Hyundai i30 CW 1.6 Review
Shifting priorities

Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim
1 Jul 2009

Wagons are not cool, eh? Wrong - check out the i30 CW here

Hyundai i30 CW

Mum was nagging the other day. She somehow finds my 3-door hatchback getting "too cramped" and "too low" for her liking. And she also complains being two doors less makes ferrying relatives around a rather inconvenient proposition.

(Oh well, that was why I bought a three-door hatch anyway. Call me selfish, but at most times, I prefer not having anyone else around - yes, just me and the road).

Ok, that aside, I'm very sure you get my point here. Sometimes, priorities just change and that also affects the car you drive. I have a good friend - the only child living with his parents - who recently bought a Honda Stream.

A single 20-something bloke driving a 1.8-litre MPV - odd, isn't it? It gets more interesting when you hear his main reason: "At least if I do get married and start a family within the next ten years, I don't have to worry about changing cars". (Can you believe it? He actually planned way ahead!)

In all honesty, it does make me ponder for a second - with changing priorities, maybe it is high time to get a more practical car. After all, a bigger car also means (a) I no longer need the bike rack (that can be quite a pain in the arse to mount and dismount) on cycling days, (b) I can get more people to come along for family road trips up North (good news for mum of course) and (c) the "responsible family man" title goes up a notch (at least that's what the brother-in-law said).

So, if you're like me, you definitely want something else besides a hatch. An MPV is simply too big, a sedan doesn't tickle your fancy and a van robs away all the driving fun.

Wait...what about a wagon then?


There's that undeniable air of sportiness with the i30 CW which contradicts how wagons are, generally, perceived as being "boxy and staid". You can see that Hyundai's designers tried hard at avoiding any sort of square edges around the car - and they succeeded at that. Best of all, they also manage to make the car proportionate, especially when viewed from the sides.

The CW version shares the same face as the hatchback we're all familiar with by now. Then there's that neat, swooping lines by the sides which created a sort of shoulder-like profile towards the rear end. Those vertically stacked tail-lamp looks uncanny though - yes, almost similar to the Volvo V50. Hyundai also provided roof racks which are there for a purpose...and not purely for aesthetics.

Unfortunately, the 15-inch alloys wrapped in 185/65 R-15 Kumho rubbers didn't do any justice - come on, at least give it 16-inch?

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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 91.3 bhp per ton


Acceleration 12.5s (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 Wagon
(L x W x H)
(4475 x 1775 x 1520) mm
Wheelbase 2700 mm
Turning Circle 5.4 metres
Kerb Weight 1325 kg
Boot Capacity 415 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs