ROAD TEST: Hyundai i30 Active goes under the microscope
A YEAR on from launch Hyundai has filled some of the gaps in the line-up in the $25,000 to $30,000 range and made advanced safety available as an option on cheaper models.
A comprehensive safety pack that adds autonomous emergency braking, blind spot warning, lane keeping assistance, rear cross traffic alert and radar cruise control is available on the Go and Active (tested) for an extra $1750.
Standard fare on the Active includes built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, alloy wheels, full-size spare, digital speed display, rear camera with guiding lines that turn with the steering and tyre pressure monitors. The Go misses out on alloys, navigation, rear parking sensors and centre rear arm rest.
Service intervals are 12 months/15,000km and the cost of routine maintenance is among the cheapest in the business over three ($770) to five years. Warranty coverage is good at five years/unlimited kilometres.
The plastics in the dash and doors may look and feel cheap but there's plenty of usable space in the door pockets, glovebox and centre console.
The seats are covered in a high quality fabric and have good under thigh and lateral support. There's space for five occupants but it's better as a four-seater. The boot is among the biggest in class, even with the full-size spare, a rarity these days but very much welcome given our vast distances.
The Active comes with seven airbags, a rear camera with guiding lines that turn with the steering, rear parking sensors and tyre pressure monitors. It has a five-star crash safety rating but that would be downgraded to four stars if measured against the latest, 2018 criteria.
To earn top marks the i30 Active needs to add the optional safety pack.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder isn't exactly hi-tech but it's smooth and efficient and runs on regular unleaded. The six-speed auto is also an older, more conventional design but we see this as a plus: it's not highly strung like a continuously variable transmission and not hesitant like a twin-clutch auto. Hyundai link is a handy feature that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and can give you a live update on the car's diagnostics using an app as well as a monthly report showing the car's average speed, fuel consumption and braking use.
Toyota Corolla Ascent, $22,990 drive-away
The Corolla has bulletproof reliability and resale value and cheap servicing costs. But service intervals are six months/10,000km and the warranty runs out after three years. A new model is due before the end of the year so keep an eye out for sharp deals.
Mazda3, $23,490 drive-away
The Mazda3 is about a year away from a new model so deals have started to emerge. It's sweet to drive, looks gorgeous but, as with the Corolla, lacks Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
VW Golf, $26,490 drive-away
It's priced above the Japanese and Korean cars but is more luxurious, better equipped and nicer to drive. Service intervals are 12 months/15,000km but the warranty is three years.
If you don't need built-in navigation the Hyundai i30 Go is the go. With the $1750 option pack it comes out at $250 less than the Active.
HYUNDAI i30 ACTIVE
PRICE $23,390 (before on-road costs)
SAFETY 5 stars, 7 airbags. AEB is in a $1750 pack that bundles other safety aids.
ENGINE 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 120kW/203Nm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed auto; FWD
THIRST 7.2L/100km (claimed)