The stylish and sporty hatch returned to the top of the Drive COTY podium after securing the brand’s first-ever outright Drive Car of the Year victory, and the Best Small Car crown, in 2017.
Hyundai’s immensely popular small hatch rose to the challenge against tough rivals including the all-new Toyota Corolla and the value-packed Kia Cerato.
The i30 SR’s stylish hatchback design and rich equipment saw it quickly win favour, and the model’s Australian-tuned suspension impressed the judges with its blend of crisp handling and ride comfort.
The panel was further won over by the i30 SR’s standard features, which include Hyundai’s extensive SmartSense safety suite featuring autonomous emergency braking, and advanced multimedia with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, all from $25,990 including with Hyundai’s five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.
The powerful and economical 150kW turbocharged 1.6-litre engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sealed the i30 SR’s all-rounder appeal, earning it an overwhelming majority vote.
Drive editor Andrew Maclean said the Hyundai i30 continued to make a convincing case 12 months after its Australian arrival, comfortably outperforming capable new rivals to seal its second victory.
"As the reigning Overall Drive Car of the Year, the i30 SR continues to impress in the way it offers a stylish and sporty hatchback that's loaded with gear at such an affordable price,” he said.
“It had some tough competition retaining the crown in 2018, but five of the seven judges rated it as the Best Small Car – again!"
Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer, JW Lee, said that the award underscores the model’s continuing appeal.
“To win the prestigious Drive Car of the Year Best Small Car award for the second year running is a tremendous honour,” Mr Lee said. “The award recognises the third-generation i30’s sophisticated style, excellent chassis dynamics and unrivalled value for money.”
Drive’s Car of the Year program is based at the Wakefield Park circuit in Goulburn, where contenders face a series of dynamic exercises and simulated emergency scenarios in controlled conditions. The test program also includes extensive urban and rural road driving around the region.
Across a rigorous week of assessment, Drive’s editorial and road-test team of seven compared 49 cars across 14 categories and drove more than 20,000 kilometres.
With Hyundai iCare the joy of buying a Hyundai will stretch well beyond the showroom. This leading customer care program offers a comprehensive suite of owner benefits including; Lifetime Service Plan, 5 Year Unlimited Km Warranty, complimentary Roadside Assist for 12 months on new vehicles 1,500km complimentary first service, a dedicated Customer Care Centre, myHyundai – exclusive owner website and customer events. When servicing with Hyundai, customers will also receive a 5 Year SatNav Update Plan or 10 Year Sat Nav Update Plan (new i30), a Roadside Support Plan for up to 10 years and more. Visit www.hyundai.com.au/owners for full details.