Hyundai i30 Break/Stationwagon
In Europe, the Hyundai i30 is squarely aimed at the Toyota Auris, and so to is this i30 Break, a station wagon in the traditional US understanding, squarely aimed at the Toyota Auris station wagon.Both cars are sadly not available on the US market, for reason I can only guess are purely marketing related. They are clearly products that we believe would sell well on the US market, even in volumes that would guarantee a healthy profit. Most likely there is fear of undercutting the other products in the Hyundai US portfolio.
Whatever the logic, the i30 would be a fine addition to the Sonata range, even though it clearly is not Sonata based. It is so close yet so far away in that respect. The exterior design has many hints that it could be related to the US Sonata, but there are too many differences to make this possible. Quite confusing. Logic would dictate for the both of them to be related, to have the same platform and share body panels inside and out, but they seem to not do any of that. The exterior design is clearly a Hyundai, but as said, it is different in many ways from what we know as the Hyundai Sonata.The drooping lines towards the rear, aside from being aimed at the Toyota Auris, seem to want to associate with the European station wagon versions of the Mercedes E-Class, clearly a target aimed for with this car. It seems to clash a bit with the dynamic lines started at the front, which, again in the US Sonata, end at the rear in a more dynamic total impression.
On the interior this Hyundai i30 is also clearly not a Sonata. The IP is much more inviting, dynamic than the rather conservative current version of the Sonata on the US market. This, combined with the equipment level, the modern instrumentation and the excellent seating positions, create a very inviting total package that lends itself for these long European holiday trips with the family, as well as the more regular trips to do the weekend shopping at the Action, Aldi, Lidl and pack the car to the brim.
All in all, I wish this car was on the US market and think it would be a good seller there as well. Definitely worth a second look.