The i30 Tourer is yet another indication that Hyundai is now competing on merit with the best cars in the volume segments, rather than being a budget alternative to them.

Recently joining the hatchback in the new i30 line-up, the model sampled here in top-spec Style trim and 128hp 1.6 diesel power manages a better RV than the leading lower medium estate models, outpointing the Ford Focus estate, Renault Megane Sport Tourer and Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer.

It’s also a match for the more established brands in interior quality and refinement, although the Focus has still got it licked for driving enjoyment, while the 130hp Megane is three BIK bands lower and the Focus two lower thanks to better emissions.

But the i30 scores for practicality, with the closest to its 528-litre boot being the Astra’s 500 litres, while the Focus is 52 litres behind. Only the i30’s forthcoming sibling, the Ceed SW from Kia, will beat it.

To drive, the i30 Tourer is fine rather than sparkling, which is acceptable as those looking for an exciting drive won’t be choosing lower medium estate cars. The 128hp engine, the most powerful of the three engine options, is perfectly capable for all bar those that will be frequently loading the estate with heavy kit, at which point it may struggle a touch.

Standard equipment across the range includes Bluetooth and aircon, while alloys, cruise control and rear parking sensors are added with the middle Active trim. Top-spec Style includes dual-zone climate control, auto lights and wipers and front parking sensors, with the additional option of the Style Nav trim for another £1000 adding satnav and a rear parking camera.

The cabin resembles that of the larger i40 and is well laid-out, while the fact that the i30 is priced at £750 less than the Focus Titanium is more about Hyundai being still in the process of building brand image than the comparable quality of the product.

That brand image is rapidly improving though, as its illustrated by the i30 Tourer’s RV prediction against its more established competition. It’s the best of the four at 30.9% retained after three years and 60,000 miles, while the Focus comes in at 30.1%, the Astra at 27.4% and the Megane at 24.4%. That’s key in giving the i30 a significant cost per mile victory, beating the next-best Focus by 0.4p per mile.

The market for lower medium estate cars is predominantly fleet, and these are chosen more with head than heart. So while it’s not the most exciting car out there, the large boot space, decent equipment and excellent running costs mean there’s nothing about the i30 estate that doesn’t make sense.

Hyundai i30 Estate 1.6 CRDi
Blue Drive 128 Style
P11D price £20,340
Model price range £15,074-£21,474
Residual value 30.9%
Depreciation £14,065
Fuel £5782
Service, maintenance
and repair
Vehicle Excise Duty £60
National Insurance £1516
Cost per mile 47.7p
Fuel consumption 64.2mpg
CO2 (tax) 115g/km (17%)
BIK 20/40% per month £58/£115
Service interval 20,0000 miles
Insurance (1-50) group 17
Warranty 5yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space min/max 528/1642 litres
Engine size/power 1582cc/128hp
Top speed/0-62mph 120mph/11.2secs
Score 8/10