Mild-hybrid engines lurk beneath the revamped bodywork.
The new Hyundai i30 family hatchback range is now available to order in the UK with prices starting at £20,695. Facelifted for 2021, the new model boasts an updated exterior design and a refreshed cabin, as well as new mild-hybrid engines and a revamped version of the sporty-looking N Line trim.
Changes are most obvious at the front of the car, where there’s a wider grille and new headlights with a V-shaped LED daytime running light design. There’s a new rear bumper, too, as well as optional LED tail lights and redesigned 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels. Internal changes are subtle, with new air vents and new ‘garnish’ colours, as well as new upholstery options.
Perhaps more notably, the “motorsport-inspired” N Line trim has been comprehensively updated for both the Hatchback and Fastback body shapes. The lower central grille has grown to take over most of the bumper, while side openings have been created to improve aerodynamics. There’s also a new rear bumper with repositioned fog lights and fresh 18-inch alloy wheels.
It’s under the skin, though, where the big differences can be found. The biggest addition is the new 1.5-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine, which produces 157 bhp and uses a 48-volt electrical system to harvest energy normally lost under braking. This can then be redeployed to help the engine out when it’s under load.
That engine, which is available with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, is unique to the N Line car, but the technology has also been applied elsewhere in the range. The 1-litre petrol engine with 118 bhp and the 134 bhp 1.6-litre diesel both have these mild-hybrid systems, and the latter is also available with a choice of transmissions.
The starting price, though, gets you the 1-litre engine in the new SE Connect trim, which replaces the old car’s base-spec versions. Fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels and automatic headlights, as well as an eight-inch touchscreen, rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, it’s available as a five-door Hatchback or as a ‘Tourer’ estate.
If you have £23,695 to spend, though, you can get the Premium model, which boasts 17-inch alloy wheels, LED lights at the front and rear and a larger 10.25-inch navigation system. Two-zone climate control, wireless phone charging and front parking sensors are all thrown in, too, along with a seven-inch digital instrument display, heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
The new N Line crowns the range for now, with prices from £24,695. That pays for the N Line bodykit and 18-inch wheels, as well as an ‘N-design’ leather steering wheel and gear lever, but Hyundai has confirmed a new i30N hot hatch is being developed to usurp the 157 bhp N Line.
“The i30 was the first of Hyundai’s “I” cars to be introduced and it is now on its fourth generation,” said Ashley Andrew, the managing director of Hyundai Motor UK. “Since its introduction in 2007, i30 has attracted a diverse customer base from those looking for a practical, well equipped and affordable family car through to enthusiast drivers searching for a dose of excitement in the latest hot hatch, as well as featuring on a number of the UK’s police fleets. With the new i30 refreshing the model now and a new i30N soon, its popularity looks set to remain.”