2020 Hyundai i30 Sedan Active auto Review

2020 Hyundai i30 Sedan Active auto Road Test Review

Hyundai I30 has retired the Elantra name for its small sedan now calling it the i30 sedan… much more sensible. This new model sets a benchmark in the class.

Starting with the base Active variant driven that features unexpected goodies like leather upholstery, a full size spare and 17-inch alloys as standard equipment.

The manual goes for $24,790 with the 6-speed conventional auto adding 2 grand.

It’s a striking design though still identifiable as a Hyundai.

Wide of face and sharp of line, new i30 sedan will put a cat among the pigeons in the competitive small car market at multiple levels.

It contains extensive advanced driver assist technology right from the base model and is a big car for the money. That wide face translates into a wide interior with extra room for five occupants.

The sheet metal has a certain angular “Lexus” look about it and is a departure from what we have come to expect from Hyundai’s small car offering.

The four model sedan range is first cab off the rank in Hyundai’s new i30 line up with hatches following. There are two petrol engines, essentially carried over from the previous model with tweaks and three transmissions in 6-speed manual and auto and a 7-speed dual clutch manumatic. The engines are in 2.0-litre MPI and 1.6-litre turbo spec’, both seen before on other Hyundai vehicles.

Hyundai i30 Sedan Active Exterior

There’s no mistaking Hyundai’s new i30 sedan for anything else on the market as it has a distinctive and pleasing new look starting from the wide grille with drooping bonnet and splayed out bumper skirt rolling back through integrated headlights then stylised side panels complete with an arrow shaped crease in the front doors. Further back are pumped out rear guards and a notched rear end that incorporates a jutting boot lid and Lexus-style angular tail lights.

The whole car looks premium with plenty in common with the current angular Lexus look than anything else.

It’s big for a small car with a low arcing roofline creating almost a coupe/fast back profile.

Star design 17-inch alloys set off the styling and are in keeping with the sharp body creases.

The overall effect is pleasing to view and gives i30 sedan a premium look not seen before when it was Elantra.

Hyundai i30 Sedan Active


Inside is simple and stylish with a couple of wow features… the passenger side, centre grab rail and the steering wheel with finger slots incorporated in the lower spokes.

It has smooth sweeping lines to the dash with a large infotainment touch screen in the middle.

The instrument pod contains two round dials for revs and speed and a digital read out for multiple sets of info.

Hyundai has made the interior driver centric with controls including the gear selector angled towards the driver for improved functionality.

The front door sills are moulded into the sides of the dash for an integrated look while the bottom of the dash itself appears like one large ventilation outlet.

You get a small multi-function wheel and a cluster of round dials under the info screen to operate all critical car functions.

Rear seat room is generous and the leather accented sports seats are comfortable. The boot is big and there’s a full size spare under the floor.

Hyundai i30 Sedan Active


The amount of standard kit in this car for the money is surprising and will set competitors back on their heels. You get:

  • Electric parking brake
  • Drive mode select
  • 17-inch alloys
  • Satnav
  • Full size spare
  • Auto headlights
  • QI phone charger
  • Leather accented upholstery
  • Locally tuned chassis

Hyundai i30 Sedan Active

Drive and Engine

The i30 sedan uses a 2.0-litre, multi-point injected, petrol four cylinder engine with 117kW and 191Nm output. It’s been in Hyundai’s inventory for some time and surprisingly, the i30 hatch scores a more advanced direct injection 2.0-litre but in actual drive feel, it makes no difference.

The test car had plenty of performance, perhaps a little tardy straight off the line, but other than that, there are no complaints to how it goes, the smoothness and fuel efficiency. On test I saw the claimed 7.0-litres/100km using regular unleaded.

It has Hyundai’s proven 6-speed auto that is rarely caught out in the wrong gear and fully captures i30 sedan’s available power. A sport mode is available through the centre selector and three drive modes allow you to rev it out in Sport or cruise for maximum fuel economy.

I left it in Normal most of the time and it was fine.

The ride/handling compromise is good even with a rudimentary torsion beam rear suspension aided by local dynamics calibration. Response is semi-sporty while the ride was supple and controlled on plenty of the rougher roads around here.

Minimal noise, vibration or harshness intrudes into the comfortable cabin.

There are numerous strong contenders in this segment but this car rates as a stand-out in terms of value and overall performance.


Scores 5-stars and gets a generous amount of advanced driver assist features optional on some competitors.  Hyundai collectively calls the safety kit SmartSense and it’s basically camera/radar driven technology like high and low speed autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, attention monitor, lane keeping  and lane following as well as adaptive cruise and radar with stop and go for traffic situations. I found the lane keeping over intrusive and switched it off (each time the car is started).

A large reverse camera is provided along with park assist and other advanced/active safety kit.

Good Bits

  • Impressive value
  • Striking looks
  • Features rich

Not So Good Bits

  • At times intrusive advanced driver assistance
  • Misses out on direct injection engine
  • Could do with sharper initial throttle response.


Wow, what a cracker of a car in the mainstream small sedan segment.  It looks striking and has heaps of standard kit along with leather and luxury features you expect to pay a lot more for. Goes well too and is comfortable and controlled.  Looks like a car pitched at double the price.

Hyundai i30 Sedan Active

Facts and Figures: 2020 Hyundai i30 auto sedan

  • Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder petrol producing 117kW/191Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: South Korea
  • Price: from $26,790 MLP*

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Hyundai I30 Active Sedan


Wow, what a cracker of a car in the mainstream small sedan segment.  It looks striking and has heaps of standard kit along with leather and luxury features you expect to pay a lot more for. Goes well too and is comfortable and controlled.  Looks like a car pitched at double the price.


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