The i30 SR sits above all the lower end i30’s, but below the i30 N. And it’s quite clear that it’s not exactly up to the level of the N. The SR has all the makings to be a hot hatch, but it just misses out on that extra bit of zeal injected into the N.
Engine & Drivetrain
Gadgets & Technology
Ride & Comfort
Behind the Wheel
The i30 SR is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine that puts out 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque.
This is powered by a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dry clutch DCT transmission. We took out the automatic version which had nothing but smooth shifting up and down gears. Just as we expected of the Korean hatchback.
However, despite having hot-hatch amounts of power, the i30 SR misses that extra bit of punch that you’re after when buying a car with 150kW of power. Perhaps it needs to go on a bit of a diet.
The front-drive Hyundai i30 SR can reach 100km/h in roughly 7.2 seconds.
The SR lacks the fun features of the i30 N.. We don’t expect rev-matching and launch control, but a bit more fun is needed.
Yes, it is an energetic and fun little car, quicker than all standard hatchbacks, but you don’t get the feel that it’s a ‘hot’ hatch. This bothers me as it really could be, it’s so close to being one.
It’s incredibly difficult to rate this against the likes of the Golf GTI and even the Clio RS, which is why it would be wise to compare this to the Holden Astra RS, Honda Civic RS and the Mazda 3 SP25 which are all similar not-so hot-hatches.
It has 3 drive modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. We had Sport Mode on the entire time which helped keep it lively and ready to zoom at any given moment, but it’s ideal to keep it in manual mode – even in Sport Mode, the SR wants to change gears incredibly early for you.
EXHAUST! EXHAUST! EXHAUST! This car needs better exhaust and engine sounds! It sounds like a standard i30 when it should sound even a smidge closer to the N. A few pops is all it needs with a gruntier engine sound as MUST DO’s!
The combined cycle estimates fuel consumption of 7.5 litres/100km. This honestly all depends on which drive mode you are in. Our testing returned around 8.8L/100km in all modes except Sport Mode which returns an extra 1-1.5L/100km more.
Interior & Technology
The inside is pleasant in the i30 SR with nice red stitching and seatbelts to ensure people know you aren’t in an entry-level i30. You get dual climate, comfy leather seats, the nice steering wheel and enough room for a few people. After all, this is a warm hatch, not a fancy yet slow standard car.
The i30 SR offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as part of its 8.0-inch touch-screen infotainment array, as well as satellite-navigation and Bluetooth audio and telephony.
The i30 N gets a 5 star ANCAP safety rating.
Some features that help this include: lane-keeping assistant, autonomous emergency braking, driver attention alert and seven airbags.
We tested some of these features out and they are genuinely impressive.. Or so we thought. Lane-keeping works for around 20 seconds before beeping and prompting you to put your hands back on the wheel.
Active Emergency Braking simply did not work. See our video below: we tested this by placing a few large boxes roughly 1.3 metres in height on the road and drove at it in different speeds, and even put a jumper on it to represent a human. The car just wouldn’t stop. All settings were on and you’ll see us hitting the boxes in the video below. Maybe we missed something, but it shouldn’t be this difficult for a necessary safety feature.
It is odd because this feature worked fine with the Sonata Premium that we had, so perhaps this was just one faulty vehicle and we shouldn’t disregard all Hyundai vehicles.
Ride & Comfort
This car is a great handling front-wheel-drive car. It glues quite well despite a bit of instability wherever you want it go and sticks well to the road. The independent suspension certainly helps this.
In Normal mode, the SR cruises about comfortably with no dramas whatsoever. On the motorway it’s nothing but comfortable and easy.
Warranty & Servicing
The i30 SR gets Hyundai’s 5 year/unlimited km warranty.
The five-year warranty is accompanied by roadside assist for the first year.
Capped-price servicing also applies for the life of the vehicle and if you return to Hyundai for a service, you get another 12 months of roadside assist for flat battery or tyre incidents.
SR 1.6LULP7 SP AUTO $28,950
SR 1.6LULP6 SP MAN $25,950
SR (SUNROOF) 1.6LULP7 SP AUTO $30,950
SR (SUNROOF) 1.6LULP6 SP MAN $27,950
SR PREMIUM 1.6LULP7 SP AUTO $33,950
The i30 SR is a big step up to the entry level i30’s. The competitors should seriously keep an eye out, but by competitors we mean the not-so hot-hatches. Hyundai could easily make this car compete with the likes of the Golf GTI, but it hasn’t with this one sadly. We would love to see the SR compete with the Golf Polo/GTI/Fiesta ST/A250 and the N to compete with the likes of the Golf R/Megane RS/Focus RS/A45 etc (one can only hope).
ALL our videos of the i30 SR Premium:
Full Exterior & Interior Tour:
POV Test Drive:
All Settings/Modes Head Unit/Dash:
Autonomous Emergency Braking Test: