Just a month after the third generation i30 went official in 2016, IAB had confirmed that it’s not an India-bound model. Where the second generation i30 was here for display at the Auto Expo 2016, the third gen reaches our shores for component testing. There's a 1.6D badge on the tailgate suggesting that the car employs the 1.6-litre U CRDi turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that is available internationally in three versions: Low (95 PS), Mid (110 PS) and High (136 PS). However, that’s probably not the case.
Hyundai is likely testing the new 1.5-litre diesel engine in the i30 here. This engine will comply with the BSVI emission norms that all diesel vehicles have to adhere to from April 1, 2020. Set to debut in the QXi sub-4 metre SUV next fiscal year, it will deliver 115 hp and 250 Nm of torque. The second recipient would be the Hyundai Verna facelift, followed by the next-gen Creta and perhaps the third generation i20. Sister brand Kia looks all set to introduce the same motor in the Trazor/Kia Tusker SUV in the second half of 2019.
As observed in the previous generations, the i30 is a forbidden fruit for our market. Sales in its segment are driven primarily by SUVs; and sedans that have existed for well over a decade now, are seeing sales fragment, unable to clock even 500 units a month. Hyundai’s own Elantra sells below 200 copies a month. Large family hatchbacks remain a dream for the average Indian, with the least expensive option being the Mercedes A-Class at over INR 30 lakh.
Internationally, the Hyundai i30 competes with the Ford Focus, Honda Civic Hatchback, Renault Megane and Toyota Corolla Hatchback. Like most rivals, it is available as an estate, and as an elegant fastback.