The Nürburgring tag is thrown around so often these days that it has almost become meaningless but, in the i30, there is some sign of it having had a positive effect on dynamics and ride. The i30 Tourer is supple and smooth, yet also well damped and quick to respond to undulations, making it feel confident on the motorway and not opposed to being driven at pace on B-roads.
Our car’s 1.4 four-pot makes it good for a 0-62mph time of 9.2sec and a top speed of 130mph. It feels every bit as nippy as those stats suggest and makes for a surprisingly effective motorway cruiser, thanks in part to the arrival of 178lb ft from 1500rpm. But on our run, the petrol unit could only average 40mpg – more than 10mpg short of its claimed combined economy.
We would opt for the six-speed manual as it seems to unlock the engine's maximum potential, but those who do go for the optional seven-speed dual-clutch auto will at least enjoy quick gear changes, albeit with a less punchy power band.
Hyundai claims the i30 Tourer has the most driver assist programmes available in its class, and the range-topping Premium SE model tested here certainly stands in good stead to back that. It gets blind spot detection, driver attention and lane departure warning technology as part of its armoury. It also gets cruise control and lane keep assist as standard, which makes long-distance driving substantially less tiring.
This is helped by good refinement, with road noise kept to such a low volume that, on this first go at least, it feels as if the i30 Tourer could give the Golf estate a run for its money in this department. Wind noise is also impressively low, with only a slight amount being audible at motorway pace from around the door mirrors. That’s particularly impressive considering the SE Premium gets a panoramic sunroof - something that can hinder soundproofing in rivals.
The chairs in our car are wrapped in perforated leather and mix good lumber support with wide ranging adjustability. Space in the back is also good, although our car only features one USB charging point for the front – a potential negative for those with children to transport. The car’s six-speaker sound system is impressive, however, and flaunts nifty tech that only plays the satnav voice guidance to passengers in the front seats.
A few marks are lost for the cabin’s hard touch, grey plastics, which are located on sections of the dash and touch points of the doors. They drag down the appearance of what is in essence a nicely designed interior. Thankfully, the driver’s main touch points – the steering wheel and gear lever – are wrapped in leather and therefore feel far more premium.