Early admiration for 2017 Hyundai i30
AMONG the perils of driving the latest offerings is showcasing the best and worst of what's on the market.
Over more than a decade my beautiful bride and our ensuing family has witnessed first-hand an automotive revolution.
The caveat is broadening the wife's view of the motoring world...hence she has rapidly developed expensive tastes.
Never backward in delivering scathing perceptions, it was a glowing endorsement for Hyundai after she spent some time in the new i30 SR Premium variant.
Correctly evaluating the price of "about $35K”, it was the long list of inclusions which quickly had her admiring the hatch as a possible replacement for our family Kia Sportage.
Providing the basis for the appreciation was the leather trim and heated front seats, panoramic sunroof, radar cruise control and the Apple CarPlay functionality.
That's the kind of kit which has become commonplace in prestige offerings over recent years. But Hyundai?
The South Korean marque is on the charge, as is its sister company Kia. Hyundai is Australia's third most popular brand behind Japanese pairing Toyota and Mazda.
Testament to Hyundai's maturity in the market and ability to sell on product and not price alone is this range-topper i30.
Competing against tough competition, including the Volskwagen Golf, Holden Astra, Mazda3 and the Toyota Corolla, it more than trades punches, it delivers a knockout on many features and performance fronts.
While enjoyable from an initial drive, it's about to face a greater test. Can the i30 handle the demands of family living?
It's about to go under the long-term microscope of two burly boys and a wife with lofty standards to see whether it can make the grade - and can it actually perform better than an SUV?
AT A GLANCE
Hyundai i30 SR Premium
PRICE $33,950 plus on-roads.
ENGINE 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol 150kW/265Nm.
THIRST 7.5 litres/100km (combined average).
TRANSMISSION Seven-speed automatic, FWD.
SAFETY Five-star, seven airbags.
SPARE Space saver (full size can be optioned).
DIMENSIONS 4340 mm (L), 1795 mm (W), 1455 mm (H), 2650 mm (WB)
TOWING 1300kg (braked); tow ball 75kg.