IT may not be a Focus RT or a Megane RS (as in it’s not a pocket rocket hot hatch) – and it doesn’t claim to be either, but the 2014 i30 SR from Hyundai is a bucket load of fun to drive and for someone looking to spend less than $30,000 on a mildly tricked up hatch – it’s feature packed.
The list of standard features in the i30 SR is the first thing you notice, mostly because there are so many of them, including keyless entry, a reversing camera, satellite navigation, rear parking distance sensors, power windows, an alarm and immobiliser, heated mirrors, electrically controlled drivers’ seat, and a pumping six speaker stereo system (that includes full iPod support, AUX connectivity, full Bluetooth integration (via the easy to use navigation touch screen), and USB and MP3 support).
There’s also a decent boot space, with a good solid rear shelf, and plenty of rear leg room, with the i30 SR passing not only the boot full of luggage test, but also getting the big thumbs up as a family friendly five door hatch, with plenty of space for the child seat in the back, with no complaints about leg room from either of the younger troopers (aged 3 and 12).
Under the bonnet you’ll find a punchy direct injection 2 litre four cylinder motor that puts out 129kW of power and 209Nm of torque, coupled to a tidy six speed manual gearbox, with locally tuned sports suspension adding to the flowing way in which the i30 marries together its quality ride and handling, and solid performance (think a tidy 7.7 seconds for 0-100km/h).
In fact we could sit here and rave about the handling of the i30 SR until the cows came home; there’s virtually no body roll out of the awesome suspension package, even at speed, and it really does drive like it’s on rails, no matter what the situation.
From a safety perspective, you’ll also find some seven airbags, ABS (with electronic brakeforce distribution), a brake assist system, traction and stability control, and the all important five-star ANCAP safety rating, while it’s pretty economical on the juice as well – with an average 7.2L/100km in fuel consumption.
Can we fault it, of course we can, and overall there are some minor things that could be improved, including front seat comfort (they feel a little awkward depending on your seating position), and the steering feels lacklustre in Comfort mode (three settings are available at the push of a button, Normal and Sports being the other two).
It also looks mighty similar to the rest of the i30 family in terms of body styling (for the most part), and could do with a beefier exhaust system to make it sound like it’s a sports model. But really, these are all minor things that shouldn’t stop you considering an i30 SR.
Complete with a range of SR branding and badging, a sports grille and rear diffuser, the i30 is available in four colours; Creamy White, Hyper Silver, Phantom Black and Brilliant Red (this last colour was what our test car came in), with leather appointed seats and 17 inch sports alloy wheels.
You can drive the manual version of the 2014 Hyundai i30 SR out of the showroom for $27,990 (plus on-roads), while an automatic version will set you back $30,190.
Our test vehicle was provided by Hyundai Australia. To find out more about the 2014 Hyundai i30 SR, contact your local Hyundai dealer.