What is it?
Hyundai’s acclaimed i30 hatchback gets the range-topping (for now, at least) 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine. That means there’s 138bhp from the single overhead cam 1991cc four-pot under the bonnet, and more importantly still, 224lb ft of torque from 1,900rpm through to 2,500rpm. Along with a six-speed gearbox, that should give the i30 plenty of real-world pace on the road.
Other than that, the rest is an i30 as we’ve come to know it. Which means sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, a well-made cabin and smart but hardly daring styling.
What’s it like?
Very competent – and crucially, not too worthy either. The i30 has already proved itself in the Autocar road test to be beyond merely average; a car that you’d actually want to own rather than merely an object to get from A to B with.
The new engine fires up without much diesel clatter or vibration and settles to a refined idle. Thanks to common rail fuel injection and the latest variable geometry turbocharger there’s little lag when you press the throttle pedal and then a substantial wad of torque to propel you forwards.
Naturally, at higher revs the acceleration subsides, but the engine never gets especially raucous. The six-speed gearbox has a pleasingly light but snappy shift so keeping within the torque band is hardly a chore.