None of the engines in the regular hatchback is especially powerful (the i30N hot hatch is a different kettle of fish), and the range of powerplants is smaller than those in rivals such as the Ford Focus and VW Golf. Performance is no more than adequate, although that’s all that most buyers will expect.
Our favourite engine is the entry-level turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol. It’s reasonably flexible and feels at home in town and on the motorway. It’s so good, in fact, that the more expensive turbocharged 1.4 petrol seems a little redundant – yes it’s quicker, but not by much, and it uses more fuel in the process.
Hyundai also offers the i30 with a 1.6-litre diesel engine, which pulls eagerly at all but very low revs. Ultimately, though, it's no faster than the 1.0 petrol so is only worth considering if maximum miles per gallon is your priority.