with crazy screens and miles of disarrayed buttons that you can never figure out. All key touch points in the cabin are easily reachable and logically laid out which makes hopping into this car and getting acquainted with the in cabin experience delightfully easy.
The 1.6L turbo GDI engine has been a staple of entry level hot hatch offerings from Hyundai & Kia for an age now and whilst that could be seen as just re-editing old homework and handing it in week after week, I like to see it as continual improvement and a statement about the engines stout reliability and endearing nature.
Now it’s no rocket 0-100 in 7.1 seconds aided heavily by close ratio gearing from the seven-speed DCT and sticky Michelin PS4 tyres and just over 200hp and 195lb-ft of torque is nothing in the modern day however it is plenty to use on the road and all the torque being accessible from 1500rpm gives the car a really surprising ability to gather pace with little effort.
So far it’s been a delightful car to haul down the twisties of the Great Ocean Road and seems to have just the right amount of grunt to never feel slow but always feels rewarding in that you’re being able to use all the car has to offer.
On the economy side it’s a peach, whilst I prefer a more spirited type of drive fuel is expensive and being able to consistently achieve between 6.8-7.5L per 100km in day to day drives has been excellent.
On a run I’ve gotten it down to as low as 5.3L per 100km over a 1000km journey I did early January of this year but as a package the balance of performance and economy is very well judged if not slightly skewed towards economy.
The technology in the i30 N Line is perfectly sufficient for my needs. It has a very flashy digital gauge cluster with tonnes of info available such as tyre pressure monitoring, lane keeping adjustments, cruise control the whole lot and it also has a infotainment screen that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and has a pretty solid base system from Hyundai as well that runs pretty smoothly and for the price point is hard to complain about.
However on occasions the infotainment display has had trouble loading screens such as Spotify or Apple Music and on occasion will play the music but the screen will remain blank, usually this is fixable by just disconnecting then reconnecting a phone but nevertheless it has been an annoyance on multiple drives usually upon first start up before the screen has really got going.
Other than that little gripe the tech in this car has been dependable and more than enough for a lad such as myself to make good use of in everyday life and across all sorts of drives.
Hyundai’s Australian handling and chassis tuning department clearly knows what they’re doing as when I’m driving down a freeway or old country road the car remains stable and glides me across the rough surfaces of Victorian roads.
Whilst tyre noise is an issue the suspension and damping have been judged to a tee as I never feel in being beaten up by the roads but also never feel disconnected from them like I would in some super soft luxury barge like my old WH Caprice.
The N Line’s ride strikes a good balance between being constantly comfortable and suitable for long drives whilst also maintains the rigidity and stability needed for a more spirited drive where body control and weight transfer must be predictable and controllable which in this little hot hatch I have found to be incredibly well balanced and dynamic for all sorts of driving.
The handling is aided hugely by the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres which have huge grip in all weather conditions and compliment the quick steering rack super well.
Whether smoothly changing lanes or darting from corner to corner the steering is very quick and very direct which is exactly what you’d want from a sporty hatchback. It’s eager to dart from corner to corner and has little to no trouble whatever situation you may find yourself in.
The feel isn’t bad either there definitely isn’t loads of it which isn’t surprising for a modern car but the wheel definitely weights up and allows you to get a good sense for road placement and road surface which aids enthusiastic driving exponentially well. As an overall riding and handling car both aspects compliment each other very nicely.