Hyundai i30 1.6 GLS 5DR Review
Hyundai's new opus

Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim
18 Apr 2008

It took a while for people to warm up to the Koreans, but in the last few years or so we finally seem to have taken it to our hearts. A perfect time, then, to launch the i30 - a sweet-smiling hatchback destined to seduce the practical set

Taking out

They say writers write from everywhere – anywhere that they think draws inspiration for them to write on something.

And that’s what I’m doing now – I’m actually writing this whole review seated comfortably at the back seat of the brand new Hyundai i30. I’m having it good here at the back seat – it’s comfortable, spacious, and uncannily make me feel like I’m seated in a BMW 3-series.

I’m impressed, really. The Koreans these days are churning out a new slew of automobile that answers to every price segment in the car market, and this i30 is something else. Well if you’re a pundit thinking “it’s just another Hyundai”, be prepared to be proven wrong. It’s more than that – for once, Hyundai has a product that’s on par with the Japanese and European in this segment.

Heck, it even betters some of it - which is a good thing of course.

Better than before is probably the best way to start my little critique of the i30’s exterior. Ok, to be more precise – better than the days of the Elantra XD.

The exterior sways away from the normal and plain-looking Korean cars we’re used to seeing. To begin with, the i30 has a front that looks freshly modern with its flowing headlamps, gaping lower air intake, integrated foglamps and a little grill that holds Hyundai’s logo distinctively. The sides are well creased with flowing lines, making the i30 nicely proportionate.

Despite its newness, there’s a definite hint of “seen it somewhere before” about the i30’s rear. You’ll instantly notice how there’s an uncanny blend of the Mark 2 Fiat Punto and BMW 1-series…But it’s easily forgivable as it’s nicely done - especially the vertical lamps, which makes the i30’s rear prolific enough when compared to the likes of your ordinary Japanese hatches.

Fret not if you think the alloys doesn’t do any justice to the i30’s exterior - unlike the test car, all i30s will come shod with 17-inch alloys wrapped in 215/50 R-17 Yokohama rubbers.


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Engine Capacity 1591cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.5:1
Bore x Stroke (77 x 85.4)mm
Power 121bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque 154Nm @ 4200rpm
Power to Weight 93.1 bhp per ton


Acceleration 12.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 188 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 4 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4245 x 1775 x 1480) mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm
Turning Circle 5.4 metres
Kerb Weight 1300 kg
Boot Capacity 340 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs