So why only three and a half stars for the Hyundai i30? Well, the shortfall is not now in quality, but in progress.
The car is another fine facsimile of a European model – imitating the comfort, refinement and confidence better than ever – but this also completely cauterises any flicker of originality or endeavour that might have made the i30 a smidgen less forgettable.
Thus the game plan elucidated by the original car has not moved on; Hyundai has simply got better at accomplishing it.
We would have preferred it if the firm had ditched its deference to VW and Ford and injected some of its own ideas into the mould. If it could just be a bit sharper to drive Hyundai’s appeal may well begin to extend into the enthusiast end of the market, as well as the value and mainstream buyers this car will surely impact on.
Perhaps then the result would have been a potential class leader instead of a persuasive appeal to common sense. However, the 2017 model and its subsequent relatives may see Hyundai finally breach the promise land for family hatchbacks.