If you want to buy a decent family hatchback that can both satisfy all your practical wishes and feel comfortable, safe, and modern, you ought to focus your attention on the Hyundai i30 and the Toyota Corolla. These two hatchbacks have been selling like crazy for the past few years because they combine all the benefits you’d expect from a hatchback with top-level reliability.
After all, Hyundai and Toyota are some of the most dependable automakers these days which boosts their appeal quite a bit. The Hyundai i30 was first revealed back in 2007 and has since spawned three different generations the latest one being introduced in 20202. On the other hand, the Toyota Corolla is much older as it was first revealed back in 1966.
This makes the Corolla the longest-lasting continuous hatchback in production because Toyota came out with the 12th generation of the Corolla a few years ago which means that the 13th generation is just around the corner. The Corolla is also at the very top of the “best-sold cars of all time” list which certainly does not come without its merits.
So, in this comparison, we are going to put these two world-famous hatchbacks in a head-to-matchup to see which one comes out on top and why you should go for one over the other. So, Hyundai i30 vs Toyota Corolla – Which is better?
Price-wise, the i30 does seem to be the more expensive car in this comparison, partially because it is a never car as well. However, when it comes to engines, the i30 isn’t the best as it lacks a dedicated hybrid model and a dedicated diesel model. Be that as it may, it does come with two gasoline engines, the first one measures 1.0L in displacement and offers 120hp while the larger 1.6L engine offers 160hp.
We also need to mention that the i30 is available with the “N” sports package which raises that power up to 270hp from a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine. All i30 models come with FWD and a manual gearbox while an automatic gearbox is available as an option. Design-wise, the i30 looks like a well-deserved upgrade from the previous generation as it looks much better inside and out.
A larger infotainment screen, smoother lines, and better materials are all now found in the new i30. The driving experience is fairly ordinary, except for the i30 N which does feel a lot more serious and dynamic. Reliability is excellent as is often the case with modern-day Hyundai models.
Practicality is what you’d expect from this segment which means that the i30 is both a good family car and a good performance car in its “N-Sport” guise.
If you opt for the Toyota Corolla instead of the i30, you will be able to save some money which can later be spent on options that can make the Corolla feel a lot more upmarket. Engine-wise, the Corolla gets a single 1.2L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 115hp and even two hybrid engines. The first one is the 1.8L 4-cylinder with an electric motor for a combined output of 122hp.
The second one is the 2.0L 4-cylinder hybrid that offers 180hp and is the most popular Corolla model on the market. Design-wise, the new Corolla looks much better than previous generations as it now looks authentic, purposeful, and exciting. The interior of the Corolla is also a lot more luxurious than it once was which makes it on par with the i30.
Reliability is even better than with the i30 which is a surprise considering that the i30 is one of the most reliable cars in its segment. The driving experience is nice, but nothing out of the ordinary and the Corolla does not get a dedicated performance version. FWD and a manual gearbox come as standard while an automatic is an option.
Practicality is also really good because the Corolla can also seat up to four adults without any issues. Levels of equipment are really good and the Corolla does get quite a bit of kit as standard.
Verdict – The Toyota Corolla is better
The Hyundai i30 and the Toyota Corolla are some of the best hatchbacks you can buy these days which means that both are amazing. However, the Corolla takes it here for a few distinct reasons. First of all, the Corolla is available with extremely reliable, efficient, and sophisticated hybrid powertrains which still aren’t available with the i30.
The Corolla looks much more interesting to look at both inside and out while material choices are comparable between the two. The Corolla manages to be slightly more reliable and better equipped. However, the i30 is the better family car thanks to a lot more space in the rear in addition to the fact that the i30 does not feel as claustrophobic as the Corolla.
The i30 also gets a larger trunk, but where the tides turn once again is in the driving department as the Toyota Corolla simply feels more engaging, youthful, and downright more pleasing to drive.
Is the Hyundai i30 more efficient than the Toyota Corolla?
When it comes to efficiency, both of these cars are amazing. The Hyundai i30 can return up to 45MPG which is certainly a really good number for a family car with a gasoline engine. However, the Toyota Corolla is available with two hybrid powertrains, both of which can offer between 50 and even 65MPG which makes it a lot more efficient.
Be that as it may, we do need to mention that these benefits aren’t as noticeable on highway speeds where the Corolla offers around 10MPG less while the i30 offers pretty much the same.
Is the Hyundai i30 safer than the Toyota Corolla?
Safety-wise, these two are almost identical with their 5-star rated safety ratings. This means that safety shouldn’t be an issue with either of these. We do need to mention that the Corolla does seem to be slightly better equipped than the factory which is a benefit since it costs less to begin with.
Is the Hyundai i30 N better than the Toyota Corolla?
Even though the Toyota Corolla wins the “regular” car test, the i30 N is a completely different beast. The i30 N is faster, more agile, more fun to drive, more exciting, more powerful, and way more desirable than the Toyota Corolla. Sure, it does cost a lot more money as well, but you do get what you pay for with the i30 N.