Our cars: Hyundai i30 - October
Week ending October 26
Miles this week 300
Read the full Hyundai i30 review
I drove our long-term i30 for the first time this week, after spending the previous couple of weeks in our long-term Volvo V40 on holiday. It was an interesting comparison.
The Hyundai is much cheaper, so obviously can’t compete for interior quality (although it doesn’t rattle when the Volvo does), but in terms of standard equipment the i30 is up there. It has Bluetooth, air-con and sockets to plug your iPod into. The seats aren’t as supportive as the Volvo’s, but there’s plenty of space around them.
The biggest differences come on the move - the Hyundai is every bit as good to drive as the Volvo, and is better in many areas. The Hyundai has nicer steering, rides better and is significantly quieter than the V40.
The V40 may have the punchier engine, but it’s hampered by a clunky gearbox and clutch, and sluggish low-rev responses.
Like I said – an interesting comparison, and a result I wouldn’t have expected.
Week ending October 19
Driven this week: 89 miles
The i30 has been in my care for more than 3000 miles now, which seems like a good time to take stock of economy to date.
Most of my driving tends to be stop-start school-running and commuting, so I didn't expect my fuel consumption to reach the official figures. Still, I've yet to better 53mpg, which is way short of the official 68.9mpg for town driving.
It won't surprise you to learn that our True MPG figures confirm my suspicions. My personalised results suggest that 49mpg is a more realistic benchmark – exactly what I usually get as an average between fuel stops.
The 53-litre fuel tank means that I can still manage more than 500 miles between fill-ups, however. Given that I usually have a fractious toddler in tow – that counts for a lot.
Week ending October 12
Driven this week: 191
The Hyundai is hardly what you'd call an obvious driver's car, but a rare opportunity for a cross-country dash last weekend left me feeling pleasantly surprised by how well it responded when the going got twisty. It also started me thinking about the Hyundai's Flexsteer system, which changes the level of steering assistance available at the push of a button on the wheel.
There are three settings to choose from – Comfort, Normal and Sport – but I'm not sure that most owners will ever bother. The difference in feel between the modes is marginal, and my B-road detour underlined the fact that the i30 steers just fine when it's set to Normal. I would rather Hyundai invested in a standard DAB radio to replace the current FM tuner – just like Ford has done in the Focus.