Our Fleet Test Drive: Hyundai i30 - Final Report
17 November 2008
Author: Tom Webster
Our i30's tyre pressure warning has been on and off as many times as a Christmas tree fairy light.
It came on, we pumped up the tyre, it went out for a couple of days and then blinked back into life. We'd checked the pressure independently each time and knew the dash wasn't lying, so we got it checked by Watling Tyres in Dartford. A small hole was found and a new tyre duly fitted.
Next time back in the Hyundai, my heart sank when I saw the light back on again. But this time it was the rear tyres that had dropped some pressure , so the light was always right and saved us the dangerous situation of driving around on under-inflated tyres.
Tyre issues were pretty much the only low moments we had in our entire time with the Hyundai. The high points were many, with the 115PS engine drawing the most praise for its low-speed capability and motorway cruising refinement. Beautifully spaced gears meant pulling away in second was easy, while cruising at 70mph in fifth was no stress.
Sadly the 1.6-litre diesel engine certainly has more pulling power than the rest of the car: my girlfriend described the Hyundai i30 as 'boring' when I first picked her up in it.
I disagreed, but thankfully she came round to my way of thinking, with the interior finally winning her over. She saw what I knew all along - the Korean company has given the i30 driver lots of kit to play with.
There was both an aux input and an iPod connection , but I only ever used the latter. It was easy and generally instinctive to use. Audi would do well to take a few notes. The stereo's  sound quality could have been better, though, and I was unnerved that the optimum volume level seemed to be 13.
We managed a satisfactory 43.5mpg over the six months and 5500 miles the i30 was with us. That's well below the claimed combined figure, but given the urban lifestyle it's plenty impressive enough.
The exterior was largely deemed to be pretty, but not unique or drop-dead gorgeous. We chose Shine Red to help our car stand out, but it still failed to turn heads.
But this is largely the point of the i30 it would seem. In six months, the only real fault was an easily replaced piece of loose gearlever trim. It was unexciting, but loved for that quality.