Menura L bought this Hyundai i30 new with extra options for $29,990 (including all on-road costs). Menura L would buy this car again because: “Although it doesn’t excel in any particular area, overall the i30 Active is a surprisingly good hatch that offers excellent value for money. When you drive it It won’t get your heart racing, but for the buyer who needs a car to get from point A to B, the Active does a solid job.”
While the review template says we bought this car, it’s actually a car from my dad’s company (Hyundai/Kia Motors), and usually we get some kind of SUV, but the new cars are fierce. Due to the shortage (and popularity) of SUVs), they’re rolling out base-spec vehicles.
That said, in the six or so months we’ve had it, it hasn’t put a foot wrong in terms of reliability. Everything you get with the car works and it works well. Reliability is a strong suit for Hyundais and Kias these days, at least in our experience.
While our ownership may be a little different than the average buyer, the car is still the same. At no point did we have to take the vehicle back due to any issues or problems.
The car is yet to reach its 15,000km/year service interval but has been well and truly ‘broken in’, having covered around 9300km mostly on work trips but my erratic driving. He had some tough journeys thanks to him. .
Although there are some quality concerns regarding cheap interiors on the internet, we haven’t experienced any issues with our car yet. Overall, it’s what you’d expect from a modern Hyundai.
The “ownership” experience has been excellent so far. As stated earlier we have no reliable issues or quality concerns with the car. For the price, it’s been a great daily driver and you can see why they sell so well in our market.
Its small size makes it very easy to maneuver and much more ‘nimble’, especially in tight shopping center car parks on and around the city.
This car would make an ideal first new car for the P-plater who isn’t after speed and just wants something relatively cheap, reliable and dare I say a little fun (I’ll explain later).
As stated earlier we did not actually purchase the car so I cannot comment definitively on the dealer experience. However, from past experience I can safely say that aftercare support is excellent.
Before this car was handed over to us, we received the 2021 i30 active and after a few days of using it, there was a problem with the car as it was not on. The Hyundai team quickly came in to check the vehicle and found that something had eaten through the wiring harness.
All this was done in the span of half a day which was great. We were given an existing vehicle as a replacement.
Our experiences with Hyundai and Kia have been great and not to mention these cars come with a five-year factory warranty. It gives peace of mind knowing that they will take care of you for a good portion of your ownership.
$30,000 doesn’t usually get you much in today’s new car market, everything is ridiculously expensive with eye-watering wait times and dealer markups. Having said that, this car, for what is essentially a basic spec, is well equipped. I’ll put it this way, it has everything you need, and nothing you don’t.
It’s pretty close to the bare bones of the i30 lineup and you wouldn’t be able to tell unless you’re a car nerd.
The biggest and probably only sign that you’re sitting pretty low in the spec sheet is the arrangement of blank out buttons along the center console and near the driver AC vent.
However, apart from that the interior is full of soft touch materials, mainly faux leather along the dashboard, door cards/handles and center console bin lids and it makes for a really nice place to be. In the Active, you get (faux) leather seats but that’s probably the only difference between it and the pure base.
The boot is also generous in size and has the ability to fold the rear seats in a 60-40 split for more space. It also comes with a solid, good quality cargo blind.
You get cup holders in the center console as well as door bins both front and rear. In the rear you’ll find the flip-down armrests have two cup holders for rear passengers and air-con, as well as two seat pockets behind the front seats.
The front misses out on wireless charging (found on higher specs) but gets a USB charging port as well as a 12V outlet, though rear passengers miss out. Another small feature is that all four windows are one-touch wind up and down, which doesn’t sound like much but is a feature you’ll use all the time without noticing.
Outside you get a mix of LED and incandescent lighting. The best feature is the front indicators/daytime running lights which consist of 10 individual LEDs. The headlights themselves are halogen and do a good job of illuminating the road, as LEDs do not.
At the rear you find that the indicators, tail/brake lights and reverse lights are all incandescent. Finishing off the exterior you have 17-inch alloy wheels with a chrome/piano black finish.
As for the technology features, I’ll go into detail about them later, but it should be noted that you shouldn’t expect a lot of features for the sub-$30k price tag.
Now let’s be clear that this is not a sports oriented vehicle, far from it. The 2.0L is getting quite old but it does what the car is intended for. However, it’s sometimes quite sloppy and you really have to rev it up because it has very little power and torque very high in the rev range, as the official figures show (120kW @ 6200rpm and 203Nm @ 4700rpm).
Also you have three engine modes. Normal, Eco and Sport.
Normal works best as an all-rounder that gives you really good fuel economy but a bit of punch off the line from a stop. In fact it’s so good it almost makes the Eco redundant as I have yet to notice a huge difference in fuel economy.
Eco really eases the throttle and makes the car feel extra sluggish and as mentioned doesn’t do much to help economy.
The game really brings the engine to life, though perhaps not in the way you’d like. In this mode, throttle response is quick and it happily lets the engine rev past 5000rpm at times, adding to the car’s generally lackluster feel.
However you will find that this mode makes no sense at low speeds. The car will hold high revs for slow speeds and it feels like the gearbox has been forced to do this to feel sporty rather than being intuitive and picking up more gears.
To get the most out of this mode you have to put the car in its sequential mode and shift the gears yourself as the gearbox itself does a very poor job of it. Unless you’re on a twisty road where you’re constantly accelerating and decelerating, I’d recommend keeping the car in its normal setting.
As for the fuel economy itself, we find that it sits between the 7.3L – 8.9L per 100km mark for combined highway and city driving but it will climb easily especially if You throw it into sports mode.
It’s certainly not the best economy for a car of its size and if you’re purely after saving your hard-earned money, especially in the long run, the Corolla Hybrid is the way to go.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t exactly get all the bells and whistles for the sub-$30k price tag.
The car comes with a standard but highly usable 8.0-inch color display with shortcut buttons on either side and its biggest advantage over the 10.25-inch unit is that it supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as wireless integration. supports A feature that’s still not very common even in cars costing twice as much as the i30.
You also get a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster and while it’s not very customizable, it gives you all the information you need and is controlled by the steering wheel. You’ll find that the physical buttons still control functions like AC, which is single-zone only.
Finishing it off is a six-speaker sound system that does the job but isn’t great in terms of sound quality.
The car is also basically equipped with semi-autonomous driving in the form of lane keep assist and radar/active cruise control. While autonomous driving isn’t the intended use for these features and you should never rely on them to do so, they work very well together, especially on highways, and the car lets you The key does a good job of keeping a consistent distance between lanes. Behind the car in front, slowing down when necessary and gradually slowing you down unless overridden by AEB.
However I have found that the lane assist function tends to get confused on poorly marked roads or at night but otherwise works well.
As for safety, the car comes standard with front AEB as well as your standard rear parking sensors and reverse camera but misses out on blind spot monitoring and additional safety equipment such as rear AEB. As mentioned earlier, lane keep assist and radar cruise are also standard.
The i30 hatch variants miss out on the Australian ride and handling tuning of the sedan. The ride is on the strong side of comfortable and you can feel it on the road. It manages to filter out the tiniest of bumps but lets some big hits into the cabin and the use of 17-inch wheels adds to that.
However this slightly stiffer tune means the i30 performs surprisingly well in corners and the front remains rather planted (for such a car). There’s also a surprising lack of body roll in corners. Otherwise, not much to write home about
The seats are also comfortable and have good adjustability and the steering column also has reach and tilt adjustments to help get into that perfect position.
While the car has a five-person seating capacity, I wouldn’t recommend taking three adults in the back because it’s comfortable (trust me I’ve tried). The rear seats will comfortably accommodate two adults or three small children at best (without booster seats).
While driving, the cabin is also quiet, the car has very little road noise and very little wind noise making for a comfortable and refined ride. That said, the engine can be thrashy when you give it some right foot and the rev-happy engine definitely stands out under heavy throttle applications.
Overall the i30 Active is not a bad car for its intended use. While it’s not the best engine, transmission pairing or tune and the ride can be harsh at times, there are a lot of positives, especially for something in this price range.
The car is loaded with technology and safety features and is not really a flagship feature.
However, if you’re really considering something in the i30 line-up and you’re willing to stretch the budget a bit, my pick would be the i30 N line as it has a much better engine, transmission combo (also manual). Comes. !)
Or if you’re after a slightly better interior after the i30 Elite. If not you can save yourself a few grand and go for a genuine base spec i30 which still comes with everything you need, and nothing you don’t.