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Hyundai i30 Sedan: Elantra replacement gets hybrid, not for Aus

John Law

After last month’s reveal of the facelifted i30 hatch and wagon, Hyundai has detailed a four-door, booted variant of the ever-popular small car – now dubbed the i30 Sedan – to replace the Elantra in Australia. 

There will be a hybrid powertrain available in the United States, but it isn’t confirmed for Australia, yet. If the i30 Sedan wants to see off the venerable Toyota Corolla, we reckon it would make sense to consider the Hybrid for Australia.

Dropping the Elantra nameplate in favour of i30 Sedan makes sense to us, it will be less confusing in dealerships and reflects what Honda has done with the Civic, Subaru the Impreza and Toyota with the Corolla.

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The bold styling looks great, we reckon.

Hyundai has gone bold for the new i30 Sedan, the front end displays a similar ‘parametric-jewel-pattern grille’ to the recently revealed i30 Hatch, but that’s about it.

Down the sides of the Sedan, you’ll spot some heavy creases and aggressive body lines finishing in an angular rear deck reminiscent of BMW’s i4 concept.

Hyundai reckons it’s the proportions that give the i30 Sedan its good looks at nearly 50mm longer and 40mm broader than a Corolla Sedan; it should make for excellent interior comfort, too.

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we’re a fan of this new four-spoke steering wheel

 Inside there are some upmarket features, too, the cool four-spoke steering wheel, slick-looking gearknob and attractive centre-stack look more genesis than Hyundai.

Inside there are even more luxe touches, with a selection of 64 ambient lighting colours, a generous 10.25-inch touchscreen and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

For the US market, two engines will be available at launch; an Atkinson cycle two-litre four-cylinder with measly outputs of 109kW at 6,200RM and 179Nm at 4,500RPM.

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And the shifter which reminds us of 90s German limos.

A CVT automatic gearbox sends power to the front wheels. We’ll wait until we’ve driven the car before commenting, but it doesn’t sound like a luxurious combination. 

A hybrid will be available, too (but not for us Aussies), combining a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with a 1.32kWh battery – very close to the 1.4kWh unit in a Corolla Hybrid – driving a 32kW motor.

Combined outputs will be 103kW and an impressive 264Nm of torque; that instant torque from the electric motor should make it feel nippier than the numbers suggest, too. Oddly, the i30 Sedan will use a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox in place of a more conventional CVT.

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Under the bonnet – Sadly Aus won’t be getting the hybrid, yet...

While a hybrid i30 Sedan may not be the most exciting vehicle to everyone, it does signal the Korean brand’s push to normalise the electrification of their vehicles as they fit the powertrain from the quirky Ioniq to more and more vehicles in the range.

Australian specification has not been detailed yet, but the US market i30 Sedan base variants get an eight-inch touchscreen, rear-view camera, forward collision detection, lane-keep assist, driver monitoring and high-beam assist.

Optional goodies – which we presume will be available on upper-trim Australian variants. These goodies include wireless smartphone charging, a digital driver display, larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, premium Bose Soundsystem, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and Hyundai’s Autolink connectivity system.

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We know it says Elantra, it’ll be called the i30 sedan here, though.

The i30 Sedan should arrive in Australia following the launch of the updated hatch in the second half of 2020; we hope Hyundai Australia can secure some hybrid vehicles for our market, too.