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Brand New Hyundai i30

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Steane Klose | Mar 13, 2009

‘Unexpected surprises’ was the theme behind Hyundai’s i30cw launch this week. Hyundai sees its new i30 ‘crossover wagon’ as being a lifestyle choice and is hoping that buyers will take advantage of the extra practicality on offer.

Cheaper to run than your average SUV, Hyundai wants i30cw owners to load up their wagons, hit the road and head off for those weekend getaways.

At TMR we are unabashed fans of the i30 - in fact we currently have an i30 diesel hatch on 'the TMR fleet'. It's fair to say the i30 range has made a big impression on us with its combination of class, quality, refinement and value.

The i30cw takes the hatch and adds a big dose of style and practicality.

i30cw-007

The i30 crossover wagon rides on a 50mm longer wheelbase and overall is 230mm longer than the i30 hatch. For people used to riding in the back of the i30 hatch, the difference will be noticed immediately: quite simply there is even more rear legroom. Unless you are sitting behind one of the Melbourne Giants, the back-seat in the i30cw is surprisingly accommodating for adults.

The i30cw’s real point of difference is of course the wagon rear end. Hyundai has managed to successfully combine aesthetics and functionality, and produce a wagon that, simply put, looks hot.

The slight awkwardness at the rear of the i30 hatch is gone, and in its place is a smooth, well-proportioned and imminently more practical Euro-style wagon.

i30cw-012

With the rear seats up, there is 415 litres of luggage capacity, while dropping the rear seats provides an impressive 1395 litres.

A retractable cargo cover, mesh barrier and luggage net are standard across the i30cw range.

Hyundai’s General Manager of Marketing, Oliver Mann, admitted that landing a wagon in Australia could be perceived as an unusual move.

There are 25 wagons currently on sale in Australia and combined, their sales add up to less than one percent of the total market -' a market that has long since surrendered to the rise of the SUV.

i30cw-020

However, 35 percent of SUV buyers never use their vehicle's AWD capability and this is the market that Hyundai is targeting with the i30cw. It offers similar space and luggage capacity, but without the increased running costs generally associated with SUVs.

“This is an ideal time to be landing a wagon that has real running cost advantages,” Oliver said.

With that in mind, we were tossed the keys to a launch-edition Sportswagon and pointed towards the Hunter Valley wine region, a popular weekend getaway destination an hour or so out of Sydney.

i30cw-018

The launch edition 'Sportswagon' that we drove is only available with the 2.0 litre petrol engine. Colour choices include Vivid Blue and Continental Silver with a black leather interior.

The Sportwagon package also features 17-inch alloys with chrome inserts, side repeaters in the outside mirrors, iPod® (genuine Apple software), USB and AUX connectivity, six speakers including two tweeters, steering wheel mounted audio controls, six airbags and ESP Stability Control.

With the exception of the Sportswagon, the i30 hatch and i30cw are available in the same two trim levels, the SX and SLX.

i30cw-026

To drive, the i30cw (as you would expect) feels much the same as the i30 hatch. The 2.0 litre petrol engine in our Sportswagon was mated to a four-speed automatic and while it lacks the low-end torque of the smaller 1.6 litre turbo-diesel, with a few revs on board it is ultimately a little racier.

Hyundai has paid careful attention to the steering and suspension tune for the i30 range, recognising that Australian driving conditions are unique, and the results are largely impressive.

The i30cw is impressively balanced and poised and is a natural and predictable understeerer on the limit, but the trade-off for that European-style suspension control is a ride that can get a little harsh at low speeds.

i30cw-027

Road noise at highway speeds appears to be more noticeable in the i30cw (compared to the hatch), a trait it shares with the Lancer Sportback.

Ultimately, though, there is plenty to like about the i30cw. The i30 hatch is an extraordinarily good car, and the i30cw simply adds more style and practicality to the mix.

We'll be spending more time with the Crossover Wagon in the near future, so stay tuned for our comprehensive road test.

i30cw – model range:

  • 2.0 petrol powertrain (available in i30cw ‘SX’, ‘SLX’ and ‘Sportswagon’ trim):
  • 105 kW of peak power @ 6,000 rpm
  • 186 Nm peak torque @ 4,500 rpm
  • 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic
  • Fuel consumption* 7.3 litres / 100 km (man), 7.7 litres / 100 km (auto)
  • CO2 emissions 174 g / km (man), 183 g / km (auto)
  • Towing capacity (Braked - 1,200kg) (Unbraked - 500kg)

1.6 CRDi turbo Diesel powertrain (available in i30cw ‘SX’ & ‘SLX’ variants):

  • 85 kW of peak power @ 4,000 rpm
  • 255 Nm peak torque @ 1,900 to 2,750 rpm
  • 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic
  • Fuel consumption* 4.9 litres / 100 km (man), 6.0 litres / 100 km (auto)
  • CO2 emissions 128 g / km (man), 159 g / km
  • Towing capacity (Braked - 1,200kg) (Unbraked - 500kg)

i30cw range – recommended retail prices:

i30cw SX 2.0 petrol 5 speed manual - $20,890 RRP

i30cw SX 2.0 petrol 4 speed auto - $22,890 RRP

i30cw SX 1.6 CRDi turbo Diesel 5 speed manual - $23,390 RRP

i30cw SX 1.6 CRDi turbo Diesel 4 speed auto - $25,390 RRP

i30cw SLX 2.0 petrol 4 speed auto - $27,390 RRP

i30cw SLX 1.6 CRDi turbo Diesel 4 speed auto - $29,890 RRP

i30cw Sportswagon 2.0 petrol 4 speed auto - $29,990 RRP

Optional metallic / mica paint - $320 RRP

Optional 5 star Protectz pack for SX - $700 RRP

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