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Hyundai i30 (2011-2017) Buying Guide

Hyundai i30 (2011-2017)
Hyundai i30 (2011-2017)Hyundai i30 (2011-2017)Hyundai i30 (2011-2017)Hyundai i30 (2011-2017)Hyundai i30 (2011-2017)Hyundai i30 (2011-2017)Hyundai i30 (2011-2017)Hyundai i30 (2011-2017)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

The original Hyundai i30 was a small family hatch that was instrumental in changing buyers' perceptions of this once lowly marque. When talking about the Hyundai's excellent quality, equipment levels and reliability, no longer did you have to add the rider that they were impressive 'for the money'. Which is just as well because Hyundais aren't the bargains they once were, although they're still among the most reliable and best-value cars on the road.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Good value
Well equipped
Looks good
Muscular engines
Patchy build quality
Fussy dash design
So-so dynamically
Low-rent image
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Key Dates 
03/12The second-generation i30 hatch arrives with petrol or diesel engines, each in 1.4 or 1.6-litre forms; the 1.6 CRDi diesel is offered with 109bhp or 126bhp outputs. The petrols and low-power diesel can be specified with manual or automatic transmissions; trims are Classic, Active, Style, Style Nav. A Premium trim arrives soon after.
7/12An estate reaches showrooms, with either 1.6-litre petrol or diesel engines.
05/14Go! and Go! SE special editions are launched to commemorate the FIFA World Cup.
1/15A facelift brings fresh engines, an upgraded cabin, the availability of a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and a redesigned exterior. The i30 Turbo also debuts, with a 183bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine.
  • Driveline vibrations can be an issue on manual-gearbox i30s, although the cause isn't known. Some reckon it's engine mounts, others that it's down to the clutch.
  • The stop/start system can work erratically, as successful deployment relies on lots of conditions being met. A tired battery or having the heater fan on 3 are typical reasons for the system not working.
  • Some owners have found that the factory-fit tyres produce a lot of road noise, but switching brands (Goodyears are popular) can make all the difference.
  • All i30s come with plenty of equipment; even entry-level models get air-con, Bluetooth, a space saver spare wheel and hill hold assist.
  • The original batteries didn't seem to last very long, but as a result most have now been replaced.
  • Premature clutch failures don't appear to be an especially rare occurrence, so check for slipping.
  • Check the alloy wheels for corrosion, as the lacquer tends to peel.
  • The paintwork isn't always very robust so look for chips that are developing into rust scars.
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