Hyundai i30 Turbo Video Review
Quite simply, this is Hyundai’s first attempt at a hatchback that might be described as ‘hot’. Part of the recently overhauled i30 range, the 1.6 litre turbocharged three or five-door model sits at the top of the range and promises more performance to add a little excitement behind the wheel.
The European-designed and built i30 first arrived back in 2007, with the second generation car debuting in 2012 and receiving a plethora of updates for 2015. Sharing platforms and powertrains with the Kia cee’d and pro_cee’d, it has helped the brand shake off much of its budget image, proving very popular thanks to high standard specification, reliability and a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty. One thing Hyundai hasn’t ever showed too much interest in though, is high performance. Not in its road cars anyway: for years, it’s been rallying, campaigning Coupe, Accent and more recently i20 models. The i30 Turbo variant we look at here at last builds on that experience, using the same turbo-boosted 1.6-litre engine as the Kia cee’d GT.
Although just a few years ago 186PS was a serious figure for a hot hatch, times have changed. Don’t compare this to the likes of the Golf GTI, Vauxhall Astra VXR or SEAT Leon Cupra: think more Astra SRi or Leon FR and you’ll not be too far from the mark. This is very much a ‘warm’ hatch, supposedly blending acceptable levels of CO2 and fuel consumption with just enough grunt to put a smile on your face and enough styling changes to make you stand out from the crowd. With no possibility of an ultimate headline-grabbing power output to make this warm hatch feel exciting, the chassis will come under close scrutiny. So, have Hyundai’s efforts under the skin paid off in delivering a dynamic drive. Or are the looks writing cheques the chassis can’t cash?