i30 doesn't monkey about
The march of the Hyundai marque continues unabated -- it is now the fastest growing manufacturer in the country.
While its great i40 saloon and estate are making mostly conquest sales, its new i30 is tapping into an already loyal base to build sales in the compact family sector.
Its Korean sister, Kia, uses much of the same platform, engines and design cues for its new Cee'd but the i30 was first out of the traps.
While the i30 doesn't drive as sharply as the Ford Focus or have the same solid, if rather boring, elements of the VW Golf and Toyotas, it is an incredibly well built and specced car -- a great improvement on the previous model, which wasn't bad at all.
As can be seen in the picture, it can't even be made a monkey of by a pack of baboons. This clever piece of marketing was shot at Knowsley safari park in England as part of a wear-and-tear test.
Of course baboons with their tails aren't the same family as gorillas but Hyundai doesn't have to ape its main rivals. With its new breed of cars it is developing a sub-premium brand of its own, which people can be proud to own without needing to point to the five-year warranty or excellent fuel economy.
I should point out here that my partner has bought the smallest Hyundai, the i10, twice with her own money.
Anyway, the i30 should be on the potential shopping list for everyone who is in the market for a family hatchback. It isn't an especially cheap car, but with prices starting at €18,000 it is a good one.
My only complaint is that there is a fair bit of wind and road noise. Space, adaptability and power are, however, all good and bear comparison with the whole market. There's no need to go for the 1.6 diesel as the 1.4 petrol and diesel are well up to the job. CS