What Car? says...
You might wonder why the Hyundai i30 Tourer still exists, given the crushing dominance of SUVs in the car market these days. After all, as an estate car, it doesn't have the rugged looks and high driving position many buyers want these days.
What the i30 Tourer has been designed to deliver is a well equipped, dynamic and fuel-efficient way to transport your family and lots of their kit. Hyundai isn't taking any chances with the price, either – it undercuts most rivals you might be considering – and both the available trim levels come with plenty of standard equipment and a comprehensive suite of safety technology.
There's just one engine available: a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol with a 48V hybrid system. This isn’t a hybrid car that can be driven on electricity alone, but the mild electrification should help to reduce emissions and boost efficiency.
If all that sounds promising to you, read on over the next few pages of this review to find out how we rate the i30 Tourer in all the important areas, including performance, comfort, practicality and interior quality.
Here, we'll also tell you how it compares with the best estate car rivals you might also be considering. They include the Ford Focus Estate, Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and the Volkswagen Golf Estate.
By the way, if you're also interested in the hatchback version, we have a full Hyundai i30 review to check out.
When you’re ready to buy your next new car, make sure you get the best deal and avoid any awkward haggling with dealers by searching the free What Car? New Car Buying service. You’ll find great prices on most models, including plenty of new estate car deals.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Hyundai i30 Tourer's 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is impressively strong, and feels equally at home in a city or on a motorway.
Why? Well, its peak pull arrives at a lowly 1500rpm. And despite being a three-cylinder, it's surprisingly well insulated, so very little noise or vibration makes its way inside the car.
Unfortunately, though, when it comes to driving, the i30 Tourer feels a fair way off the pace compared with the class best Ford Focus Estate and Volkswagen Golf Estate. The suspension, despite being firm, is not stiff enough to prevent body roll in the corners, and although the steering weight is well judged, it doesn’t translate into any sensation of the road surface and available grip levels.
What is impressive, however, is the i30 Tourer’s level of refinement. From the way the car rides bumps to the way it isolates you from road and wind noise, the i30 is most certainly a car more suited to comfortable cruising on the motorway than winding country roads.
The interior layout, fit and finish
It’s safe to say that, until recently, Hyundai wasn't known for fitting its cars with class-leading interiors, but the i30 Tourer strikes a good balance between functionality and flair.
Touch points such as the steering wheel and door trims are lined with plenty of soft and squidgy materials, while big, easy-to-press buttons adorn the dashboard. In terms of fit and finish, the i30 is more than a match for most mainstream estate cars, although the Volkswagen Golf Estate looks and feels a little classier.
In terms of comfort, entry-level SE Connect trim comes with manual front-seat adjustment and cloth seats, while Premium trim upgrades those seats to heated cloth and leather seats with electronic-adjustment for the driver. Whichever you go for, getting comfortable is easy, and lumbar adjustment is standard on both trims.
SE Connect trim comes with an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system on the dashboard, with DAB radio, Bluetooth, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring as standard. It’s not the most graphically sharp system out there, but it is easy to navigate and quick to respond to your prods.
If you upgrade to Premium trim, that system is replaced by a larger 10.25in set-up that offers sharper graphics and adds built-in sat-nav. Premium trim also adds a 7in digital driver display behind the steering wheel and wireless phone-charging.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Although the front seats in the Hyundai i30 Tourer are mounted fairly high in the cabin, tall adults will find plenty of head and leg room available. The rear seats aren't quite as welcoming, though – certainly when compared with the capacious Skoda Octavia Estate and Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer.
Adults over six feet tall will find their knees resting against the front seatbacks and not a huge amount of room above their heads. The profile of the rear bench is well judged and supportive though, and the very low centre tunnel makes it more comfortable for someone in the middle seat than in most rivals.
As with the Hyundai i30 hatchback, there's plenty of storage in the front of the cabin, with large door bins, a lidded cubby between the seats on all but entry-level models and a useful space at the base of the centre console. Rear storage is more limited, with small door bins on both doors, but access is good because the rear doors are a decent size.
The i30 Tourer’s 601-litre boot is fractionally smaller than the boots in the Astra Sports Tourer and Volkswagen Golf Estate but far smaller than the 640 litres you get in the Octavia Estate.
Crucially, though, the load bay is easy to access, fairly close to the ground and has a relatively small loading lip. It’s also easy to fold the rear seats for more load space, but it leaves a small step in the boot floor, which could be restrictive when you're loading longer objects.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Hyundai i30 Tourer manages to undercut the cash price of the Ford Focus Estate, Skoda Octavia Estate, Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and Volkswagen Golf Estate. The problem is that the i30 Tourer is predicted to depreciate faster than those rivals, so it probably won’t be worth as much in three years.
Running costs should be pretty low, with the i30 Tourer’s small engine officially promising just over 50mpg, regardless of which trim you go for. CO2 emissions are also respectable, which is good news for company car drivers looking to keep their benefit-in-kind tax payments low. It’s worth noting that hybrid versions of the Astra Sports Tourer and other rivals keep those payments even lower because they can be driven on electricity alone.
If you want to keep costs down, the entry-level SE Connect trim will do the trick. Despite keeping the price tag below that of the i30 Tourer’s rivals, you still get 16in alloy wheels, a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, cruise control and touchscreen infotainment.
Even so, we think it’s worth stretching your budget to our chosen Premium trim if you can. While that matches the entry-level costs of many rivals, it adds plenty of bells and whistles, including front parking sensors, LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, climate control, keyless entry/start, an upgraded infotainment system and an electronically adjustable driver’s seat.
The i30 Tourer didn’t feature in the What Car? Reliability Survey but the Hyundai i30 hatchback did well, coming second in the family car results table. Likewise, Hyundai as a brand also scored well, claiming joint 3rd place – alongside Suzuki – out of the 30 included manufacturers.
The i30 Tourer comes with the same five-year, unlimited mileage warranty as all Hyundais. On top of that, the ownership package also includes five years of free annual ‘check-ups’ and five years of breakdown cover.
Kia offers a seven-year warranty and Toyota gives you 10 years if you service your car at an official dealership, but other car makers give you less.
Safety-wise, the i30 Tourer scored five out of five stars when it was tested by Euro NCAP. That said, it was last tested in 2017 and the tests have become progressively more stringent every year since. For that reason, it’s hard to compare the i30 with the Astra Sports Tourer, which was tested in 2022, or the Golf Estate, which was tested in 2019.
Regardless, every i30 Tourer comes with plenty of safety equipment, including six airbags, hill start assist, tyre pressure monitoring, automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-departure technology. Premium trim adds blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic systems.
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|RRP price range||£23,450 - £27,600|
|Number of trims (see all)||2|
|Number of engines (see all)||1|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||petrol|
|MPG range across all versions||52.3 - 54.3|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||5 years / No mileage cap|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£1,299 / £1,531|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£2,598 / £3,063|