Our cars: Hyundai i30 - January

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Hyundai i30
Hyundai i30
Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi 110 Blue Drive Active

Week ending January 25
Mileage 8460
Driven this week: 145 miles

Read the full Hyundai i30 review

Our Hyundai i30 is one of the first models that arrived in the country. In just about every respect it's identical to the i30s that are in showrooms now, but early cars had a slightly different spec.

Specifically, our i30 doesn't have an interior light at the top of the windscreen, in easy reach. Instead, it's mounted in the middle of the roof lining, so if you need a bit of extra light you have to swivel round in the seat and reach over your shoulder.

It's not a major inconvenience, but anyone buying an i30 today will find things a bit more user-friendly.

By Leo Wilkinson

Week ending January 18
Mileage 8315
Driven this week: 218 miles

Although the Hyundai i30 and Kia Ceed share many parts under the skin, I've never thought that they looked alike until this week.

When the two cars were parked adjacent to each other in the car park, however, I noticed that the overall architecture is actually very similar.

Major things such as the shape and angle of the windows, the joins between the front wings and pillars, and the intersection of the bumpers and body panels are closely matched between the two.

This isn't surprising, really, so full credit to the Hyundai and Kia design teams for making them look so different at first glance.

Inevitably, with so much common hardware, the two cars are very similar to drive. I prefer the Kia's slightly sportier character, although it doesn't ride as smoothly as the Hyundai.

By Leo Wilkinson

Week ending January 11
Mileage 8097
Driven this week: 198 miles

I haven't spent much time in the i30 recently, and getting back into it after a break proved a pleasant surprise. It's such an undemanding car, which is sometimes just what you need.

There's nothing remarkable about the way the i30 drives, but it's all pretty effortless, with light steering, well-weighted controls and a generally comfortable ride. The interior is straightforward too, while the driving position is inherently good and there's a wide range of adjustment.

If it's excitement or flair you're looking for, then the i30 isn't the car for you, but if you're simply after no-fuss motoring, it fits the bill perfectly.

By Leo Wilkinson

Week ending January 4
Mileage 7899
Driven this week: 131 miles

The i30's interior is one of its best points, I think. I particularly like the sweeping centre console, with its glossy black panel and metallic side sections.

It's mostly easy to use, too, but because it's not angled towards the driver and slopes away at the top of the dash, some of the controls - in particular those for the stereo - are a very long reach.

I have unusually long arms for someone of my height (a fraction over 6ft) and I find it quite a stretch. Admittedly, many of the functions can be operated through the buttons on the steering wheel, but sometimes nothing beats the immediacy of grabbing a button.

By Leo Wilkinson

Our cars: Hyundai i30 - December


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