• Superb economy
    • Excellent value
    • Styling has aged really well
    • Bland
    • Black leather trim
    • No hard Bluetooth buttons
    5 Star

    About the Hyundai i30

    Daniel B purchased this Hyundai i30 used for $9,500 (including all on-road costs) in 2023. Daniel B would buy this car again because: “Yes, if it was what I was after. As a basic transportation plan, it does exactly what it says on the box, and does it really well. Although I’m not likely to buy such a boring car in the future. It’s reliable, economical comfortable transportation.

    It wasn’t really what I was after. I wanted something smaller, and newer with a Kia Picanto GT up the top of my list, but the urgent need for a replacement car, new car wait times and the prices of anything closer to what I wanted pushed this to the top of the list.”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    Very reliable. It only has 90,000km. But it’s been great. The only little fault is the sunglasses holder won’t click closed, so needs some folded paper wedged in to hold it shut.

    It came with full service history in the form of receipts, but no service books. Trying to get a replacement (or even a schedule of what needs doing at each service) from Hyundai or it’s dealers has proven challenging to date. I either get referred on to someone else, or no response at all.

    It’s pretty disappointing from a customer service perspective.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    I’ve had a few European cars in the past (hatchbacks of this size and smaller) which have all been much more fun to drive. Before this I had a three-cylinder Alto. So far this seems to have the cheapest parts prices based on the roadworthy.

    I can certainly see the appeal of this to non-car people. Personally I generally prefer to prioritise the driving experience over the ownership experience, but at the time of buying this, I had a real sense of urgency and some budget limitations.

    Overall I’m pretty happy with my choice, but I don’t expect it to be a long-term car. Having said that, the cars I’ve owned the longest have all been cars I’ve bought as temporary cars like this. And with the exception of a magical little second generation Clio, they’ve been cars from Asian brands aimed at non car people.

    One reason I didn’t want such a big car is I have a really tight carport and driveway. I’ve installed rubber protection strips along the poles of the car port so I can get the passenger side as close to the carport as possible with less risk of an oops moment, and open the door and touch the pole without chipping paint.

    From there we have a 5.5 metre wide area between the carports and the back of the apartment building, and then have to turn from that into a 2.3m wide driveway up the side to get to the street. The body corporate has put a big steel plate over the corner brickwork due to the number of incidents the brick corner copped.

    I reverse into the carport and in the Alto, I could do the whole exit in a single forward movement. In the i30, I have to drive out of the carport and turn, then reverse back so I can get the car over as close to the carports as possible to swing around the corner of the building into the narrow driveway.

    Sometimes I can do that second turn in one go, but usually two. I’ve clipped the mirror on the corner once when I wasn’t going to make it so had to reverse.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    Yes. I bought it at auction for $6500 and with fees, the roadworthy, unregistered vehicle permit, stamp duty, registration and cab fair to pick up it came to just over $9800.

    Given that it only had 87,000km on it, I’m pretty happy with the price. I could have gotten one cheaper privately (and without as much risk and hassle) for less, but not in the condition/km.

    It’s a six speed manual, which has helped keep the price down, especially in this supply chain constricted market where low km autos are commanding ridiculous money. My preference was for a manual (I just prefer them), but I was willing to consider an auto as well.

    It’s got seven airbags, ABS, ESC, typical safety equipment for a 2014 Corolla sized hatch. It’s missing more modern safety equipment like lane keep assist, AEB and blind spot monitoring, but I’ve never owned a car with those features before.

    It has electric windows, airbags, trip computer, and a light up dashboard when you turn the ignition on. Until I bought this, I’d never been able to understand how people can drive without headlights after dusk. I’ve now done that once.

    It also has black leather interior. Personally I prefer a good quality cloth trim. It’s been fine so far, but I’m expecting summer not to be enjoyable.

    The only glitch so far is the cruise control. I can be driving along a flat road, set it at 60, look down a few k’s later and I’m going 67. It seems to coast very smoothly (paying off in fuel economy), but the negative is it picks up speed too easily, and the cruise over-accelerates too often.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    Performance 5/10, economy 9/10. The economy is phenomenal for the size.

    Highway driving is usually sub 5.0l/100km, which is better than the Alto. I went from Melbourne to Geelong and home again last weekend and the trip computer (which overall seems to match up with actual economy) showed 4.7l/100km.

    I have a 9km commute to work through four suburbs, mainly on 60km roads, or a slightly longer commute against traffic on the Monash.

    Getting to work usually displays 8.0-9.0 if I take the main roads, or sub 6.5 if I take the freeway. Coming home which has less traffic on the main roads (more downhill than uphill) I got 5.2 according to the trip computer.

    In traffic where there’s a lot more stop starting and less maintaining speed it gets pretty bad, above 9.0. It has a gear change indicator, recommending an upchange at about 2000rpm which I feel is too low. It says change to 5th once you nudge over 50, and says 6th at 70km/h. I normally wait a little later.

    Performance isn’t so great. I feel like the Alto had better take off because of it’s light weight and rev-happy engine. Maybe it was just feeling, but I don’t beat anyone off at the lights in this. If you really stomp your foot and hold the gears, it’s OK. But it doesn’t feel like it has more than twice as much power as the Alto.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    It’s reasonably well equipped with decent stereo, the worst resolution reversing camera in the history of reversing cameras (with a white tinge), and 2014 quality sat nav. I used the sat nav for a single trip, then got my old phone mount out to switch to Google Maps for navigation.

    It’s my understanding Hyundai fitted the stereo head units locally. The base and mid range models had a lower spec stereo with the Bluetooth (answer/hang up) buttons next to the touch screen.

    The top of the range models had better infotainment with sat nav, and more buttons for other functions either side of the touch screen and the bluetooth buttons on the steering wheel. I have a mid range model (and steering wheel), optioned with the top of the range stereo, and no hard buttons for bluetooth. Instead relying on the temperamental nine year-old touch screen to answer a call meaning that not all calls get successfully answered.

    Otherwise everything is very 2014, just like the sat nav maps. For a shopping trolley car in 2014, it was pretty decent. For a shopping trolley car in 2023, it’s severely lacking.

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    I find the ride really smooth. Probably a legacy from the pitchy jiggly Alto I used to drive. It’s a little firm over potholes but otherwise smooth and untroubled.

    I’ve had it on a few fun twisty roads, including a trip through the Black Spur.

    Handling wise, I can only describe it as satisfactory. It doesn’t have the constantly on the edge of its limits fun the Alto had at very low speeds, nor does it have the confidence to push further that my previous European hatchbacks have had. But it’s more a car designed for the shopping trip with an occasional fun road.

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    I’ve never been one to care about colour of a car. Generally I hate black silver and grey cars, but I’ve had more black cars than anything else. But I really like the colour of this car.

    I also think the design of these has aged really well. When kept well and clean, they don’t look any more dated than the current generation i30.

    Overall Rating

    Ride & Handling7.5
    Price & Features9
    Performance & Economy7
    Ownership Experience8.5