The Hyundai i30 Hatch is getting on a bit, but the brand’s local arm has indicated it plans to continue offering its popular small car in Australia even if it means sourcing it from a different factory.
Hyundai Australia’s product planning and development manager, Tim Rodgers, told CarExpert the i30 Hatch has a secure future here, but stopped short of saying what that will look like.
“There’s a future for i30 for us. We will be able to comment more on it soon,” Mr Rodgers said.
“What that looks like I can’t speak too specifically right now, but [the situation] is complicated.”
“We’re working with the factories right now to resolve the situation, and we’ll have more to say soon,” Mr Rodgers added.
When asked as to whether regular versions of the i30 Hatch could end up being sourced from the same European factory as the N hot hatch, Mr Rodgers said “all options are on the table – theoretically we could”.
“We’ve already got that shipping line open and that factory knows how to make right-hand drive, so that’s always an option for us,” he said.
Currently, the Hyundai i30 Hatch is sourced from the brand’s Ulsan facility in South Korea, despite Australia being the only remaining market demanding Korean i30 production – it’s not even sold in the domestic market.
The Corolla-rivalling hatchback is also made in the Czech Republic, where hot N versions are sourced for Australia.
Should local models shift from Korean to European production, it’s unclear how that would affect the range offering as well as pricing, given the vehicle would then be subject to import tariffs.
It also could completely shake up the powertrain line-up, as the European range is offered with a pair of small turbocharged mild-hybrid engines, as opposed to the 2.0-litre atmo and 1.6-litre turbo options available here.
Entry versions of the i30 Hatch in Europe are powered by an 88kW/172Nm 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder petrol engine with 48V mild-hybrid assistance, while N Line models get a 117kW/253Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged four-pot, likewise with a 48V mild-hybrid system.
Both six-speed manual and seven-speed DCT options are available, with WLTP fuel consumption rated at 5.2-5.4L per 100km for the 1.0T and 6.1-6.3L per 100km for the 1.5T.
European production would also open us up to the fully refreshed N Line version (above) that never made it to the Korean factory should the factory switch come in the twilight years of the current generation.
Local N Line models get the updated interior currently, but the pre-facelift exterior package.
Key differences include body styling more in line with the i30 Hatch N, sharper LED headlights with angular LED daytime running lights, as well as different alloy wheels.
Non-N Line versions look a lot like the Active and Elite variants of the i30 Hatch currently on sale, though there is a Premium version in Europe and the UK that offers the same LED lighting as the N Line and N, which local versions currently miss out on.
The facelifted i30 commenced production in Europe around mid-2020, so it could be in line for another update in the coming 12-18 months – the brand’s European CEO recently confirmed the i30, along with the smaller i10 and i20 hatchbacks would get another generation in Europe.
The third-generation Hyundai i30 first went into production in 2016, having been revealed at the Paris motor show of that year. At seven years old already, a new generation should be in the wings for a reveal in the next year or so, at a minimum.
It’s long been one of Australia’s top-selling passenger models, often duking it out with the Toyota Corolla for top spot.
The i30 range (including i30 Sedan nee Elantra) finished ninth overall in 2022 with 21,166 registrations (down 17.2 per cent) and was the second best-selling passenger vehicle behind the Corolla (25,284 units). It was Hyundai Australia’s top-selling nameplate in 2022 by some margin.
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