It is possible – tempting even – to be reductively unkind about the way the i30 drives.

It strives so belligerently for a benign and nondescript sort of inoffensiveness that journeys are frequently terminated without a single salient detail having been marked for praise or admonishment.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
It wants for more body control in the off-camber corners; unswitchable stability control on top of a stability bias makes any weight transfer innocuous

Nonetheless, while that makes it the mortal enemy of any jobbing reviewer, it is not necessarily to the detriment of the buying public.

For anyone seeking to flitter away a commute with the blithe detachment of an airline passenger, it is potentially ideal.

After all, the i30 steers, rides and handles with steady, heavy-set competence. The onus, very overtly and familiarly, is on refinement and comfort – not an unwelcome set of virtues.

The problem is that the aspiration settles on the car like a sedimentary layer of insulation, depriving it of anything that might be construed as verve or even chirpiness.

Certainly, the well-oiled dynamic sparkle made palpable by the responsiveness and control service elan of a Golf or Focus or even the latest Astra is made conspicuous by its continued absence.

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Instead, the i30 focuses on evincing dependability and meekness and geniality.

As a result, the car ambles just about as peaceably as anything else you might reasonably consider in the C-segment.

Unlike the aforementioned models, where the running gear tends to harmonise in the outside lane of a motorway, the i30 feels tuned to best complement the kind of progress made at 45mph on an archetypical A-road.

It is here where the coagulated steering, staid engine and permissive dampers collude most proficiently, fading impressively into a background of muffled and very assured moderation. It is here where the Hyundai, very firmly and consistently, does what it says on the tin. Measure out your expectations accordingly, and the Tourer barely puts a foot wrong.

Faced with the myriad of trials on the hill route, the class-leading C-segment models tend to rise emphatically to the challenge.

Under duress, some — the Golf and Focus certainly among them — exhibit the cute sense of balance carefully and considerately plumbed in during development.

It is this deft sense of control that underpins each car’s handling character across the board — and it is the attribute still manifestly absent in the i30.

Which isn’t to say that the Tourer lacks a general sense of competence. Its suspension settings are inevitably too lenient in places but otherwise it copes as well as might be expected.

Rather, it’s the gratuitous, stability-obsessed obstinacy that starts to grate; not least because the alternative, invigorating and no less safe approach to front-wheel drive is customary among so many of the rivals that feature on Hyundai’s benchmark list.

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