Our cars: Hyundai i30 - November
Week ending November 30
Driven this week: 271 miles
I've put the i30's load capacity to the test this week because an imminent house move meant that I had to transport half the contents of my flat.
It's a bit annoying that – if you want maximum space – you have to flip the seat bases out of the way before folding the seat backs down, but it's not a great hardship.
There's a step in the load floor, too, but because I was carrying lots of small, soft bags it wasn't an issue. It might have been a different story if I wanted to transport something really big and bulky, however.
This is my first week in the i30, and initial impressions are pretty positive. Average fuel economy looks like it's going to be more than 50mpg and the i30's ride is a lot more forgiving than my previous car's – a Honda Civic.
By Leo Wilkinson
Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi 110 Blue Drive Active
Week ending November 23
Driven this week: 77 miles
On a few occasions now I've shut the i30's driver or passenger doors only to hear an unhealthy 'crunch': the seatbelt hadn't automatically retracted when it released it in a hurry, so the buckle was dangling over the door sill. Luckily no damage was done as the door seems to have pushed the buckle out of the way just enough to avoid this, but I now get out of the car in less of a hurry – which is a pain when you just want to jump speedily out of the car to attend to some problem in the back with the kids or grab something from the boot.
Needless to say, the seatbelt behaved beautifully when I tried to replicate the problem for a photo …
Week ending November 9
Driven this week: 24 miles
Read the full Hyundai i30 review
It's horses for courses with our Hyundai i30 and its cousin the Kia Ceed, which we are also running as a a long-term test car.
For me it's the i30 every time. That's because my journeys (schools runs and local chores) are almost exclusively on poorly surfaced back roads, so the Hyundai's softer ride is preferable to the firmer feel of the Kia.
This is partly thanks to the higher-profile Hankook tyres fitted to the i30's smaller wheels, and although the Ceed's Continentals kick up less background noise and make its handling a touch sharper, I'm happy to make these sacrifices for a more cushioned feel.
Week ending November 2
Miles this week 240
Rear parking sensors might seem a little unnecessary on a small family car like the i30. However, the combination of a narrow rear windscreen and thick rear pillars means I've ended up relying on them a fair bit when squeezing into smaller parking spaces.
In fact, I'm a sucker for rear parking sensors anyway, because they reduce the risk of prangs. Active trim is ideal because it includes them as standard, as part of multitude of extra features you get over Classic trim for an additional £1100.
It's just a pity that if you specify our car's attractive Aqua Blue metallic paint (an extra £445), the sensors come only in matt black rather than the car's body colour. This adds a touch of cheapness to an otherwise stylish exterior.