One of Australia’s top ten best-selling cars, the Hyundai i30 is a stylish and sporty little hatch that we were looking forward to putting through its paces! If you are considering a small family hatch then don’t go past the i30 without giving it serious consideration. It’s jammed full of safety features, sat-nav and a great media screen. A fantastic car to drive for a really affordable price!
We actually drove both ends of the i30 range, the Active which is the most basic model and the SR Premium, the top spec sporty model! I have to say apart from the obvious sporty difference the Active had everything you could need! The Premium comes with the Hyundai Smart Sense safety range and heated and cooled leather seats though, along with a much sportier drive, but as a family hatch I preferred the drive of the Active as it was a little softer but still responsive, fun and nippy!
The i30 surprised me in many ways, not least because we had an enormous Toyota Hilux the previous week, where my husband travelled in the back because he was too tall to sit in the front passenger seat with the rear facing child seat installed behind him.
The i30 made a refreshing change! With rear facing child seats installed in both the rear outer seats, the front legroom was fantastic! From the edge of the seat base to the furthest forward part of the glove box (usually by the right knee) was 23.5cm. That provided a lot of space!! The i30 is a much smaller car and more practical for a family of three than the enormous Hilux! With way more legroom!!
The boot space in the i30 was enough with just three of us, holding ten shopping bags on their own or three with a big pram or seven with a basic stroller.
There is ISO Fix in both outer rear seats and top tethers across the back of all three rear seat backrests that are easily accessible through the boot. I could fit two child seats across the back seats, which were relatively easy to install.
My only real complaint with the i30 was the front seats, which bulged into my lower back and the seat base was a little too long for my legs (I’m 162cm). If I could have the seats changed then I’m sold!!
The i30 is a great family car, it has everything you need and is more than affordably priced.
The i30 has two cup holders in the central console in the front of the car. They were big enough to hold a large refillable water bottle and a coffee cup.
The front door pockets are not lined and peculiarly shaped. I thought they would not be practical but they actually held a lot; a large refillable bottle and a 600ml water bottle and a baby bottle. Or a 600ml water bottle and my wallet fitted or an iPad on its own.
All the door handle wells in the i30 are nice and deep and a useful little storage space, they are also rubber lined which stops anything rattling around e.g. keys!
The central console box was quite small and the lid doubled as an armrest.
There is a well in front of the gear lever which was perfect for your phone, the USB and AUX connection points are situated there and two 12V sockets.
There is a glasses case in the ceiling with the interior lights.
The glovebox was a good size and would hold the manual, my wallet, iPad and had room to spare at the side.
In the back seats of the i30, the map pockets are half size and made of cargo net so although an iPad will fit, anything you put in them will show.
The door pockets in the back will hold a 600ml water bottle and my wallet, or a baby bottle also fitted but rattled around in the space. I could fit the iPad in on its own but it is completely visible.
There are two cup holders in the rear central fold-down armrest. They are moulded plastic and do not seem to be well sized to hold anything in particular. A coffee cup or 600ml water bottle would fit but they move around.
Storage was good in the boot of the Hyundai i30.
The boot space and its functionality are really important. I like to have a big boot space and little side wells or areas I can divide things into. So something I don’t want to move around while I’m driving such as Tulsi’s lunch bag or her wet swimming gear can be sectioned off in a little well where it’s not going to spill or get squashed by the rest of the things in the boot.
Hooks for securing shopping bags to are also favourites of mine, I like being able to secure the bag containing more fragile things like eggs so they don’t move around on the journey.
I measure the boot space in freezer shopping bags, prams and dogs. Not because I think all there is to a mum’s life is food shopping, prams and dogs. (Although it can feel like it sometimes!!) But because these are visually mesurable items we can all associate with. For me, the car company boot measurement of litres is not an amount I can easily visualise and 400L in one car may differ in usability to that in another due to the configuration or shape of the space.
With the boot floor in its lowest setting, it will hold 10 shopping bags.
With the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle in the boot, you can get three shopping bags awkwardly positioned around it.
The basic Holiday 2 stroller fits across the width of the boot at the front only, it will not fit between the wheel arches. With that in the boot, I can get seven shopping bags in behind it, which is quite a good amount of storage for a hatch.
There are also a few little areas of space you could fit other small things.
The parcel shelf is solid but removable, held on by two cord ropes. If you remove it you do have to leave it behind as there is nowhere to store it in the car.
There is a light on the right-hand side that comes on automatically and a hook for bags on either side of the boot too. In the floor of the boot is a cargo net attached to four anchor points.
You do have to bend down into the boot as the boot floor does not sit flush at all. The mouth of the boot is quite wide and deep so if lifting large prams in and out you are not battling with the sides of the boot.
You could put a medium sized dog in the boot if you took the parcel shelf off and had nothing else in there. Or you could put a small dog in with the stroller or half the shopping bags and a small dog.
The i30’s boot is a good one for an emergency bum change because it doesn’t sit flush so they are not going to roll out! You are bending down to around knee level do it so there is that to consider.
There are no sockets or underfloor storage in the boot. The boot widens behind the wheel arches which is really useful as without this extra width you wouldn’t fit a stroller across the width.
The i30 was a beepy little car! It even beeped when I put it in reverse which I found rather annoying!
The reversing sensors are not overly sensitive, they do not sound until you are pretty close to something which is great because you are not inundated with pointless beeping, you just get the beep when it is really necessary. So I did not find they disturbed bub at all or annoyed me! There are no front sensors on this model.
Becoming a parent I soon realised there are some noises and sounds I feel are unnecessary and I could happily live without if it meant my baby stayed asleep!!
That often the distraction of my screaming, distressed baby is more dangerous when driving than not having a lane departure warning for example.
If it is the lane departure warning beeping that creates distress with my baby then which is safest?
It’s where I think we need to be able to strike a balance and choose when we can mute the warnings or swap them to a vibration in the steering wheel or flashing light perhaps?
A lot of these noises come with the increase in technology and especially linked to safety features and alerts. For me these all have their place.
Another thing I have realised is I spend my time in a lot more places where small children roam, parks, beaches, play gyms, swimming lessons, daycare centre etc. I have become more aware that when I’m reversing or manouvering in the car parks I have to tripple check for small children running around behind me or being in my blind spot when reversing. For this I LOVE reversing cameras, I just don’t like their beeping sounds!!
I have become so much more aware of safety and potential accidents or hazards since having a child and so I love the peace of mind that I get from the cameras and sensors combined with my own vision from windows and mirrors as I don’t trust cameras alone.
The media screen beeped every time I touched anything which was really annoying and disturbing but thankfully there is a screen within the media system where you can turn that off. You can also adjust the ringtone, navigation, media and radio volumes in this screen.
The indicator is a dull tick-tock sound so it is not a disruptive noise (and is not adjustable).
The Sat Nav voice can be turned down on the navigation screen itself. It can be muted or there is a sliding scale for volume. The volume settings are remembered from previously and you can mute the voice and just follow visual prompts on your digital display and turn it back on if and when you need it.
The i30 has Android and Apple CarPlay. The Audio is simple to connect to, the nursery rhymes playing on my phone played straight away when I connected my phone. The volume settings are remembered.
The windows in the i30 close with a bit of a thud. The seal is loud but the mechanism is not too loud.
The doors are not too loud to open or close but I have found a few times with the driver's door I have had to re-close it a few times as it hadn’t closed properly the first time, which is sometimes a bit annoying when you have child-laden arms!
There is an alarm sound if I get in and turn the engine on without my seatbelt on, or if I start the engine with the door open an alarm sounds also.
However, once the engine is started if I then open my door no alarm sounds so you can get out of the vehicle once the baby is asleep without the alarm going off and waking them up!
Since becoming a mum I spend A LOT of time parked up somewhere with a nice view while my daughter is asleep in the back! If it's hot I need to leave the engine running and the aircon on but I do like to get out and drink my cuppa tea in the fresh air while enjoying the fact my limbs are free from said dangling child!!
SO this is a very important test as I have found that sometimes I have been held hostage by a cars BEEEEPING alarms when I have taken off my seatbelt or opened the door while the engine is still running!! (I only stand outside the car, I am not a bad mother!!)
The doors all lock automatically and there is a big button on the central dash to unlock and lock them again.
Road and engine noise are quiet. The engine roars a little up-hill and off the lights but apart from that it is a quiet little BabyDrive!
The i30 has a door open and seatbelt alarm when I first got in.
The i30 is a five-seater. In the back, there are three top tether points in the back of the backrests of all three seats and ISO Fix in the two outer seats.
Installing child seats wasn’t too difficult, however, the ISOFix points are concealed within two joins of fabric between the seat bases and seat backs which can make them tricky to locate. They are definitely not as simple as the plastic surrounded connections you get in some cars.
Having firstly connected the ISOFix I then fed the top tether straps through to the boot and went around to the boot door to fasten them.
I could only fit two child seats across the back row, one in each of the outer seats, as there was not room for a third in the middle seat. Interestingly, for a car of this size, with rear-facing child seats installed, there was an enormous amount of space in front of them giving the front passengers a lot of leg room.
Posting Tulsi into her child seat was fine from inside and outside the car. There was room to breastfeed her in the back with only one child seat installed and room in the front because the seats could go back so far.
Australia being a country of weather extremes blazing sun and torrential rain means you may find it easier to put bub into their seat from inside the car. If it’s hot you can get the aircon going, cool the car down and not stand out in the heat with the door open while you fasten them in or shelter from the rain and not get soaked yourself whilst you’re doing it. So it is important to test whether bub can be easily installed from either direction.
The seats in the Sports model we drove were leather and would have wiped clean easily. However, the lower spec model has woven seats which would be much more difficult to clean. They were not fussy with too many seams or stitch details but anything spilt on them would be harder to wipe off than the leather seats in the sports model.
The i30 front seats are not particularly comfortable, they bulge in your lower back so your shoulders have to lean backwards. I am 162cm and find the seat bases just a tiny bit too long for me! It’s ever so slight, about 1cm, but it still makes everyday driving uncomfortable.
Having a ponytail is actually okay with the i30 seats! I wore one all week whilst driving it and it was fine.
I had spent hours styling my hair this morning to get it just right too… said no new mum ever!!!
The steering wheel is fully adjustable in/out and up/down.
The cruise controls are very easy to use, but I found the cruise control would get carried away on undulating roads at 60km/h and the speed could fluctuate quite a lot.
There are four narrow air-con vents in the front of the cab. Two in the centre of the dashboard and one more at each end. There are no vents in the back and I found the air-con was just adequate for the cabin space, I would describe it as ‘puffy’ rather than chilling.
I think the air-con may struggle at the height of summer to cool the front and rear spaces enough but I didn’t have a problem with it during a Queensland winter. The controls for the air-con are centrally located on the dashboard and easy to use.
Visibility is good in the i30 and the reversing camera is excellent. It is really clear and has a wide field of vision. Even with two rear facing child seats installed I could see well out of both rear windows.
The back windscreen is not enormous but it is ample to see well when reversing, and parking. A lot of light comes into the car which makes it excellent for visibility for passengers.
There are vanity mirrors with lights for both the front passengers
There are two press on interior lights in the front with the sunglasses case in the ceiling and one in the central ceiling for the back seats which I can reach from the front seat whilst driving.
I often will reach back to turn on the interior light if I am driving at night time, I find my little girl gets less distressed traveling at night that way. It helps if I can reach the interior light from the drivers seat so I can turn it on and off whilst driving. I often find my daughter will need it on as we start our journey in the dark but once she falls asleep I can turn it off.
It is also useful when there are lights situated above the doors where the handles are usually positioned. These are good for when putting baby into their child seats when visibility is poor, so you do not have to reach across them to a light situated in the ceiling centrally etc.
In the i30 I could only just reach to post something around the side of Tulsi's rear-facing seat or touch the top of her head. I am 162cm so I do sit quite far forward but with the great legroom in the i30 does come the fact the rear seats are farther apart.
Being able to reach back to attend to Tulsi, when I stop at traffic lights, whilst she is in her child seat is important. At some point during almost every journey I need to reach back and pass her toy, or snack or pick up something she has dropped or to jiggle her a little to stop her falling asleep when I want to get her home for nap time! Sometimes it is for my own peace of mind to check she is okay, not too hot or cold and still breathing if she’s gone super quiet!! (yes paranoid mother here!! I’ll admit it!!)
The i30 drives really well and it has been fun, easy and enjoyable BabyDrive. It is fast and nippy, it has a slightly hard ride but nothing disturbing for bubs.
Parking is simple and visibility when doing so is great and even better with the reversing camera. I haven’t been annoyed by the reversing sensors which has made a nice change too.
One thing I have noticed since being a mum is I hate it when I reach a destination or get home from being out and Tulsi has either done really well in the car or she is screaming her head off and I have done really well to keep it together for the entire journey (usually the latter!!) and it takes 10 minutes to park the car! It can be really stressful. Usually I dread when we drive big cars and utes as they tend to take longer to park in our tight apartment block carpark, the little i30 was really easy and enjoyable to drive and to park!
There is a handle above the doors on either side in the back, perfect for hanging a baby toy from, and there's a coat hook on the middle pillars on both sides.
There are 12V sockets in the front central dash, with the USB and AUX points.
The i30 is a nice little car. The styling is modern, quite simple and clean looking inside and out. The door surfaces are easily wipe cleanable. It has wells in the door handles for storing little things like keys etc.
There are carpet floor mats through out the i3o. The lowest spec model did not have keyless entry or a powered tailgate but some of the more expensive models do.
The Hyundai i30 comes with a lot of standard safety gear including seven airbags. This includes front and side airbags for both front passengers, a driver's knee airbag and full-length curtain airbags for front and rear passengers.
It also has Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock brakes with Electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and hazard light activation when emergency braking, Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Hill-Start Assist, rear parking sensors, reversing camera and an anti-theft alarm,
At the time we drove the i30, all manual gearbox versions and the cheapest Active model did not have Autonomous Emergency Braking but Hyundai promised it would become a standard feature around Easter 2018.
The Premium models have Hyundai Smart Sense safety packages which feature Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Change Assist (LCA), Lane-Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Driver Attention Alert (DAA), Blindspot detection (BSD) with rear cross-traffic alert, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW).
The i30 has been given a five-star ANCAP safety rating, on the ANCAP website they have used the results from the Hyundai Elantra testing, which is a similar car to the i30 but a sedan model. They have not yet tested the i30 for its own full safety rating but must feel it is similar enough to share the same results.
Some of these safety features are also features that drive me crazy as a mum! Like the lane departure and forward collision alert or the parking sensor beeping sound.
I want all the safety technology AND to be able to mute the sound when Tulsi’s asleep!