The Hyundai i30 Wagon offers greater practicality than the i30 hatchback and is a cost-effective transporter
New turbo Hyundai i30 Wagon is a hardworking Korean transporter The Hyundai i30 Wagon handles directional changes and sweeping bends well, like a typically well-sorted European estate. PHOTO: DAVID TING

If the local motor trade was the World Cup tournament, Hyundai's i30 Wagon would be the equivalent of an own goal by the South Korea football team.

This is because for just $5,000 more than the five-door i30 hatchback, the estate variant provides a lot more value and could cannibalise sales from its sister model.
Compared with its hatchback sibling, the i30 Wagon has much more space and greater versatility. It also has more airbags - seven, versus two in the hatchback.
The i30's design transition from hatchback to station wagon has been done well, with the bodywork, windows, tailgate and tail-lamps aft of the rear doors looking cohesive.
The Hyundai wagon is less pretty than the Peugeot 308 SW, but as stylish as the Opel Astra Sports Tourer. In any case, for station wagons, looks should take a back seat to practicality. The i30 Wagon excels in this regard.
Its boot area is very practical in its size, shape and set-up. There is 602 litres of boot space, which is a useful 50 per cent more than in the i30 hatchback. The cargo capacity expands to 1,650 litres when the 60:40 split-fold rear seats are collapsed.
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SPECS / HYUNDAI i30 WAGON
Price: $101,999 with COE
Engine: 1,353cc 16-valve four-cylinder turbocharged
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch with manual select
Power: 140hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 242Nm at 1,500rpm
0-100kmh: 9.5 seconds
Top speed: 203kmh
Fuel consumption: 5.5 litres/100km
In two-seater maximum-wagon configuration, the Hyundai is ready for the whole kit and caboodle of a neighbourhood football team, whose players will find it easy to organise their kits and balls inside the boot.
It has underfloor storage compartments, metal tethers, multi-purpose hooks and a tonneau cover, along with a safety net which can be deployed behind either the rear headrests or the front headrests.
Two bright boot-lamps and a 12-volt power outlet make the cargo hold even more versatile.
Not only is the i30 Wagon a far better cargo-carrier than the i30 hatchback, it also offers better headroom for rear passengers. Taller folks will appreciate the additional airspace between their heads and the ceiling of the cabin.
Like the hatchback, the i30 Wagon is equipped with rear air-conditioning vents, a set of three rear headrests and comfortable leather-wrapped cushions.
The dashboard features the same gadgets, such as a 9-inch infotainment screen, a wireless charging pad for smartphones, automatic dual-zone climate control, cruise control and keyless entry with push-button ignition.
Like the hatchback, the i30 Wagon is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
According to the specification sheets, the estate is about 50kg heavier than the hatchback and a split-second slower when dashing from standstill to 100kmh (9.5 seconds instead of 9.2 seconds).
On the streets, roads and expressways, the difference in performance between the two i30s is insignificant.
The i30 Wagon's output of 140hp and 242Nm feels hearty rather than sporty, but the vehicle accelerates to the posted speed limit quickly enough to get ahead of hard-driven Hyundai taxis.
The engine performs most pleasantly between 2,500rpm and 5,000rpm, where the power is good and the sound from under the bonnet is not bad.
The gearbox changes gears sweetly on light to medium throttle-inputs, but less so on heavy throttle-inputs.
The gearbox has a side gate for manual shifting, but still shifts to a higher gear for the driver just shy of the engine's 6,500rpm redline - automatically and quite aggressively.
On the move, the i30 Wagon seems to cruise less gently than the i30 hatchback and lets in a little more noise from the "blank space" behind the back seats.
But the way the wagon handles directional changes and sweeping bends (such as the left-right link between PIE and BKE after Eng Neo Avenue) is excellent, like a typically well-sorted European estate.
Hyundai may have scored an own goal with the new i30 Wagon, which is a lot more i30 for a little more money than the hatchback version, but the winner will be the family team manager who buys the hardworking Korean wagon.
This is because for just $5,000 more than the five-door i30 hatchback, the estate variant provides a lot more value and could cannibalise sales from its sister model.

Compared with its hatchback sibling, the i30 Wagon has much more space and greater versatility. It also has more airbags - seven, versus two in the hatchback.

The i30's design transition from hatchback to station wagon has been done well, with the bodywork, windows, tailgate and tail-lamps aft of the rear doors looking cohesive.

The Hyundai wagon is less pretty than the Peugeot 308 SW, but as stylish as the Opel Astra Sports Tourer. In any case, for station wagons, looks should take a back seat to practicality. The i30 Wagon excels in this regard.

Its boot area is very practical in its size, shape and set-up. There is 602 litres of boot space, which is a useful 50 per cent more than in the i30 hatchback. The cargo capacity expands to 1,650 litres when the 60:40 split-fold rear seats are collapsed.

In two-seater maximum-wagon configuration, the Hyundai is ready for the whole kit and caboodle of a neighbourhood football team, whose players will find it easy to organise their kits and balls inside the boot.

It has underfloor storage compartments, metal tethers, multi-purpose hooks and a tonneau cover, along with a safety net which can be deployed behind either the rear headrests or the front headrests.

Two bright boot-lamps and a 12-volt power outlet make the cargo hold even more versatile.

Not only is the i30 Wagon a far better cargo-carrier than the i30 hatchback, it also offers better headroom for rear passengers. Taller folks will appreciate the additional airspace between their heads and the ceiling of the cabin.

Like the hatchback, the i30 Wagon is equipped with rear air-conditioning vents, a set of three rear headrests and comfortable leather-wrapped cushions.

The dashboard features the same gadgets, such as a 9-inch infotainment screen, a wireless charging pad for smartphones, automatic dual-zone climate control, cruise control and keyless entry with push-button ignition.

Like the hatchback, the i30 Wagon is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

According to the specification sheets, the estate is about 50kg heavier than the hatchback and a split-second slower when dashing from standstill to 100kmh (9.5 seconds instead of 9.2 seconds).

On the streets, roads and expressways, the difference in performance between the two i30s is insignificant.

The i30 Wagon's output of 140hp and 242Nm feels hearty rather than sporty, but the vehicle accelerates to the posted speed limit quickly enough to get ahead of hard-driven Hyundai taxis.

The engine performs most pleasantly between 2,500rpm and 5,000rpm, where the power is good and the sound from under the bonnet is not bad.

The gearbox changes gears sweetly on light to medium throttle-inputs, but less so on heavy throttle-inputs.

The gearbox has a side gate for manual shifting, but still shifts to a higher gear for the driver just shy of the engine's 6,500rpm redline - automatically and quite aggressively.

On the move, the i30 Wagon seems to cruise less gently than the i30 hatchback and lets in a little more noise from the "blank space" behind the back seats.

But the way the wagon handles directional changes and sweeping bends (such as the left-right link between PIE and BKE after Eng Neo Avenue) is excellent, like a typically well-sorted European estate.

Hyundai may have scored an own goal with the new i30 Wagon, which is a lot more i30 for a little more money than the hatchback version, but the winner will be the family team manager who buys the hardworking Korean wagon.