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First drive: Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.

First drive: Hyundai i30 Tourer
Hyundai boots up the i30 for the new Tourer and guess what? It's rather splendid.

   



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Hyundai i30 Tourer

4 4 4 4 4

Without significantly ramping up the, umm, excitement factor that we experienced when driving the Hyundai i30 five-door hatch earlier this year, the new Tourer estate nevertheless becomes our favourite model in the growing family, mainly because it looks really good and is supremely refined.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Hyundai i30 Tourer 1.6 CRDi Premium SE
Pricing: i30 Tourer from 17,495; 1.6 CRDi Premium SE from 24,365
Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: front-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body style: five-door estate
CO2 emissions: 99g/km (120 VED first 12 months, 140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 74.3mpg
Top speed: 117mph
0-62mph: 11.3 seconds
Power: 110hp at 4,000rpm
Torque: 280Nm at 1,500- to 2,500rpm

What's this?

The second body style introduced for the third-generation Hyundai i30 family is the Tourer estate. It commands a 500 premium over its equivalent hatchback, and it's a bit of a looker. With its rakish, coupe-like glasshouse and a shapely rear end, which loses some of the hatchback's somewhat 'BMW 1 Series' appearance, it's another one of those estates that's more attractive than the car upon which it is based. We heartily approve.

Inside, it's pretty much the same as the hatchback, but with the addition of a lot more boot space. The five-door boasts 395 litres, but the Tourer emphatically trumps that with 602 litres as standard, rising to 1,650 litres if you fold the rear seats. That's pretty competitive in the class, with only the Volkswagen Golf Estate, Peugeot 308 SW and Skoda Octavia Estate improving on it.

Trim lines and drivetrains are exactly the same as they are for the hatchback, so you've got S, SE, SE Nav, Premium and Premium SE, plus a choice of three engines: a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol T-GDI with 120hp; a 1.4-litre, four-cylinder T-GDI with 140hp; and then the 1.6-litre CRDi as tested here, which splits into 110hp/280Nm and 136hp/300Nm variants. All the infotainment and comfort equipment that's either standard fit or optional on the hatch can be found on the Tourer, while the wagon also has access to the same active and passive safety kit that gave the hatch the first five-star EuroNCAP crash-test rating under the body's new, tougher examination regime.

How does it drive?

Broadly speaking, very much like the i30 hatch, but there were a few surprising things we found. The first was steering which felt weightier, better connected to the front wheels and more direct than when we drove the five-door at the start of the year. However, we will concede that - on the same event as this Tourer test - we also drove another i30 hatch and it too had nicer steering than we experienced at launch. The conspiracy theorist in us suspects something has been tweaked in the set-up since January... well, either that, or our memory is already failing us as dementia takes hold.

The second revelation was the improved refinement and ride quality, quite an impressive feat given the hatchback was hardly coarse and uncomfortable. It's especially impressive when you consider that estates normally have tougher rear suspension, in order to cope with potentially taking an entire library's worth of Billy bookcases from Ikea one hellish bank holiday weekend. In walking the fine tightrope between rolling in a comfy fashion and possessing decent (albeit not stellar) body control, the i30 Tourer shows impeccable balance.

And finally, try and avoid this 110hp iteration of the diesel. It's notably sluggish, despite the 280Nm of torque it supposedly churns out from just 1,500rpm. It's not a particular paragon of smoothness or hushed operation, and it doesn't have very nice throttle response, either. If you need a diesel, step up to the 136hp model (for another 1,380) or, better still, go for the super-sweet and feisty 1.4 petrol, which is a much more pleasant unit in every respect. Nevertheless, overall we liked the i30 Tourer more than we like the hatchback, and as we think the five-door Hyundai is a strong contender in the C-segment class, then the estate should definitely be on your shopping list if you're in the market for this sort of compact family load-lugger.

Verdict

While we're not about to say the transition from hatchback to estate has turned the Hyundai into a really sharp thing to steer, the i30 Tourer has a great blend of decent dynamics, high refinement, attractive looks and a well-equipped, well-appointed interior. We prefer the petrol engines to the diesel variant, and the Tourer can get quite expensive once it's at Premium and Premium SE levels like this. But it's another example of Hyundai's continued development from a brand that was once nothing more than a value alternative, to one which is now moving up to contend for class honours.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

3 3 3 3 3 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 14 Jul 2017



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2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.

2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.2017 Hyundai i30 Tourer. Image by Hyundai.








 

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