What is it?
The all-new Hyundai i30 hatch. Korean contenders into the Golf-Focus class might not look much like London buses, but lately they seem to be arriving with similar frequency. No sooner does Kia finish launching its impressive Cee’d hatch than parent firm Hyundai weighs in with its version of the same thing, this time called i30 (Eye-thirty), and aiming to garner much the same plaudits as the Kia.
It’ll get them, too. The Hyundai might be made in a different location from Kia’s new factory in Zilina, Slovakia, but it’s very similar: same dimensions, same chassis, same powertrain choices, similar target market and (though nothing has yet been announced) similar pricing.
How does it differ to the Kia Cee'd?
The official difference between a Hyundai and a Kia seems to be that the newer car claims a more luxurious, higher-quality image than the Cee’d, which is more youthful and sporty. The difficulty with that is you won’t find anyone at Kia prepared to say the Cee’d is not a quality car, nor anyone at Hyundai who’ll suggest the i30 isn’t rewarding to drive.
Like the Cee’d, the i30 is a Focus-sized monocoque steel five-door hatch of conventional but all-new design. You can see the relationship between the two cars in the size, screen angle and overhangs. The Hyundai styling is different inside and out, with the more knife-edged treatment of the Cee’d holding a slight subjective advantage.