Our cars: Hyundai i30 - August
Week ending August 31
Miles this week 112
Read the full Hyundai i30 review
The recent sweltering weather (in my part of the country at least) highlighted the Hyundai's first real foible in my hands: the standard air-con.
While the controls are logically laid out and simple to operate, the amount of cold air the system pumps out feels puny. When temperatures climbed into the 30s, it was found wanting. I couldn't get enough chilled air flowing through to the back to stop my one-year-old son from overheating - so much so that we abandoned our planned day out and headed home to cool off.
Perhaps such intense heat would overwhelm any car, but for once the Hyundai left me seriously unimpressed.
Week ending August 24
Driven this week: 171 miles
One month in and the Hyundai has already impressed as family holiday transport, load-lugger and latterly, people-mover. This week it ferried myself and three adults – two of them 80-something grandparents – on a 50-mile round trip to a family gathering.
The senior passengers found the i30 easy to get into and out of, thanks to seats with tall hip points and doors that seem to open wider than the norm. Once inside, the seats managed to be both soft and supportive, while the smooth ride made things comfortable on the move, although the amount of road noise in the cabin didn’t make conversation the easiest.
The most pleasant surprise was the fuel economy. Four-up and in a hurry over a variety of roads, the i30 returned an average of 55mpg – well short of the 76mpg average that Hyundai claims, but good enough to convince me that figures in the high-60s should be possible.
Week ending August 3
Driven this week: 125
Last week the Hyundai's roominess impressed on a family trip away. This week we put it to the test as a load-lugger, transporting a pile of rubbish to the tip following a recent house move.
Folding the i30's rear seats into the floor creates a 1316-litre loadspace - marginally better than a Volkswagen Golf's and a full 200 litres more than a Ford Focus's.
One item we were getting rid of, a surplus double bed, looked like a challenge, but there was nothing to worry about. Folding away the seats was a fiddly process, because we had to move the driver's chair forward and remove the rear headrests.
However, the resulting wide and flat space swallowed not only the bed but everything else we had to dispose of, saving us from a second trip to the tip. In terms of making life easier, the Hyundai has already earned its keep.
Week ending August 3
Driven this week: 461
The Hyundai made its first proper journey in my hands this week - a 400-mile round trip to Shropshire for a long weekend, during which it built on last week's positive first impressions.
The i30 has a larger boot than the Ford Focus I exchanged it for, and I really felt the benefit packing in the family holiday luggage. Bags that would not fit onto the Ford's boot floor slotted neatly into the Hyundai's, and as a result fewer items ended up overflowing into the rear seats beside Donaghie Jnr. This made a small but important difference to stress levels ahead of our trip.
Out on the road, I was impressed by the i30's comfortable driving position, soothing ride and touring range of over 500 miles, which meant that we didn't need to visit a fuel station while we were away.
On the downside, there is no DAB radio (standard in every Focus), road noise can be disappointingly audible and I missed the right gear on several occasions. Whether this is down to me or the car, the jury is still out.