Team player

i30 SR on winning friends and influencing people

DANIEL GARDNER

SINCE the i30 SR joined the long-term Wheels fleet in August, it has been unanimously winning fans. Every time the keys are returned to me after the Hyundai has had a stint on someone elseís driveway, they are accompanied by compliments and praise.

The feedback ranges from a mention of its eager and efficient engine, the compliant but involving ride and the pointy handling and obedient front end, but the general consensus seems to focus on its sense of familiarity.

Right from the first steer, the Hyundai feels like a car you have been driving for months.

But itís not just occupants of the driverís seat that the Hyundai has been impressing.

Three other seats have recently been filled on a more regular basis and the praise keeps coming. In the front passenger spot, companions have loved the range of comfort features including the cooled seats and vast sunroof, while second-row occupants have remarked on the generous space and comfortable ride thanks in part to the independent rear suspension.

My gripe of the month, however, predictably concerns the dual-clutch transmission. While the snappy íbox has been a strong performer while hunting perfect back-roads with slick, fast cog swaps, smoothly applying power to creep at low speed is virtually impossible. The result is an awkward stop-start performance that makes me want to get out and push. Iíve had a driverís licence for nearly 20 years but slowly reversing into a parking spot in the i30 makes me look like I should still have P-plates.

The Hyundai gearbox is by no means the only dual-clutch guilty of low speed problems, but the all-or-nothing power delivery remains frustrating irrespective of the boot badge.

The navigation has also been a source of annoyance. While most systems predict the place name as you are typing in an address, the Hyundai wants the full spelling and insists on a street name and number before searching for your destination. The option to simply navigate to a general suburb or town would be a welcome feature but doesnít appear to be possible. A small matter, though, in a generally intuitive and functional system that all occupants seem to be enjoying.

And despite the positive reviews from other Wheels writers and a warm reception from whoever hops behind its leatherwrapped steering wheel, Iím still the i30ís biggest fan and already lamenting the day I have to hand back the keys.

HYUNDAI i30 SR PREMIUM

Date acquired: August 2017 Price as tested: $34,445 This month: 927km @ 7.2L/100km Overall: 3602km @ 7.5L/100km On the pipe, itís a sipper This monthís average fuel consumption has fallen to a new This monthís average fuel consumption has fallen to a new frugal low which is a surprise given how many lead-footed petrol-heads have had a spin in the i30. That figure could be even smaller however, had Hyundai equipped the i30 SR with idle-stop technology. Finding a small car without this fuel-saving trickery is becoming increasingly uncommon.

Yet those who find the tech annoying might figure that its absence is worth the extra sip.

WELL FURNISHED

An Ikea run enlisted the full folded-seat boot space of 1301L.

Nothing was left behind WEEK 12 34 44 3 0 0 4 0 0 2 3 URBAN COUNTRY SPORTS FAMILY MOTORWAY