Hyundai i30 1.6 Review
i of the beholder

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
3 Sep 2012

With the new second-generation model, Hyundai’s i30 gets the ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ treatment as well as a whole raft of improvements. Raymond Lai checks out the new i30.

Introduction, styling

Despite Singapore not being a hatchback market, thousands of car buyers here have embraced the Hyundai i30 in recent years. The first generation i30 was more than just a hatchback version of the Avante as it was designed and conceived at Hyundai’s European Design and Technical Centre in Russelsheim in Germany for European markets and as a result, features styling accents and cues that hugely differs from the Avante’s.

With the introduction of the new i30 at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show last September, Hyundai’s Golf-rivaling hatchback enters its second incarnation. With the European countries set to be the i30’s primary markets, the new Hyundai is once again conceived at its European Design and Technical Centre in Germany. In North America, the new hatchback is also known as the Elantra GT.

Thanks to Hyundai’s latest ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design language, the new i30 looks nothing like its predecessor. Compared to the old car, the new i30 is 55mm longer, 10mm lower, 5mm wider and has the same wheelbase of 2650mm.

 While its predecessor looks relatively unadventurous and unimaginative, the new i30’s looks are the direct opposite – it looks bold and distinctive like its Elantra and i40 stablemates. Up front, the i30’s nose features Hyundai’s increasingly familiar hexagonal grille and bold, swept back headlamps. Along the flanks, the bulbous wheel arches are met by a pair of overlapping creases, another design characteristic that is now synonymous with Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design ethos. The steeply raked windscreen and curvaceous roofline do give the i30 a distinctive and sporty profile. The rear though, is a tad nondescript thanks to clear influences from models like the Seat Leon and Mazda3 among others. The car’s standard 16-inch alloy wheels are also a tad too small to convincingly fill the sizable wheel arches and don’t help to improve the i30’s overall stance.

Following the footsteps of the recent i45, Elantra, i40 wagon and the Veloster, the i30 is yet another bold and distinctive design from Hyundai. Just like the Elantra, the i30’s bold and daring design will not suit all tastes but nobody can disagree with me that it looks distinctive and different from its family hatchback competitors.

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Engine Capacity 1591cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 132bhp @ 6300rpm
Torque 157Nm @ 4850rpm
Power to Weight 99.5 bhp per ton


Acceleration 11.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 192 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.7 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4300 x 1780 x 1470) mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm
Kerb Weight 1326 kg