Hyundai i30 Elite sedan review

Car Reviews and Advisory

The sleek and stylish i30 sedan has plenty of appeal in a class dominated by hatches.

Hyundai i30 Elite sedan.

Hyundai’s smart new i30 sedan is a recent addition to the range that’s designed to complement the established hatchback models, while also replacing the long-serving Elantra, which is now in runout. It joins only a handful of other small sedans in a class that’s well and truly dominated by hatches, both in terms of composition and sales popularity.

With prices starting from $24,790 for the i30 Active sedan with manual transmission, Hyundai’s newcomer is competitively priced against rivals including the Honda Civic, Mazda3, Kia Cerato, Subaru Impreza, and Toyota Corolla.

Well known for its value offerings, Hyundai haven’t been parsimonious with the standard fit-out here, which includes leather trim, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging on all models plus varying levels of the Korean car maker’s Smartsense advanced safety system, depending on the model grade.

The i30 Elite sedan sits one notch above the entry level Active, with the extra dollars adding to the Active’s already healthy array of kit. As such, the Elite’s standard features include rear cross traffic collision warning/avoidance, Bose audio, DAB+ radio, 10.25-inch infotainment screen with sat nav, 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, dual-zone climate, rain-sensing wipers, power fold exterior mirrors, and a Smart key with remote start.

Motivation comes from a 117kW naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine, driving through a conventional six-speed auto. The engine is sufficiently responsive and willing enough to satisfy most small car buyers, but for anyone wanting more kit and performance, the pricier N-Line models pack a 150kW, 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine.  

The Elite’s road manners are an agreeable blend of comfortable ride and capable handling, thanks to Hyundai’s ongoing commitment to local chassis and suspension tuning work, which delivers well targeted and unique-to-Australia settings on all versions.

Once again, if something sportier is more your speed, then the N-Line models offer a more sophisticated rear suspension design, sportier chassis tuning, bigger brakes and an upgraded wheel and tyre package.  

The Elite’s interior seems more stylish and premium than its hatch sibling, with a high centre-console design and wrap-around trim elements that sweep across the dashboard. The dash design and large digital display screens contribute to a more driver-focused cockpit.

Interior space is good by small car standards, courtesy of a longer wheelbase than the hatch, while cargo space is also increased to 474-litres (VDA), up from 395-litres in the hatch.

Due to some poor design executions in the past, small sedans are often seen as staid and dowdy. But that image problem shouldn’t dog Hyundai’s progressive new sedan, which boasts sleek and stylish lines.

The attractions also run deeper than the booted body style, with the i30 Elite feeling suitably premium to be regarded as offering something meaningfully different in its segment.

Key stats

  • MLP: $30,790
  • ENGINE: 2.0-litre petrol 4 cylinder (117kW/191Nm)
  • ANCAP CRASH RATING:  Not rated.
  • FUEL CONSUMPTION (combined cycle, litres/100km):  7.0 (159g/km CO₂)
  • FOR: Attractive styling, attractive and spacious interior, good standard features, pleasant driving dynamics.
  • AGAINST: Boot lacks luggage tie down points and the hinges intrude into load space, no ANCAP rating yet.


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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.