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Big Blue

Hyundai i30 1.7 Diesel

I'm sure it had some other words / letters / numbers in the name but it was a 1.7 diesel.

It did the usual job of making sure the industry is nigh on incapable of making a "bad car" compared to cars of yore. In fact it went one further and makes one question why you would need a low-level "premium" marque instead. The cabin had dual zone air con; iPOD / MP3 interface, electric windows, folding door mirrors, lots of storage space and enough room to hoof 4 adults across Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and back in a (long!) day. The piano-black stuff was well fitting and felt nice; the dash top was nice and soft touch and only the door bins and the lower dash showed any harshness of manufacture. It also helped that it had 300kms on the odometer when I collected it.

It cruised at a sat-nav indicated 146kph with no issues at all (the speedo was indicating north of 150) and the only thing that caught me out was the steering-assistance button which after the drive one way I found was on the "comfort" setting. I put it in "sport" and it actually did make a difference through the very fast, very sweeping S36 and S6 in Austria - I was pissed off that the original plan of taking die Schreibmaschine was replaced with flying and hiring as these roads were made for Alpinas. As it was the i30 caught a lot a flies in that grille.....

Now we had luggage on the way out as our daughter is staying with babka and dedo (grandma and grandpa) and it had no issues swallowing it all up in what is a pretty substantial boot. Bigger than most VW-group offerings I've seen.

What I will say about it being a diseasal is that it made 2 impressions on me.
1. You need a fuel efficient diesel when you live in the centre of the EU mainland and drive about a bit. I managed 7.1 globbets per spangle which is apparently 39.7mpg - in about 1200kms in 2 days of hire. This included 3hrs in traffic leaving the circuit! Die Schreibmaschine would have needed it's own tanker on standby for that scenario.
2. Diesels should be automatic. What the fuck is this 6 speed gearbox bollocks? There was Adequate Torque to pull away in 2nd and 5th was not used at all with ALL my changes from 4th going straight to 6th. There is enough uuumph to roll-on in top gear from about 100kph without being embarrassingly slow so stirring the gears is largely unnecessary. From this I surmise that there need to be 4 gears in this particular diesel: 1st being some ration between the current 1st and 2nd; 2nd being somewhere close to the current 3rd; 3rd being the current 4th and 4th being the current 6th.

I had a piece of luck on the way through Austria. I filled up and the pump showed 63-ish. I went to pay and he charged me 40 dead on. I queried him and he still didn't change his mind so I paid and moved my car away from the pump really really quickly (we stopped for supper in the associated - very nice - restaurant).

Finally, whilst they are very well built, very accomplished as family transport, no-doubt very reliable they look like this side on:

I'm not that much of an aesthete but that that just looks a bit contrived to me. However if you're in the market for some "family car" this will fill the shopping basket adequately.

A client of mine with a small garage reckons that Hyundai's are about the best built cars around now - he says that the engineering has been well thought out with wires being routed where the won't chafe or bend too much and metal being used where Audi, BMW et al are using cheap plastic which breaks as soon as it is moved.

I'm afraid that aesthetics do matter to me and that doesn't tick too many boxes on the beauty scale.

It almost looks like a shortened estate car rather than a hatchback. I've had a couple of previous gen. Hyundai i30 diesel loaners. They are automotive white goods - reliable, well built, but just rather dull.

Quite agree re the auto boxes though. This fascination with manuals in cars that either / and / or commute / do urban stuff / have torquey engines is lost on me.
Frank Bullitt

PG wrote:
It almost looks like a shortened estate car rather than a hatchback.

There's a reason for is the estate!

That one has the plastic wheel trims that are only on the basic model in the UK, the 17" alloys on the Style models make a huge difference to the look of the car - I like the i30, they are a nice car overall and in the right spec it looks good.

They are proving popular with the fuzz as Hyundai will honour the warranty (which seemingly nobody else will), there's a place near a property we rent where the bloke converts cars into police spec and his yard is always full with Hyundai i30's with a smattering of BMW 5's, Volvo's and Octavia's.

The gearbox one is interesting - the DS4 has a 6 speed box and I tend to agree it's probably one too many, 5th is only really used on rare occasions I suspect a slightly taller 2nd, 3rd and 4th would fill the current 5th quite nicely, I would have had a slusher but they are on 2.0 diesel models only in the uk and were simply too expensive -the 1.6HDi and 1.6THP get the EGS gearbox (we don't have the THP proper auto your mum gets the choice of in France).

I can see how some would prefer an auto 'box, but I'm sure the manual version will really need it's 6 cogs. The Jaguar had a 5 speed 'box and it was infuriating - any speed below 35mph would require 3rd gear, yet the engine would be spinning at around 2300rpm at 70mph in 5th.

Sounds like a decent car.

The Slovakian burbs (assuming that's where the photos were taken) look alarmingly like Moldova.  

My experience of a 1.7 diesel and an autobox suggests that manual is the best option, certainly as far as pulling out of a junction is concerned.

I think UK Hyundais suffer with having small wheels but otherwise I'm sure that for most people if you stuck BMW badges on it they wouldn't realise.
Well, they would when they had to pay for it and wondered why it was so cheap  
Big Blue

Mark wrote:

The Slovakian burbs (assuming that's where the photos were taken) look alarmingly like Moldova.

It's a small village with only Slovaks and about 6 Roma familes (so that's about 100) living there - in a predominantly Hungarian part of SK as the nearest town is Komarno / Komarom which is on either side of the Danube and in both countries. You only need to go 10-12km north to avoid all Magyar and reduced Roma. Most of central Europe looks like this (CZ, SK, HU, SLO, HR (Croatia) etc.). As you go into the towns and the more modern developments they are looking a bit more Teutonic and orderly but the villages are generally like this.

One thing about the trip this time was that it reinforced my plan to build our retirement HufHaus in Austria. Love the place.
Bob Sacamano

I loved Austria. Very strange people though.

I'm impressed with the latest Korean offerings but I think the KIAs are styled better than the Hundys.

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