- Large panoramic roof
- Front seats
- Ride and handling
- Engine can get thirsty
- Dual-clutch transmission needs refining
- Short service intervals
For years, Hyundai i30 has sat in the top 10 of the sales ladder in Australia after proving in its first generation that Hyundai were to be taken seriously at this car building caper. Yet fast forward to 2020 and suddenly the i30 has a slew of new competitors including a brand new Toyota Corolla and Mazda 3. We tested the top shelf 2020 Hyundai i30 N-Line Premium to see if it can still compete with the bigger players in the medium hatch market.
Price & Specs:
Starting from $35,590 plus on road costs, the top-spec 2020 Hyundai N-Line Premium is as luxurious an i30 as you buy. It comes as standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, heated and cooled leather seating, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat (though no memory functionality), LED lighting, dual-zone climate control, auto headlights and wipers, wireless phone charging, keyless entry and start, a panoramic sunroof, an 8.0-inch colour touch screen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a seven-speaker Infinity sound system, digital radio, a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors, heated and auto-folding mirrors and an electric handbrake.
The i30 N-Line Premium also comes with an almost full suite of active safety equipment. As standard it includes low speed forward collision avoidance, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, radar cruise control with stop and go functionality and driver attention warning.
Curiously, before the i30 N-Line came the SR and it had both blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert – and features such as rear auto braking, auto high beam and high-speed AEB are not available. Auto high beam that’s standard on the cheapest Hyundai (the Venue)? Not available.
Rivals to the i30 N-Line Premium include the $38,590 Mazda3 G25 Astina, $32,695 Toyota Corolla ZR, $34,490 Ford Focus Titanium, $33,490 Kia Cerato GT (which is the same underneath as the i30) and the $34,990 Volkswagen Golf Highline as luxury high-grade hatchbacks that are loaded with equipment.
Our test car is painted in ‘Fluid Metal’ metallic paint that will set buyers back $495, as will ‘Phantom Black’, ‘Lava Orange’, ‘Intense Blue’ and ‘Fiery Red’. ‘Polar White’ is the only standard colour choice.
Drive & Engine:
Powering the 2020 Hyundai i30 N-Line Premium is a 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels through a standard seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (a six-speed manual is available on the cheaper N-Line). Compared to the 110kW/250Nm Golf, 139kW/252Nm Mazda 3 G25 Astina and the 134kW/240Nm Ford Focus Titanium, the i30 is more powerful – the Cerato shares the i30’s engine with the same figures.
The engine feels grunty even at slow speeds when darting in and out of traffic, through the dual-clutch transmission can be a little jerky at sudden acceleration or braking at slower speeds. You do need to punch the throttle to wake the transmission up to get the best out of it and we’d like to see a bit more torque as well. Hyundai claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.0 seconds, which is pretty respectable.
Fuel consumption is not the 2020 Hyundai i30’s strong suit though as while the claimed average is 7.1L/100km, it’s hard to match that figure – we got almost 10L/100km in our time with it. This would result in a real world range of just under 500km.
Ride & Handling:
The way the 2020 Hyundai i30 N-Line Premium rides on the firmer side due to the standard 18-inch wheels, though it is nowhere near uncomfortable. The way Hyundai tunes the suspension setup for Australia is fantastic – it’s taught and well damped, and thanks to fully independent rear suspension, definitely rides better than the Focus and Mazda.
The chassis feels tight and now with the addition of the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres the i30 can handle corners well too, though you do feel its weight when chucking it about. The steering is quick and direct though, guiding the car wherever you point the steering wheel. A Corolla feels more fun though, and its chassis is more natural when driving hard.
Interior & Practicality:
The interior of the 2020 Hyundai i30 N-Line premium is a nice place to be, though the new Mazda3 is miles ahead for quality. The seats are supportive and with lumbar adjustment, they are quite comfortable for longer journeys. There are soft touch materials on the door panels and dashboard, though the interior does need another layer of finishing.
The 8.0-inch centre screen is intuitive and easy to navigate with satellite navigation and easy to use menus that are quick to navigate. The centre driver’s display has a plethora of trip computer options and a digital speedo, though a fully digital display is coming soon to the i30, which will lift the cabin ambience.
Front cabin storage is excellent with reasonable door pockets, a big centre bin with a wireless charger, a small wallet tray next to the driver and reasonable cup holders as well. Front space is excellent, as is visibility.
Rear leg room in the 2020 Hyundai i30 is adequate with just enough knee and toe room for average height individuals to sit behind each other. Rear amenities though are rather good with a centre armrest with cup holders and rear air vents, though no charging ports. Boot space is good for this segment at 395L – the Mazda3 has 292L – which opens up to 1,301L with the second row folded, though it doesn’t fold flat unlike lesser i30s. Beneath the cargo floor is a space-saver spare tyre.
The red seatbelts and red stitching give the interior a sporty edge to go with the warm performance of the car. The sports steering wheel also feels like a quality item with bolstering and solid buttons.
Running Costs & Warranty:
The 2020 Hyundai i30 comes with the brand’s standard five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, which is equal with what Mazda and Toyota offer on the 3 and Corolla though less than the seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty offered by Kia on the Cerato GT. The 2020 Hyundai i30 N-Line Premium also comes with 12-months of roadside assist which is further extended by another 12-months at every scheduled service through a Hyundai service centre for up to five years.
Servicing the i30 N-Line Premium comes around every 12-months or 10,000km, which are the same intervals as the Mazda3 though not as good as the Corolla and Focus, which only need servicing every 15,000km. The first three services come in at $299 meaning servicing the i30 for three years will set owners back $897. The total cost of ownership for three years including fuel at 15,000km driven per year and fuel at $1.35 per litre and servicing is $5,210.25.
In the popular medium hatch segment, the 2020 Hyundai i30 N-Line Premium holds its ground as one of the best with a nice interior, good driving dynamics and handsome styling. The keen engine and Aussie-tuned chassis and suspension make it one of the better cars to drive in the segment and while it’s not the most frugal car in the class, it’s got an excellent aftersales program and is a great all-rounder.