UK Drive: The Hyundai i30 Tourer is a spacious and affordable family estate car

What is it?

The i30 Tourer is a model that has remained true to what Hyundai continues to do best – offer affordable and appealing family cars.

A raked roofline gives the Tourer a sleek appearance
(Hyundai)

Now in its third generation, the i30 Tourer is a model for those valuing practicality over style – something that seems to be forgotten about more and more in an automotive world obsessed with offering sleek and sporty designs.

Sitting against popular models, such as the Ford Focus Estate and Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, can the latest i30 Tourer’s more premium outlook of the estate car sector appeal to more buyers?

What’s new?

The latest i30 Tourer was introduced later in 2017, following on from the introduction of the five-door hatchback.

With practicality being key on estate cars, Hyundai has increased the boot space from 528 litres in the last car to an impressive 602 litres – giving it one of the largest boots in its class.

Chrome accents help to give the car a premium feel
(Hyundai)

It also boasts a comprehensive list of standard safety kit, with highlights including automatic emergency braking, a driver attention alert and high beam assist. Even more kit is available as you rise through the trim levels and options list, too.

What’s under the bonnet?

As part of the new model Hyundai has introduced a pair of new turbocharged petrol engines to the line-up – a 118bhp 1.0-litre unit and a more powerful 138bhp 1.4-litre engine – it’s the latter that’s fitted to our test car.

You can have it with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or, in the case of our example, a six-speed manual gearbox. This combination works well, with 242Nm of torque allowing for a 0-60mph time of nine seconds and a top speed of 129mph. It’s surprisingly sprightly, and the engine is punchy, though lower down the rev band it can feel a bit sluggish.

The Tourer models offers more practicality than the regular hatch
(Hyundai)

We were also surprised at just how efficient this engine is. Hyundai says it will return a claimed 45.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 132g/km, but on our test route that incorporated a range of different driving we saw more than 52mpg.

If you’re looking for something more efficient, try the 1.6-litre diesel engine, which is offered with outputs of 113bhp and 134bhp.

What’s it like to drive?

The Ford Focus Estate is undoubtedly the class-leading model when it comes to driving pleasure, so if you’re looking for something good to drive – that model is the best bet.

However, the Hyundai makes a good case for itself by prioritising comfort and refinement – two things it’s good at, particularly with this versatile petrol engine.

The i30 Tourer is available with an efficient range of engines
(Hyundai)

While it’s not particularly inspiring to drive, the steering has a pleasing weight to it and the six-speed manual gearbox is one of the best you’ll find in a mid-size estate car. All-round visibility is excellent, too, while it comes packed with safety kit – each making the i30 Tourer feel like a safe and dependable family estate car.

What does it look it like?

The regular Hyundai i30 hatchback is a model that’s arguably one of the least inspiring models in its class to look at – not exactly a bad thing, it just lacks excitement. But when it makes the transition into an estate car, it surprisingly looks far more interesting. Thanks to its sleek sloping rear end, cascading front grille and LED rear lights, it’s certainly a better-looking model than the hatch.

Many buyers will also appreciate the fact all versions come with alloy wheels, while the LED headlights on Premium models are a great way of improving the i30 Tourer’s street cred.

That said, it’s a great model for those not obsessed by image, with the fuss-free styling have plenty of practicality benefits.

What’s the interior like?

Hyundai interiors have improved noticeably in the past few years, with the latest car adopting a far more minimalist and classier layout than the version it replaced. That said, cabins have improved dramatically in the two years since the i30 Tourer originally debuted – meaning that it doesn’t look quite as smart as more modern rivals – the Ford Focus, for example.

On the plus side, it comes with plenty of kit for the price, while the interior quality feels just as good as rivals, with plenty of soft-touch materials used throughout to elevate the i30 Tourer to that premium-feel category.

The i30's cabin is solidly made with several soft-touch materials
(Hyundai)

But what most estate car buyers will be wanting to know is how spacious it is, and the i30 Tourer most certainly doesn’t disappoint. Its 602-litre boot is very nearly the largest in its class, with a flat floor offering acres of room. Rear space isn’t as generous as the Skoda Octavia Estate, but it’s easily still spacious enough for two adults to sit in comfort.

What’s the spec like?

Standard kit is generous on the i30 Tourer, and includes 15-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control and automatic emergency braking. Mid-spec SE is a great choice, and adds larger 16-inch alloys, along with an eight-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring and a reversing camera. Meanwhile SE Nav brings satellite navigation and wireless phone charging.

Premium is a popular choice – adding 17-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring, heated front seats, keyless entry and LED headlights. Meanwhile, Premium SE brings heated steering wheel, leather seats and a panoramic glass sunroof.

The i30 Tourer offers a decent sized boot
(Hyundai)

Prices also remain right on the money – noticeably undercutting key rivals, such as the Ford Focus Estate. The range starts at £17,855 for an ‘S’ model, while the SE range begins at £19,895. To put that in perspective, the Focus Estate starting price is nearly £22,000 – meaning the Hyundai is significantly more affordable.

Verdict

The latest i30 Tourer is a big step up from the last – offering a more stylish look, a more upmarket-feeling interior and, crucially, an even more spacious boot.

While it’s not the best model to drive in its class, in this 1.4-litre petrol configuration it offers an excellent mix of performance and efficiency. The i30 Tourer is certainly not a model to get the heart racing, but if you’re after practical and affordable estate car, there are few better options available than this Hyundai.

  • Model: Hyundai i30 Tourer 1.4 T-GDI Premium SE
  • Price: £24,555
  • Engine: 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol
  • Power: 138bhp
  • Torque (Nm): 242
  • Max speed (mph): 9.0 seconds
  • 0-60mph: 129mph
  • MPG: 45.6mpg
  • Emissions (g/km): 132g/km
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