2013 Hyundai i30 3dr review

* First drive on UK roads * Same size as five door; sportier looks * Priced from 13,995...

2013 Hyundai i30 3dr review

This is the Hyundai i30 three-door a sportier-looking version of the i30 hatchback. Chunkier bumpers, black mesh grille, round foglights and narrower side windows all help to finish off the sleeker look.

Engine options are a 98bhp 1.4 or 118bhp 1.6 petrol, but the big seller will be the 1.6 turbodiesel, which can be had with either 109bhp or 126bhp. The 1.4 diesel thats fitted to the five-door is not available and the only transmission is a six-speed manual 'box.

Whats the 2013 Hyundai i30 3dr like to drive?

Sadly, the sporty styling isn't reflected in the way the car handles. The i30's steering is pretty vague and the three weight settings don't vary much. Its a shame because strong grip keeps things secure in bends, and while theres more body lean than you get in a Ford Focus or VW Golf, the car doesnt feel sloppy.

The ride is comfortable and the i30 remains settled over potholed streets and speedbumps, and refinement is good. Wind noise is kept to a minimum, although tyre roar intrudes into the cabin even at low speeds.

Our test car was fitted with the range-topping 126bhp 1.6 CRDi diesel. It is by no means sluggish but it is clear that it has been tuned for economy rather than performance. Power delivery is smooth and consistent, making the i30 a relaxed car to drive, and most buyers will be happy with that given the claimed 68.9mpg and 108g/km of CO2.

Whats the 2013 Hyundai i30 3dr like inside?

From the driver's seat, the i30 three-door is pretty much identical to the five-door, benefiting from the same roominess and breadth of seat adjustment, so drivers of any size should be able to get comfortable.

The dash finish and layout also impress; the plastics are soft to the touch, while the layout is easy to use thanks to the big buttons and clear labeling.

Even the boot remains unchanged, allowing for a healthy 378 litres, while the rear seats will easily accommodate a couple of six-footers.

There are a few niggles as a result of losing the rear doors. The front seats have no memory function so the driving position is changed every time someone gets in the back, the rear seats don't fold flat, the seatbelt holder is low-rent and over-the-shoulder vision is poor due to the thicker rear pillars and narrow side windows.

Four trims are available: Classic, Active, Sport and Sport Nav (replacing Style and Style Nav on the five door). All trims get air-conditioning and Bluetooth, while top-of-the-range cars get satellite-navigation, cruise control, a rear parking camera and rear parking sensors.

Should I buy one?

Theres good incentive to, given that the three-door is cheaper as well as more stylish than the equivalent five-door, coming in at between 300 and 600 less. Be a bit wary of opting for the 126bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine that we tested here, because its only available on the top-level Sport and Sport Nav specifications and so is only worth the extra if you really value your luxuries.

Even so, if youre taken with the looks and value comfort over handling, the i30 3dr is an efficient and capable offering thats definitely worth a look.

What Car? says...

Kia Proceed
Vauxhall Astra GTC

Read the full Hyundai i30 review >>

Specification i30 1.6 CRDi 128
Engine size 1.6-litre diesel
Price from 18,990
Power 126bhp
Torque 192lb ft
0-60mph 10.9 seconds
Top speed 122mph
Fuel economy 68.9mpg
CO2 108g/km

By Matthew Burrow