A look at the Hyundai i30 car design
A designers cars review
Boys and cars can be a personal attachment. When you are going shopping for your car, it takes you into a zone where you want this representation to fit you perfectly. You go reading all the details, compare, take a test drive and think it over and over to determine if this is the one. A car that fits your personality, a glimpse for others to sense who you are. Everyone has a personal preference, some want the performance, where others like it small and affordable to get from A to B. There are those who like it classy, a luxury status and then there are some like me who like it to look stylish but also have the comfort. Well it could be me but that was the phase I went through when I came to purchasing my car, the Hyundai i30 2014.
I always classify an old Mini, Fiat 500, VW golf or even a Tesla to have characterise suited for a designer, but a Hyundai i30, it’s questionable. Is it a car that fits the designers persona? Well lets take a closer look.
When the name Hyundai comes to mind, a lot of people would think that it is a cheap Korean brand not worth taking a look. I thought the same in the early years when it was introduce into the Australian market. Have driven it as a rental vehical and hated it. At the time they had poor quality, the design didn’t live to the wow factor and it was basically terrible to drive. Fast tracking to the modern day, Hyundai image has very much change. The Korean’s have done something truly amazing, even if you take a look at Samsung, the true competitor of Apple products, it has grown on par or if not have surpass Sony. It’s something very impressive to see. This is something where I see Hyundai steady moving towards in the near future. reflecting to become in the near future.
There is a reason why the Hyundai i30 won Australia’s Best Car award in 2012 for “Best Small Car under $35,000” along with a host of other awards. It’s packed with lots of great safety feature with a 5 star ANCAP rating, 7 airbags, Brake Assist System (BAS), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) Traction Control System (TCS) whatever all those mean, I have a hunch that it means it’s very safe.
Bring on the power
The car that I own is an automatic 1.8L Petrol Engine that spit out 107kW @ 6500 rpm with a fuel consumption Hyundai clam to be 6.8 on a manual and 7.1 on an auto. Which it can be very hard for me to believe because I’m constantly hitting 9 on my suburban driving and reached down to 8.2 on the freeway. I lent the keys to one of my friend for a test drive and he thought it was very zippy for a small car. He owns one of the newer VW Golf GT so coming from his words its pretty good. Though when I loaded the travel luggages and all five seat occuplied including myself giving my brother’s family a lift to the airport a little bit more grunt would have help going up the hill though it was still managble. The boot size just squeeze two large suitcase, a small one and also 2 extra carry on bags. Any more item I think we had to comprise someone not flying out of Sydney. Well considering it is a small car it does pretty well.
A comfort ride
The first time I sat on the Hyundai i30 for a test drive I imediedly felt comfortable. The seat wrap well around and I felt the bond. It really is a comfortable ride from A to B. The suspension has been tune for Australian road. Driving over some of the terrible Sydney bumpy road is acceptable. The cabin is very quiet which I like, when you roar the engine you can hear it a bit but it’s still quiet. Have the music playing and you won’t hear much. Unlike the newer Mazda 3 (2014) model, I did test driven was surely loud and one of the deciding factors that I preferred the Hyundai i30. However if you travel on the freeway, all windows tightly up for some reason the internal eco noise picks up, bearable but not as good as some of other cars I have sat in like an older Toyota Camry for a comparison. Going into further details, when it rains you can hear the drops tinging onto the roof. Seems like it’s hollow up there but it’s rain so what can you expect. Can’t have everything perfect I tell myself. Though one great aspect of it is that I still feel comfortable and safe in the rain, not that I like driving in the misery rain but it is an important element to keep you confident behind the wheel to get to your destination safe and sound.
Building on the quality
Having had this car for almost a year, I have to say the built is excellent. Haven’t had any problems with the engine. Before confirming on my purchase, I dug up some information about the previous i30 model back in 2008 which some people clam to have some exterior paint issues chipping off. I was a bit concern of it though I haven’t experience any sort like that and hopefully that is the case for many years to come.
Words has it that even the VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was so impress with the Hyundai i30 his frustration boiled with his own design team at the Frankfort motor show, especially when he took a seat and readjusted the steering wheel, noting that it doesn’t rattle. Calling the VW head design Klaus Bischoff over making a note, “BMW can’t do it. We can’t do it. It doesn’t rattle.” Bischoff, carefully responded that VW had a solution for the rattling steering wheel adjuster, but it was too expensive to use in production. Winterkorn, was visibly upset and shot “So why can they do it?” There was no answer. One can only feel sorry for the pressure Bischoff was in but it is surely a bold statement of how impressive the build quilty is on the Hyundai.
The materials used and the finish internally is almost to perfection. I love the stitch lining on the seats and the solid but yet rubbery feel on the dash board. You get a sense of great craftmanship internally and externally. The only let down I would say is inside door handle. The plastic seems a little bit cheap, maybe it needs some kind of coating to make it more than just a piece of plastic. Even with my short nails I can easily scratch the inner plastic, leaving little scratch marks. Though that is something too minor to give a great big fuss about. I’m no Mr Winterkorn, and still calm that it does have a top notch build quality.
Down to the styling
The Hyundai i30 was designed by a handpicked team at their Motor Europe Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim. The status already sounds good for a designer. It’s exterior shape and form is simple, you can see the edge flows from the back to the front or vice versa. Has large headlights which points towards the grill saying look at me. The fringe of the fog lights and undercut bumper shape edgey and also bold with class. Though the back is a bit simple but still nicely shaped.
The interior is nice and to my liking. As a driver the tachometer looks sporty and I can see all the information clearly. The steering wheel is well sized so I don’t hit my leg or too small like the Ford Focus. The dial on the centre console is easy to naviagte. Only thing that get me annoyed is probably my Korean to Korean product, the Samsung S4 phone I have doesn’t bluetooth as well as my iPhone. The side mirror is awesome large and give me better rear vision and it’s foldable. The A pillar, the front side frame window is a bit thick and sometimes it can get in the way of seeing cars on the left, which forces you to move your head to make sure. However that comprise making a bigger front screen window. I still have problem judging the front because it slopes down though not as steep as the Honda Jazz. Above there is a spot for your sunglass, but this somehow pops down in hot wealth climate, not sure if other owners have the same issue but no big deal. The auto transmission stick is quick and easy to shift to drive or reverse making my 3 point turn quicker and easier.
Inside out it is has excellent styling and design elements that make me a satisfied owner. Is it a designers car, for me it is. Though pretty much any car is a designers car if you have the passion to elaborate and rave about it’s qualities how much you like.
Nice style with shape and form on the exterior.
Navigation easy to reach from the driver seat.
Easy and comfortable to drive.
Nice finish quality especially sitichlining.
Fuel consumption base on manufacture is not accurate.
A pillar is quite thick and can get in the way of seeing cars coming from he left in a distance.