ONCE upon a time, there was a car called the i30. It was made by Hyundai. Then one day, it grew up, and went to the gym, and got itself all buff looking. In the process, it gained an aggressive stance, and a more serious, grown up look.
The 2017 Hyundai i30 SR Premium is one of the most surprising cars we have tried in some time, because it just does what it says it does, and does it well. It’s the top-of-the-line sports version of the i30, with its biggest key feature being new suspension.
The standard car has torsion beam suspension and handles well, but the SR version has multi-link rear suspension, making it feel far more stable on the road.
The cornering is far superior to the standard edition of the car too, making it much more fun to drive on the open road, or in the twisting mountain roads near any of our major cities.
Aside from handling, the i30 SR Premium runs a 1.6 litre turbo charged engine that offers 150kW and 265Nm or torque, and is super responsive, offering minimal turbo lag and a zippy, fun and exciting level of power that makes you smile.
You’ll even raise a smile in traffic, when smiling is not high on the agenda. Our test car had the automatic gearbox, and an optional 6-speed manual is also available. The auto is pretty nice to drive with, and super smooth – no clunkiness or vaguery here.
The tech in the car is pretty impressive too, with an 8-inch touch screen which includes SatNav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and of course, Bluetooth. If this isn’t enough, there is also a reversing camera hidden behind the rear Hyundai badge.
Highway speeds are a doddle and city traffic is nothing for Hyundai’s warmed up hatch. We thought the overall feel of the car was excellent too. It’s got a genuine sportiness about it, without being too in your face.
The i30 SR Premium also has heated AND cooled front seats. Finally, a hatch back manufacturer that caters to Australia’s very hot summers. They’re very comfortable as well, snuggly even, especially for sports seats.
Even in the rear seats where head room can be in issue, it had plenty of room for some taller staffers who wanted to go for a ride. The middle rear is not as comfortable but then very few middle rear seats are.
The interior of this car is a cool place to be and it is aesthetically very nice, with contrasting stitching and anodised bits on the dash. There is also plenty of 12V charging ports for phones and tablets so no one will suffer from flat batteries.
There is however some plastic bits that do feel a little cheap, but this is a minor point in an otherwise excellent little hot hatch.
There is oodles of storage in the boot with an adjustable floor to give you hidden storage underneath. The spare is a space saver which is not surprising, and this adds some boot space too.
We think this i30 SR Premium would be perfect for young couples or singles who want a good performance car that is well behaved in the city, but still lots of fun to get away in, on a weekend in the country.
It would also suit the empty-nesters who want a small, economical car that makes the kids feel safe about their inheritance, but still provides mum and dad with an exciting driving experience.
Basically, it has something for everyone, bundled into a reasonably priced, sporty hatch. Priced at $33,950, plus on-roads, it comes in Phantom Black, Marina Blue, Phoenix Orange, Fiery Red, Platinum Silver, Sparkling Metal and Polar White.
Our test car was provided by Hyundai Australia. To find out more about the 2017 Hyundai i30 SR Premium, contact your local Hyundai dealer.