WEEKEND DRIVE
Young at heart
By David Light
Friday, May 18, 2012

A great one for first-time buyers, the compact Hyundai i30 motors into the UAE with an eye on style, safety and functionality

When the first models arrived on these shores, Hyundai Middle East’s CEO Tom Lee stated, “The i30 has proven extremely successful in Europe, and we believe that Middle East customers will be equally attracted to the car.”

But how can this be the case? European and Middle East customers are completely different. What is it about this Hyundai that make it an optimum vehicle to straddle both continents’ potential client base? He went on to explain, “The i30’s stylish looks, refined performance and class-leading standards of quality and safety — all of which make it an ideal car for city driving.” 

Bold words, so let’s have a look at what he’s talking about.

Designed and engineered at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in Germany, the New Generation i30 will look to build on the success of its predecessor, which was the first ‘i’ product in Hyundai’s range. It comes to the Middle East in two models, the GL and GLS, and is all set to appeal to young buyers who demand cars that not only perform well but also look the part. 

The New Generation i30 is the latest expression of Hyundai’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design ethos. This philosophy explores utilising flowing lines to give an impactful three-dimensional presence to Hyundai vehicles. On the road, its visual presence is also raised by the LED daytime running lights, which are standard on all models. The i30 also bears Hyundai’s signature frontal feature — the hexagonal-shaped grille.

Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre, talked us through the process.

“When designing New Generation i30, we used strong lines to sculpt a car that looks athletic and exudes a sense of constant motion, even when stationary. We gave the car a bold stance, transmitting a confident attitude through sporty characteristics and dynamic proportions. The strength of Hyundai’s design DNA is easy for people to recognise.”

Customers of the New Generation i30 have a choice of two petrol engines — a 1.6-litre D-CVVT unit, returning 130hp or a 150hp 1.8-litre powerplant. They are available with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, with both units providing a refined driving experience and improved fuel efficiency. To boost refinement, lower engine revs at cruising speeds and reduce fuel consumption, high top gear ratios are fitted on all transmissions.

Real-world fuel efficiency, together with a 53-litre fuel tank, means that i30 drivers could comfortably achieve a range of up to 1,400 km between fill-ups — the equivalent of driving from Dubai to Riyadh and still having fuel left in the tank!

Safety is also a top priority for Hyundai and the i30 features the latest active and passive safety technologies to ensure maximum protection for its occupants and other road users. In the Middle East, it can be specified with ESP (Electronic Stability Program), VSM (Vehicle Stability Management) and ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). Dependent on model, the customer can also benefit from EPB (Electric Parking Brake) and a raft of airbags, including side, curtain and knee airbags.

So if you are in the market for a ‘first love’, that’s safe, nippy and doesn’t look half bad, then you may wish to organise an i30 test-drive now.

david@khaleejtimes.com

 

 

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