The Hyundai i30 is a C-segment or small family car manufactured by Hyundai Motor Company. Production of the i30 began in Nosovice, the Czech Republic in 2007 under Hyundai-Kia's J4 and J6 platforms, rolling off five-door hatchbacks and five-door estates in the first generation. Other body styles, including three-door hatchback and five-door fastback, would later come out.
First Generation (FD, 2007–2012)
The production of the first-generation i30 (called the Hyundai Elantra Touring in North America and the Bejing-Hyundai i30 in China) began in 2007 and lasted until 2012. Aside from the Czech Republic, the assembly also took place in Hyundai's facilities in South Korea, Egypt, and China. Thomas Bürkle—who has worked with auto giants Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and BMW before coming to Hyundai Europe—led the design of the first two generations of the i30.
In 2007, the i30 5-door hatchback had its debut at the Geneva Motor Show and started selling in July of the same year in Europe and Australia. The estate model, on the other hand, took off at the 2007 Seoul Motor Show. It was a bigger version of the i30 hatchback model with a maximum cargo capacity of 1,800L and was marketed worldwide as the Elantra Touring.
The powertrain came with the following petrol and diesel engine choices:
- 1.4L 16-valve I4 petrol — 80 kW, 137.2 NM (1.4 Model)
- 1.6L 16-valve I4 petrol — 93 kW, 154.0 NM (1.6 Model)
- 2.0L 16-valve I4 petrol — 107 kW, 186 NM (2.0 Model)
- 1.6L 16-valve I4 turbo diesel — 66 kW, 235 NM (1.6 CRDi model)
- 1.6L 16-valve I4 turbo diesel — 85 kW, 255 NM (1.6 CRDi model)
- 1.6L 16-valve I4 turbo diesel — 94 kW, 260 NM (1.6 CRDi U2 model)
- 2.0L 16-valve I4 turbo diesel — 103 kW, 304 NM (2.0 CRDI model)
The transmission choices vary from a 6-speed manual transmission, a 5-speed manual transmission to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Automatic transmissions are only available for the 2.0 petrol, 1.6 petrol, and 1.6 CRDi models.
Second Generation (GD, 2011-2017)
The second generation was assembled in the Czech Republic and South Korea plants only. Hyundai officially unveiled the second-generation i30 at the 2011 Frankfurt International Motor Show and launched it at its home market in October 2011. The i30 entered the European market early the very next year and the American market in the summer of 2012 under the name Hyundai Elantra GT. The vehicle is reasonably eco-friendly due to an upgraded 1.6L diesel unit that kept carbon emissions below 100g/km. It made its entry in the Malaysian market in 2014 in a version that came with a 1.8L petrol engine and a torsion bar rear suspension.
This generation ran from 2011 to 2017 in the following body styles:
- 3-door hatchback
- 5-door hatchback
- 5-door estate
i30 estate version
This version premiered at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. It wears the i30 Tourer nameplate in some markets and is longer than the hatchback version by 185mm. Due to this increase in length, there is an extra 150L of boot capacity. If the rear seat is folded, the entire cargo capacity is 1642L, which is 326L more than what the hatchback offers.
i30 three-door coupe
This version was introduced much later in 2013. The idea behind the coupe is to attract younger buyers to the i30 brand. To achieve this, it comes with a grille that is more aggressive-looking than the one on the five-door version.
The second generation offered the following petrol and diesel power choices which came with either a 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic or 7-speed DCT automatic transmission:
- 1.4L 16-valve CVVT I4 petrol — 73 kW, 137 Nm
- 1.6L 16-valve direct-injection I4 petrol — 99 kW, 164 Nm
- 1.8L 16-valve CVVT I4 petrol — 110 kW, 178 Nm
- 2.0L 16-valve direct-injection I4 petrol — 129 kW, 209 Nm
- 1.4 L 16-valve direct-injection I4 turbo diesel — 66 kW, 220 Nm (1.4 CRDi model)
- 1.6 L 16-valve direct-injection I4 turbo diesel — 81 kW, 280 Nm (1.6 CRDi model)
- 1.6 L 16-valve direct-injection I4 turbo-diesel — 94 kW, 280 Nm (1.6 CRDi model)
- 1.6 L 16-valve direct-injection I4 turbo-diesel — 94kW, 280 Nm (blue 1.6 CRDI model)
A facelift in 2015 introduced three more engines:
- 1.4L 16-valve Gamma MPi I4 petrol – 74 kW, 134 Nm (5-door hatch and estate)
- 1.6L 16-valve T-GDI I4 turbo petrol – 137 kW, 265 Nm (5-door hatch)
- 1.6L 16-valve DRDi I4 turbo diesel – 100 kW, 280 Nm (5-door hatch and estate)
Third Generation (PD, 2017-present)
Hyundai retained the two previous assembly plants for the third generation adding a new facility in Tiaret, Algeria. Peter Schreyer designs this generation with Hyundai’s new "Cascading grille" design. The unveiling of the new i30 took place at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. In various markets, the hatchback variant sold under the name Hyundai Elantra GT. In the US, the car is available in two models, namely, Elantra GT and Elantra GT Sport. In 2019, the Elantra GT N-line replaced the Elantra GT Sport.
There are three body styles for this generation:
- 5-door hatchback
- 5-door estate
- 5-door liftback
Three engines were used for the Australian-released i30’s.
- 2.0L Nu GDi inline-four petrol engine rated at 120 kW and 203 Nm, paired to either a 6-speed sequential automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual gearbox. The same engine powers the Elantra sedan.
- 1.6 U2 CRDi inline-four diesel engine with peak output of 100 kW and 300 Nm, coupled to either a 7-speed DCT automatic transmission or 6-speed manual gearbox
- 1.6L Gamma T-GDi inline-four turbo petrol engine with 150 kW peak power and 265 Nm peak torque, mated to either a standard 6-speed manual or an optional 7-speed DCT automatic transmission. It is the same engine in the Kia Soul Exclaim (!) turbo and Kia Forte Hatchback SX turbo.
In Australia, several grade levels are available, including the i30N or i30 N-line, which is equivalent to the Elantra GT N-line in the US and other markets. Below are the trim levels (all hatchbacks) on offer:
Trim levels powered by 2.0L Nu GDI:
- Active, base model – available in manual and automatic; features air conditioning, Apple Car Play, 26-inch alloy wheels, airbags (dual front, knee/driver, curtain, side), brake assist, cruise control, electronic stability control, engine immobiliser, dusk-sensing headlights, impact-sensing auto door unlock, rear fog lights, reversing cam, radio data system, hatch-mounted rear spoiler, satellite navigation, and many more
- Active Smartsense – available only in automatic; adds the following to the base – autonomous emergency braking (AEB), auto-link, blind-spot monitoring, intelligent/active cruise control, driver fatigue detection, electric parking brake, lane-keeping assist, rear air vents, and rear cross-traffic alert
- Go – available in manual and automatic; adds the following to the base – auto-link, power mirrors, full-size steel spare wheel, a trip computer, traction control system, and tyre pressure monitor
- Go Smartsense – similar to the Go trim but adds AEB, blind-spot monitoring, intelligent cruise control, driver-fatigue detection, lane-keeping assist, and many more
Trim levels powered by 1.6 U2 CRDi:
- Active, base model – available in auto and manual; the same standard equipment as the 2.0L Active model
- Active 1.6 CRDi – available in automatic
- Active CRDi Smartsense – available in automatic; similar equipment as the other Smartsense models but differs with its standard leather-accented gear knob and steering wheel
- Elite – available in automatic; offers on top of the other models – auto climate control with dual-temp zones, 17-inch alloy wheels, driver awareness alert, forward collision warning, leather upholstery, and pedestrian recognition, to name a few; a sunroof is available as an option
Trim levels powered by 1.6L Gamma T-GDi:
- SR – available in automatic and manual; comes with 5-year warranty/unlimited KM; features all equipment in the base model plus dual-temp auto climate control, AEB, auto-hold function, alloy sports pedals, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust tips, chrome front grille, coloured seatbelts, special headlining, leather upholstery, paddle shifters on steering wheel, and many more; a sunroof is available as an option
An SR Premium and Trophy LE are also available.
i30N or i30 N-Line (2018-present)
The i30N is a special range of trim levels, offered in Australia with either the 1.6L or 2.0L petrol engines.
- N Line, base model – available with the 1.6L Gamma T-GDi in either manual or automatic versions; standard equipment includes all those offered by the Active model plus dual-temp climate control, alloy sports pedals, auto-link, 18-inch alloy wheels, body kit, chrome exhaust tips, interior accents, driver awareness alert, electric parking brake, leather upholstery, paddle shifters on steering wheel, projector, and many more; a sunroof is available as an option
- N Line Premium – available with the 1.6L engine in automatic version; adds Auto Link premium, exterior chrome trim, cloth headlining, heated front seats, LED indicators, and Park Assist 2, to name a few
- N Performance – available with the 2.0L Nu GDi in automatic version; adds 19-inch alloy wheels, bending lights, cabin air ionisation, city brake support forward, front fog lights, launch mode control, limited-slip diff, multi-function display, radio data system, reversing cam, and many more
- N Performance Lux - available with the 2.0L Nu GDi in automatic version; adds exterior mirrors with puddle light, heated front seats and steering wheel, 12-way power front seats, power lumbar support for front seats, power mirror with auto-folding, and more; a sunroof is available as an option
On the Euro NCAP crash test, the i30 model year 2008 scored 4.2. The 2007 model scored 3.9.
Euro NCAP test results (Hyundai i30, 2007):
- Adult Occupant - 33 (4 stars)
- Child Occupant - 34 (3 stars)
- Pedestrian - 14 (2 stars)
Euro NCAP test results (Hyundai i30, 2008):
- Adult Occupant - 34 (5 stars)
- Child Occupant - 38 (4 stars)
- Pedestrian - 14 (2 stars)
The i30 was named the safest imported midsize vehicle in Argentina.
- Car of the year, 2007, Carsguide
- Australia's Car of the year (i30 diesel), 2007, Carsguide
- Green Car of the Year award (i30 CRDi), 2007, Carsguide
- Best Midsize Car Under $28,000 (i30 SX petrol and i30 CRDi turbo diesel), 2008, Australia's Best Cars
- Car of the Year, 2008, Spain
- Best Family Hatch, 2009, New Zealand
- Most Satisfying Car in Britain, 2009, Driver Power Top 100 survey and Auto Express Magazine
- Best Family Car, 2012, Glasgow Thistle
Author: Cyril Nwachukwu