If Hyundai’s staff Christmas party this year reflects the manufacturer’s fleet success in any way, then it should be a great night.
SMMT figures show that year-to-date to the end of October, it had sold 32,813 cars to fleets – 42% more than in the same period last year – to establish itself as a rising star in the company car market.
Central to its success has been the improvements to its model range over the past few years.
The i30 Tourer, Hyundai’s latest model, typifies the manufacturer’s approach. It is well built, practical, good-looking, and offers competitive emissions and fuel consumption.
The 1.6 CRDi Active Blue Drive on test is currently the most efficient i30 Tourer available, with CO2 of 110g/km and fuel consumption of 67.3mpg on the combined cycle.
Featuring stop-start technology, its 109bhp engine is a smooth performer. It will reach 62mph from rest in 11.8 seconds, although the 192lb-ft of torque from 1,900rpm makes it seem livelier on the move.
It drives well too, providing a smooth and comfortable ride, while refinement is generally good, although tyre noise can be intrusive on some road surfaces.
At the heart of any estate is its boot, and this is another area where the i30 Tourer impresses.
It offers a load space of 528 litres with the rear seats in place, rising to 1,642 litres with the seats folded fully flat.
This is among the best in class; in fact, it offers more space than some estates in the sector above. For example, with its seats folded, the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer offers 1,530 litres.
A tailgate which extends into the i30 Tourer’s bumper provides low access, which makes loading and unloading easier, as well as providing a flat floor.
At its widest point, the boot measures a useful 1.37m, while under the carpeted floor are six useful storage compartments of various shapes and sizes.
Up front, the dashboard has a clean, modern look, and its fit and finish is good. All lights from the instruments and dashboard are cool blue in colour, which enhances the cabin’s contemporary feeling.
Our test car’s Active trim level sits second from bottom in the range, above Classic, but below Style and Style Nav.
It offers a decent level of standard equipment, including air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition and rear parking sensors.
The Tourer, which Hyundai expects to account for 15% of i30 sales in the UK, has also received a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.