- buying guide
Used Hyundai i30 buying guide
Updated 18 Jan 2021
Unlike the focus of my previous buying guide - the Mazda 3 - Hyundai doesn’t necessarily have a large history of quality car manufacturing, in fact, you only have to go back 20 years and Hyundai was then a mediocre car manufacturer out of Korea, struggling to produce anything of true quality.
I had a couple of mates who both went searching for a cheap car to get them through a few months prior to being able to afford something decent and they both ended up with Hyundai Accent’s, the baby of the range at the time - both well under $1,000 each and both less than 5 years old.
Times have changed! Hyundai is now a top 10 most reliable on almost any rating system on any car website, the i30 is probably one of the main reasons for this, being one of their top sellers and most reliable models on the market for the last 8 years.
What I cover in this article:
- The different generations of Hyundai i30’s
- How much does a used Hyundai i30 cost?
- What are some common problems with Hyundai i30’s?
The Hyundai i30 is only onto its 3rd generation, so to get started, we have the 1st generation (FD) available from 2007-2012.
In Australia we had 6 options available; 1.6L turbo-diesel SX, 1.6L turbo diesel SLX, 2.0L petrol SX and 2.0L petrol SLX and 2 versions of the CW (wagon) available in petrol or diesel.
Coming from the aforementioned horrible start into the automotive industry, the i30 brought surprise and reward!
In 2007 it was awarded the Car of the Year in Australia and in 2008 the best ‘mid-sized car under $28,000’, whilst across the ditch, it won 2009 family car of the year.
A truly impressive rise from the ashes for Hyundai and maybe the majority reason for their current-day success.
According to AutoGuru's servicing and repair data, the average service cost for a FD Hyundai i30 is approximately $307.
GD (2011 -2016)
In 2011 the second generation GD came into production.
Picking up where the first generation left off, we had major improvements, yet less reward surprisingly.
There were the same 6 options available in Australia as the previous generation, however, the 2.0L petrol had been replaced by a slightly more powerful, yet smaller, 1.8L petrol.
From 2011-2015 the diesel increased in power over the previous model, and then again in 2015 they gave it even more power and pull, all the way up to 100kw and 300nm.
The styling got a major overhaul from the first generation as well which, in my opinion, made it far less appealing to the younger crowd as it entered that ‘round town hatch’ market.
Having said that, reliability actually improved from generation one to two.
AutoGuru's servicing and repair data says the average service cost for a GD Hyundai i30 is approximately $277.
Image credit: By EurovisionNim - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Lastly, in 2016, we were introduced to the most recent model of i30, the PD.
What happened to the HD through OD is still a mystery.
The PD went sporty again and added in a few little gems which are, without a doubt, the most exciting cars in the hot hatch market today.
In Australia, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the PD. There is the 1.6L turbo-diesel range with the ‘Go’, ‘Active’ and ‘Elite’, all with differing levels of creature comforts and features, with the top of the range being as well kitted out as anything from Europe.
In the petrol range we have three 120kw 2.0L options - Go, Active and Elite - the 150kw 1.6L turbo SR or N-Line and then the beast of the group, the 202kw, 353nm N Performance which is the most fun you will have in any car out of Korea ever in your life. (Yes, even more so than the Kia Stinger)
Prices for the i30 seem to be very flippant, there is no rhyme nor reason to the market at present, so from what I found, here is an idea of what you can expect to pay:
According to AutoGuru's servicing and repair data, the average service cost for a PD Hyundai i30 is approximately $256.
How much does a used Hyundai i30 cost?
$10,500 at the top end for a top-spec with around the 110,000km mark.
$7,900 for a similar spec, slightly less impressive condition with about 210,000km
$19,000 for the high end Active with around about 52,000km
Whilst at the low end of the market; I found a pretty tidy turbo diesel with 200,000km for around the $8,000 mark.
High end, SR MY17 with very low kilometres (around the 30,000km mark) will set you back $28,000 or thereabouts.
At the other end of the spectrum; A manual Active with around the 130,000km mark is likely going to cost you somewhere around the $14,000 region.
Top of the line N Performance will be somewhere between the $48,000 and $52,000 mark, but it is well worth the investment (hot tip, you may be lucky enough to pick up an ex-demo for around $42,000 - being that they are designed to be driven to the limit, it is the one time I am ok with this option).
If you are looking for the top of the non-performance based models, the N Line will set you back around the $40,000 mark, as will the top of the line Premium, but why you’d pay the same for 30kw less but the same fuel economy is beyond me.
At the bottom end of the range, you can pick up an ex-demo Active with under 3,000km for a touch over $22,000 including on-road costs, which is phenomenal value for a car you can expect to get many years out of and a 5-year new car warranty.
What are some common problems with Hyundai i30’s?
As per usual though, there are some known faults with the i30 range, albeit few and far between - here is what I found.
- Squeaky Clutch
- Improper idle issues
- Remote key sometimes fails
- Clutch slip
- Dodgy factory brakes on some leads to slightly shaky under braking, easily remedied, however, with aftermarket pad replacement
- Rear bumper paint
- Oil leak in the diesel models
- Minor air conditioning issues
- Windscreen condensation
- Electric handbrake issues (supposedly remedied now as part of a recall)
Everything else comes up roses when it comes to the i30.
For a guy like me, I look for performance as a top 3 when deciding on my next new vehicle and the i30 provides this with the SR, N-Line and N-Performance options available, but even the used cars on offer are phenomenal quality and value for a little Korean manufacturer that could’ve easily become another failed enterprise.
My suggestion, test drive a few. With the most expensive i30 on the market an astonishing $53,000, they really are a car that has an option for everyone on any budget, whether you are in your 20s or your 70s.
Disclaimer: All pricing is based on information sourced from online resources. All prices are approximates, averages or estimates and are provided purely as examples only.
Average service costs are based on AutoGuru internal data at the time of writing.
James is a car blogger and runs Car Edition, his own auto news and review site. He has an extensive history of car ownership, having owned approximately 65 different cars, and has a genuine passion for all things automotive.
James has been surrounded by cars from a young age and was brought up in a car-mad household. He's well-experienced in driving, fixing and making good and bad car purchasing decisions.