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Hyundai on tour; Hyundai's improved i30 Tourer might be all the vehicle you'll ever need. ANDY ENRIGHT reports.

THE second-generation i30 family hatch has been a strong seller for Hyundai and the UK numbers have been bolstered by the availability of the Tourer estate body style.

Like most compact estates, this one isn't the most spacious load carrier in the world but it offers enough for most families. And, as ever, this i30 remains a great choice if you want to impress somebody with quite how far Korean cars have come. Do so with this Tourer body style and you certainly won't need to pack light.

The Koreans have pared back the engine choice when compared with the i30 hatch. Whereas customers of that body style get no fewer than five engines to select from, i30 Tourer buyers are left with a stark choice: 1.6-litre petrol or 1.6-litre diesel.

Perhaps that's simplifying things a little because the diesel engine is available in 110PS or a higher-powered 136PS variant.

All engines come with an auto gearbox option, but the diesels get the more sophisticated 7DCT self-shifting transmission. Otherwise it's a sixspeed manual shift. The 136PS diesel develops its peak power at 4,000rpm and this upgraded engine will accelerate the i30 from rest to 60mph in around 10 seconds, with a top speed of well over 120mph.

The petrol powerplant offers a balance between performance and economy and represents a cost-effective choice for the motorist who covers lower mileages. The 1.6-litre unit is a lightweight affair that helps the i30's handling.

The suspension of the i30 is a strut front and multi-link rear design, the same kind of thing that's been adopted by the besthandling cars in the class, such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

One interesting option is Flex Steer. With three operating modes - comfort, normal and sport - the system can be used to vary the level of steering assistance and feedback in order to suit driving conditions.

There's an PS1,100 model-formodel premium to pay if you want this Tourer estate version of the i30, rather than the standard five-door hatch.

Pricing starts from around PS17,000 - that's a slightly higher level that the hatch because with the Tourer, you don't get the option of the entry-level 1.4-litre petrol engine.

All four of the i30 Tourer's trim levels - S, SE, SE Nav and Premium - are very well-finished. Even the entry-level model gets Bluetooth connectivity and voice recognition, multi-function steering wheel and air conditioning.

Body-coloured door handles and mirrors are standard on the entry level trim, along with LED daytime running lights. This means that no i30 is going to leave the showroom looking like it's just been winched up from the bargain basement, a factor that can only enhance the car's public perception.

Electric windows are fitted all round, there's air-conditioning, and remote central locking is also standard, along with an MP3-compatible CD stereo. Where the car still falls a little flat is in terms of personality, interior design and the sophistication and cleanliness of its powerplants.

Remember that these judgements are against the very best in the class and when price and equipment levels are taken into account, the i30 Tourer states its case quite eloquently.

Hyundai remains a work in progress but at this rate, the sky's the limit for the marque.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2015
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