Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

First Hyundai Drive Is a Premium Experience

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

First Hyundai Drive Is a Premium Experience

Article excerpt

NOW I have a confession to make - despite doing this job for a few years now I have never tested a Hyundai!

That is not because I have anything against their cars - it is just that, with over 30 manufacturers selling their wares in the UK, it is easy to miss someone out.

So I am putting that right this week with the new i30 Fastback Premium - and was looking forward to adding the Korean car maker to my new car tick list.

First impressions were good - sharp design, long kit list and a fiveyear unlimited mileage warranty plus breakdown cover. Add to that a sub 10 second 0 to 62 time, 126mph top speed and up to a shade over 50mpg.

I was beginning to see why there are so many Hyundais on our roads, but then I spotted the price. Our test car was £24,440.

Now it has to be said this is the top of the range model and the i30 starts from £17,000 - a few hundred pounds below entry level Astra and Focus models. And that is where the i30 range stays as you move up - just below the main opposition on price and just above on specification.

Ten years ago when the first i30 was launched the car maker was not a major player here - but all that has changed. When Hyundai first entered the UK market their USP was certainly pricing, but as quality and design improved Hyundai also moved the cost of their models closer to competitors' prices. So it now needs to be a good car.

And I am pleased to report that the i30 is more than a match for its rivals in the very competitive medium-sized hatchback market - and the Fastback probably has the edge over the opposition in the looks department (the alternatives are an estate and standard hatchback).

On the road it handles well, is quite spirited when in Sport mode (there is also Eco and Normal) and should not break the bank to run with that 1.4 petrol engine's frugality and Hyundai's long warranty period. Hyundais of old were labelled a little dull but not so this one - it is an enjoyable and capable drive. …

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