DRIVEN: 2016 Hyundai i30 Turbo Review
We had a week-long test of the Hyundai i30 Turbo. Here is what I thought of the stylishly designed warm hatch.
What’s the Hyundai i30 Turbo all About?
The Hyundai i30 is a reasonably sized hatchback with plenty going for it. But the range has been spiced up with a new Turbo version. The model we have on test is the 3 door Turbo, though there is also a 5 door version of the car available if that’s more your style. Saying that, I think the 3 door version has slightly better looks with less breaks in the bodywork for those additional doors.
The Turbo version of the car comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, twin chrome exhaust pipes, a rear boot spoiler, a Turbo body kit and sports suspension. I quite like the aesthetics of the Turbo version of the i30; it looks slightly more aggressive but not over the top.
The Hyundai i30 Turbo is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine that creates 186 PS and 265 Nm of torque, this power goes to the front wheels using a 6-speed manual gearbox. The i30 will get from 0-60 mph in 8 seconds and will do a top speed of 136 mph. But it is also capable of doing 39 mpg.
How Does it Drive?
While driving the Hyundai i30, I wasn’t expecting a supermini hot hatch experience – it only has a 1.6 litre engine after all, but I was very surprised by the amount of fun you can still have with 186 PS at your fingertips. You can notice this Turbo model does have different, sportier suspension than the base model i30. The suspension is not too hard at all and the tweaks that have been made are enough to give the i30 a very flat and solid feel to the road without the bumps shaking the life out of the car.
The Hyundai i30 Turbo is relatively responsive with regards to power output. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a thrilling hot hatch experience similar to that which you might get from a Honda Civic Type R or a Ford Focus RS, the i30 Turbo is more about friendly power that’s very usable on a daily basis and won’t get you in trouble with the police when you get carried away.
What I really enjoyed about the car was how easy it felt to drive; the car had a very relaxed feel which I believe comes from the clutch design, it smooths out any poor driving you throw at the car. The 6-speed manual gearbox works very nicely and it is matched well to the 1.6 litre engine.
The Turbo comes with the Hyundai Flex Steer option that allows you to change the steering weight of the car between 3 modes. Comfort, Normal, and Sport. Changing the weight of the steering, be it only slight, does have an impact to how the handling of the car feels. Some may call the concept a bit of a gimmick, but you can feel the weight difference as you swap through the modes and some may prefer one mode over another, so it can help you adjust the car to your mood.
The car has twin chrome pipes at the back but they are so quiet, I really would have liked the i30 Turbo to make a bit more noise. I’m sure they could treat the car to even an electrically synthesised sound to give it a bit more drama to the ears. But this maybe something that comes in future updates.
What’s it Like Inside?
The seats are part leather-part cloth upholstery with some very sporty red stitching, which I really liked, and the dash design is very impressive too. Overall the car has a very crisp, clean cut, and premium feel.
The driver’s instruments are very bright and good looking, with blue lights illuminating both the main dials. The centre screen can be changed to show you trip metrics about the car and allows you to keep a close eye on those mpg figures.
The infotainment system is surprisingly refreshing. The touch screen graphical interface is very modern, simple to use and it is lightning fast to operate. The entertainment system includes radio, CD, as well as USB and Bluetooth mp3 streaming.
My favourite elements inside of the car were all the Turbo extras. These were the red highlights on the seats, a red gear stick, red stitching on the leather steering wheel, and aluminium pedals. The interior certainly felt like a sporty hatch to me.
Driving the Hyundai i30 Turbo you feel connected to the road and excited to be driving, and you feel as if you are cheating the taxman by saving on your bills. This is actually quite a good combination of things to have in an affordable small car. You do get the feeling that you want a bit more performance from time to time but, more than anything, this teaches you to do more with what you have, rather than just always wanting more.
The Hyundai i30 Turbo is no doubt the most fun you can have in an i30. The introduction of the Turbo model takes the i30 into a new area for more enthusiastic drivers who want a car to enjoy driving but don’t want the crazy expenses that come with it. Hyundai have placed the car at a great spot between power and efficiency and brought in an element of style and practicality to the mix. If you are looking for something faster the i30N is available.
Hyundai i30 Turbo
- Price: £23,107
- Engine: 1.6-Litre CRDi
- Power: 186 PS
- Torque: 265Nm
- Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
- 0-62mph: 8 Seconds
- Top speed: 136mph
- Weight: 1,380kg
- Economy combined: 39 mpg
- CO2: 169 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley