You’re going to need to pay very close attention here. This is the new Hyundai i30. No, it’s not a mid-sized Infiniti sedan based on the – that was the I30. (Notice the capital I). It’s also not a small BMW 1-series with a three-liter engine – that’s a 130i.
No, this is a small VW Golf-sized Hyundai based on a show car from the 2006 Paris Auto Show known as the Arnejs (pronounced “Arn-ez”) that was supposed to be called the FD when it hit production.
Perhaps all that naming confusion is why Hyundai chose the Rocky Raccoon shade of brown for the car on display at Geneva. Beatles fans will remember that one of the characters in the song with that name was Magill, but she called herself Lil, and everyone knew her as Nancy. Perhaps Hyundai should have just called this car the Nancy.
But, I digress. While the young i30 has already had quite the history where its name is concerned, the rest of the details are straightforward. It won’t be sold in the U.S., but will be available in Europe initially as a five-door hatchback with a wagon version due later. The i30 can be had with a choice of three gasoline or three diesel engines ranging from 1.4 to 2.0 liters, producing between 90 and 143 horsepower.
Stability control will be standard for most European markets, and more expensive trim levels will include goodies like tire pressure monitoring systems, parking sensors, climate and cruise control, an air-conditioned glovebox, and automatic wipers. An entertainment system including auxiliary input and USB jacks is standard for all models.
Hyundai says that the i30 is the first car to use its new naming convention – an i followed by two digits. The i, they say, stands for inspiration, intelligence, and innovation. Oh really? What about all those other iThings you can find in cars these days? iPod. iDrive. iVTEC.
We think it’s iBoring.