The 2012 Hyundai i30 comes with all the bells and whistles

In Ireland we place a lot of regard on a brand name. Car sales rely on our loyalty, there are many people out there who have had the same brand of car for years, when they want a new car they go to the dealership and just buy another one; perhaps the same colour with a new plate.

In Ireland we place a lot of regard on a brand name. Car sales rely on our loyalty, there are many people out there who have had the same brand of car for years, when they want a new car they go to the dealership and just buy another one; perhaps the same colour with a new plate.

This is changing though; people are now looking for the best deal; the most bang for their buck so to speak.

There are a couple of companies out there who are offering deals that you might be overlooking because of brand snobbery. One of those brands is Hyundai and the new i30 has hit the streets and it’s quite a package with standard equipment across the range that includes air con, all electric windows, curtain airbags, auto lights, leather steering wheel, cornering headlamps, fog lights, there’s lots for the starting price of €18,995 OTR!

The exterior has good, strong lines and the headlamps taper back to the front wing which give it a broad look to the front, there’s a low window line and a pert rear end that complete the package.

There are three engines, 1.4 petrol with 100bhp, a 1.4 and 1.6 diesels. The petrol unit is lively and pulls well in every gear; it would make a happy city or town car. The two diesel engines are quiet and the 1.4 does a good job in all kinds of conditions, really economical too. In 1.6 diesel you can have the i30 in automatic.

On the road you would believe that you’re in a much bigger car, the view and seating position make you feel higher off the road than you actually are. The mid range Elite plus gives you the Flex steering system that gives you three modes Normal, Comfort and Sport. These modes can change the weight of the steering and the throttle response, honestly once I found Sport mode I stopped clicking and just got on with driving. These mode change gadgets are usually the reserve of the luxury brands but here it is in the i30.

There is a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty on the little car too, worth a mention here is the service plan. For €500 you can have your standard servicing costs looked after for the next 5 years, add to that the 5 years of AA cover Europe wide and that’s some package.

The one to get is the 14. diesel Elite Plus that will get you the flex steering, Bluetooth, cruise control for €22,495 and €160 a year tax. Get into your nearest Hyundai dealer where I know they have a couple of i30’s for test you will be genuinely surprised by the comfort and style offered by the i30.