Hyundai i30 used car review

Rear side view of a red Hyundai i30 car parked at the beach

Greg Hill

Posted November 24, 2017

RACV rates the popular 2012-17 second-hand Hyundai i30.

A new Hyundai i30 came out in mid-2017, leaving the previous model as an attractive proposition on the used car market.

The popularity of this small/medium five-door hatchback means there is plenty of choice, and thanks to Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, many used Hyundai i30 cars will still have a portion of that cover left.


In this article

Second-hand Hyundai i30 cars

Hyundai i30 common problems

Second-hand Hyundai i30 cars

This second-generation (May 2012 to May 2017) Korean-built car shed the Hyundai i30’s ‘cheap and cheerful’ tag to earn a reputation for being reliable, well-equipped and good value. It’s particularly easy to drive and to live with on a daily basis, and it’s roomy for a car of its size.

The base-model Hyundai i30 Active is by far the most common version available on the used-car market, and higher-grade models such as Hyundai i30 SE and Premium get you a few more features. Equipment levels improved substantially from late 2013 and got better each year.

While the 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine delivers an excellent balance of performance and economy, the 1.8-litre direct-injection petrol version has been far more popular, particularly those coupled with the smooth-changing six-speed automatic transmission rather than the six-speed manual. Well-chosen gearing in the auto complements the petrol engine’s flexible performance, making it a good all-rounder for city driving or highway cruising.

For those wanting stronger performance, there is a 2.0-litre petrol engine in the SR and SR Premium models. The Hyundai i30 also has a small station wagon version but there are not many advertised on the used-car market.

Rounding out the package, the i30’s running and repair costs are among the best in class.


Side view of a red Hyundai i30 parked next to the beach

Hyundai i30 common problems

When looking at a used Hyundai i30 for sale, make sure service records are up to date, as this not only shows the car has been looked after but will help if you need to make a warranty claim. The most common problems RACV vehicle inspectors find are due to a lack of proper maintenance plus normal wear items such as tyres, brake pads and an occasional minor oil leak.

Check the operation of all accessories, including the navigation and audio systems. Poor radio reception is probably the most common complaint we hear, and the audio system is only covered by a three-year warranty.

Also, check the car’s history as the warranty on vehicles used commercially, including those that started out as rental cars, is still five years but the distance travelled is capped at 150,000 kilometres.

The Hyundai i30’s build quality is generally good and the interior is neatly trimmed but the plastics tend to mark and scratch easily. Look closely at the trim leather, particularly on the steering wheel, as it can become shabby.

Like any model, you can find the occasional horror story, but generally the owners we spoke to were very satisfied with their cars.


2012-17 Hyundai i30

Price range

Hyundai i30 Active-p (2012-17): $12,200-$21,500
Hyundai i30 Active-d (2012-17): $13,500-$23,900
Hyundai i30 Act. wagon-p (2013-16): $17,600-$22,500
Hyundai i30 Elite 5dr-p (2012-15): $14,100-$20,400
Hyundai i30 Premium-p (2012-17): $15,800-$30,400
Hyundai i30 Premium-d (2012-17): $17,200-$31,900
Hyundai i30 SR-p (2013-17): $20,000-$26,100

Approximate Glass’s Guide prices for automatic models.

Fuel consumption

For the 1.8-litre petrol automatic, expect 7.5-9.0L/100km.


All second-generation models (May 2012 to May 2017) have a five-star ANCAP rating.


Maximum capacity with a braked trailer is 1300kg but with only a 75kg ball load.

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