2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor
Motoring News, new models, New models

Car for Everyman: Hyundai’s new i30

    • New i30 ‘DNA car for Hyundai Motor’
    • Perfect fit – sporty, practical, elegant
    • Most active safety features of any Hyundai
2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor
2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor

SEOUL, South Korea – The New Generation – no, another one – Hyundai i30 is, the automaker says, “the DNA car representing the core of the Hyundai brand in Europe”. And, The Corner hopes, for South Africa.

It’s described as the brand’s “answer to changing contemporary values and customer attitudes on technology-driven solutions”. It also claims “individuality in style and flexibility”.

Jochen Sengpiehl, vice-president for marketing at Hyundai Motor Europe, told The Corner in a media release: “We’ve listened closely to customers’ needs in re-defining our offer to create a car for everybody.

2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor
2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor

“It’s the new people’s car (playing on a slogan long-ago adopted by Volkswagen) – appealing in design and great to drive. With up-to-date infotainment and connectivity, we offer everything modern customers expect.”

READ MORE Hyundai features on Carman’s Corner

Hyundai isn’t shy about lauding the latest version of its already exceedingly popular model, particularly in South Africa to which the company was introduced way back in 1993 with SKD production in Gaberone, Botswana, and deliveries across the border by an outrageous entrepreneur called Billy Rautenbach.

He and his weekend servicing shook the hell out of the SA auto market. And the cars that were initially scorned are now market – and design – leaders.

One of the brand’s selling points in South Africa was those vehicle services on Sundays – until then unheard-of and seen as rather anti-Christian – but the main driver was the man himself who once, The Corner recalls, made a surprise appearance in a private plane for a South African model launch.

Pity, then, that there are no longer any such enterprising motormen in southern Africa…

Anyway, back to Hyundai Europe which said: “The i30 is a smart choice for those seeking appealing design, build quality, an efficient and dynamic ride and safety packages.

2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor
2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor

“The car comes with more active safety features than any previous Hyundai and long-term reliability is guaranteed by its industry-leading unlimited-distance warranty.” (In South Africa it’s seven years or 200 000km, across its model range.)

Peter Schreyer, Hyundai Motor Group’s president and chief design officer, told The Corner: “To create a car for everybody we focused on a wide range of people. The design is an evolution of Hyundai’s design with flowing lines, refined surfaces and a sculpted body.”


The car, he added, is the first Hyundai to have the new 1.4 T-GDI 95kW turbodiesel engine – a lot of clout for a smallish car – though the automaker says the latest i30 is more than just one model:

“The i30 will become a family of products united by a balanced design harmonised for every body type – the first high-performance model under Hyundai Motor’s N brand which will go into production in 2017.”

2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor
2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor

Hyundai intends to be the No.1 Asian car brand in Europe with the new i30, said to be “an evolution of Hyundai’s design language with natural flowing lines, refined surfaces and a sculpted body” and a strong visual presence.


Hyundai describes the i30 as a car “with harmonious proportions, short front and rear overhangs, a long bonnet with a moved-back A pillar and a dynamic and compact stance on the road”. The slightly sloping roof line and the black rear spoiler, the company adds, “make it look even more dynamic and compact”.

Its drag co-efficient is only 0.30 with aerodynamics enhanced by, among other things, and active air flap up front to optimise cooling and and improve airflow.

The i30 will be available with 16″ or 17″, two-tone, 10-spoked alloy wheel rims; alternatively 15″ steel and alloy.

The (option) floating screen of the 20cm satnav touch-screen will display all navigation, media and connectivity features, the new three-spoked, multifunction and heatable, steering-wheel allows “easy and intuitive operation” of all functions.

Aircon controls are central and adjustable by a passenger without distracting the driver – or leave it off an open the (option) slide-‘n-tilt glass sunroof.


Luggage capacity (depending on seat adjustment) tops out a 395 litres (VDA 211) and has a two-stage luggage board and a “ski hatch” in the centre rear seat – and upholstery can be cloth or leather, the latter diamond-patterned, and the driver’s seat has electric adjustment.

The 2017 can be powered by a number of small-displacement turbocharged petrol (three) or diesel (one) engines. There’s a new 1.4 T-GDI turbo four-cylinder petrol engine capable of 105kW, a 1.0 T-GDI turbocharged three-cylinder (90kW) or 1.4 MPI four-cylinder (75kW).

The diesel is a 1.6-litre turbo four tuned, according to the buyer’s request, to 71, 82 or 100kW but any of the engines can be mated with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch auto transmission.

2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor
2017 Hyundai i30. Image: Newspress/Hyundai Motor

The car was, Hyundai says, “developed and tested in Europe with accelerated durability tests and dynamic testing on the most demanding race track in the world, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and on public roads during the European winter. That was backed by hot-weather testing in southern Spain”.

Collision avoidance and mitigation stuff includes seven crash-bags (the odd one out being for the driver’s knees), autonomous braking, collision warning, ‘following’ cruise-control, blind-spot and cross-traffic alerts, lane-keeping, and auto headlights.

Wonder what Billy Rautenbach would have thought…?

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