As a country, we generally begin our car buying journey with a hatchback. As we make progress, we begin to aspire to move on to something bigger, like a sedan or an SUV. For a lot of us then, the shape and size of our vehicles, somehow acts as a mirror of our social standing. Explains why premium hatchbacks which breach the INR 10 lakh mark never really got the love they deserve in India. Also explains why compact SUVs and sedans are so popular. So what’s the Hyundai i30 doing here then?
We don’t really know, but a good friend of ours caught one roaming the streets of Chennai. It could either be here running one of its global tests. Or, Hyundai could even throw a surprise and launch it. This particular Hyundai i30 is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine which is available internationally in three states of tune – 95, 110 and 133 PS, with the most powerful version offering a healthy 275 Nm of torque. Paired with the motor is either a six-speed manual transmission or Hyundai’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Internationally, the Hyundai i30 takes on the likes of the VW Golf among others. Apart from this full-bodied hatchback form, the i30 is also sold in ‘Touring’ and ‘Fastback’ shapes. Loaded to the gills with equipment, it comes fitted with 7 airbags, including one for the knee! To comply with the highest European Safety standards, it gets premium kit like Autonomous Emergency Braking with Front Collision Warning System, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keeping Assist System, Speed Limit Information Function and High Beam Assist.
With that level of equipment, a big engine and that body shell, the length of which is bigger than 4 metres, we don’t really think the Hyundai I30 would go on sale here. But hey, who doesn’t like surprises! And although it isn’t available to buy, this premium hatchback has been taking in the sights of India since it first landed here at the Auto Expo 2016.