Road Test Review: Hyundai i30 Premium

Independent review by Bill McCarthy

5-minute read

Hyundai i30 Exterior Front

Road Test: Hyundai i30 Premium

Explore the key features of the Hyundai i30 Premium in our expert road test review

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Practical, frugal, safe, and packed with equipment, the Hyundai i30 Premium is a reliable all-rounder that gives excellent value for money.


  • Reliable
  • Plenty of kit
  • Modern looks
  • Smooth and comfortable to drive
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The Hyundai success story simply goes on, and that’s because the Korean firm listens to its customers, according to a top boss.

In the last 15 years in particular, the firm has introduced a raft of new models across the segments, improved quality and embraced electric technology enthusiastically.

The new i30 in mid-range Premium spec, is one of the cornerstones of Hyundai’s success and the new model does look good. Since it first came on the market in 2008, it undercut rivals substantially. As popularity grew, so did the prices.

So it needs to be good and offer value for money. Hyundai's range have always offered plenty of standard equipment, with the 5-year/unlimited mileage warranty also proving a winner over the years. Others are now also offering extended warranties, including sister firm Kia with a 7-year warranty.

The latest third generation Premium model is a handsome and stylish compact family car, offering practicality and frugality with the new mild hybrid setup.

Design and Practicality

The i30 Premium looks sleek and curvaceous with a swooping bonnet featuring a wider black grille with chrome insets, slimmer headlamps with optional multifaceted reflector LED technology, new V-shaped signature LED daytime running lights and smart 17-inch alloy wheels.

The rear has a smart new bumper and upgraded LED combination lamps.

The latest model’s proportions offer increased width and an enlarged wheelbase. This provides increased space for passengers in the rear. Boot space has been increased by 26 litres, offering 352 litres of space for luggage with the seats up.

Fold the seats and stowage capacity increases to an impressive 1,301 litres.

Driving Experience

The power unit on this model features a 3-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol engine with 118bhp with 48-volt mild hybrid technology for better fuel efficiency and for the first time with a 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT).

The mild hybrid is designed to boost fuel economy, reduce CO2 and supplement the car’s electrical system.

It has a small electric generator that replaces the traditional starter motor and alternator and small lithium-ion battery situated in the rear of the car.

It also adds a boost to the engine when required, provides more efficient starting and controlling the stop/start system when in traffic. Economy is great, as expected, with a claimed figure of more than 50mpg.

The 119bhp of the petrol engine gets a boost when required, making the car quite nippy away from a standing start.

Road manners are good with decent enough handling and the ride is comfortable and smooth, just what you would want from a small family car.
Bill McCarthy

Technology and Safety

The upgraded interior is also smart, rather than stunning, but the car feels well put together. This version offers electrically operated and heated front seats and classy soft touch finish, while instrumentation is well laid out and logical. The centrepiece is a new 7-inch digital cluster and a new 10.25-inch navigation touchscreen, a tablet-like creation which sits just proud of the dash.

The brains of the car, it controls sat nav, infotainment, and connectivity via Android Auto and Apple Car Play and wireless phone mirroring. Also available is the Hyundai Bluelink, which offers a wide range of information via an app.

The vehicle is also packed with cutting edge safety kit, from a full complement of airbags, stability control and assisted braking and blind spot alert.

Clever technology like Rear Collision-avoidance Assist (RCA) system can activate the brakes to avoid a collision when the car is in reverse and a raft of other measures.


Hyundai has always been known for producing robust vehicles that you can depend on, and the i30 Premium highlights the reliability of the popular South Korean brand. It's ideal for family life too, thanks to its fine build quality and top levels of interior space.