Best Small Car under $35,000

Hyundai’s new generation, Korean-built i30 sedan is a significantly revised small car, with clear improvement in styling, cabin presentation, mechanical refinement, safety and practicality.

Underneath, the new i30 boasts 5 kW more power and improved fuel economy of nearly 10 percent, as well as a major revision of its ride and handling characteristics, including three driver-adjustable settings to alter weighting and feedback of the electric power steering.

Standard equipment has also been improved across the range, Hyundai taking the approach of three distinct, model-level packages with no options apart from metallic paint, rather than a bewildering list of add-ons that only seems to delay factory delivery times.

All models have five-star safety, with a full complement of equipment, including seven airbags, ABS, electronic stability control, parking sensors and tilt-adjustable head restraints.

Despite significant re-engineering, the i30 Active retains its strong value for money attributes, ranking among the best in class for pricing and retained value, while also providing a standout five-year, unlimited kilometer warranty, and low running and repair costs.

Behind the wheel, the new i30 feels decidedly more up-market, with quality materials, full seat and steering adjustment, comfortable seats, and an impressive instrument design and presentation. Like its predecessor, it is a particularly easy car to drive.

Australia's Best Cars Best Small Car under $35,000 Hyundai i30 Active

Manufacturer’s List Price: $22,990

Hyundai i30 Active - Criteria out of 10


Value for Money   Rating 
Pricing  8C
Depreciation  9M
Running Costs  9M
Fuel Consumption  7C
Warranty and dealer access   9H
Insurance  6L
Standard Features  5M

Design and Function   Rating 
Safety  10C
Environment  7C
Comfort  8M
Space  8L
Practicality  6M
Ergonomics  8M
Build and Finish  8H

On the Road   Rating 
Performance  8M
Ride  8M
Handling  8M
Braking  8H
Smoothness and Quietness   7L

Note: Level of weighting importance for each score: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High, C = Critical.