Hyundai i30 hatchback stock running out ahead of updated model due after July

A ‘blackout’ is forecast between the last of the South Korean-made Hyundai i30 hatchback stock – and the arrival of the updated, European-made model later this year, expected to cost more.

Australia’s final new batch of regular Hyundai i30 hatchbacks for almost nine months has rolled off the production line, as stock prepares to dry up ahead of an updated model due later this year.

As reported by Drive last year, regular versions of the Hyundai i30 hatch – the company’s second-best seller – will go on hiatus for much of 2024 as production switches from South Korea to the Czech Republic.

It will coincide with the arrival of an updated model from the European factory, which is set to be more expensive as it will be slugged with a 5 per cent import tariff – and use a more complex turbocharged, mild-hybrid engine.

2024 i30 hatch spy photos.

Production of the South Korean-built i30 hatchback – spanning regular 2.0-litre and N Line 1.6-litre turbo versions – ended in December 2023.

A Hyundai Australia spokesperson told Drive the company has stockpiled approximately 2300 vehicles.

However – as forecast – it expects to sell out by April or May 2024, before the first examples of the updated model can be produced in July 2024, and showroom arrivals commence by the end of September, pending any delays.

New orders for the 2.0-litre non-turbo and 1.6-litre turbo i30 hatch models were paused in September 2023. At the time it was estimated stock would last until early 2024.

2024 i30 hatch spy photos.

The i30 N hatch is not affected by the order pause – as it has always been produced in the Czech Republic for global markets since launch in 2017 – nor is the i30 Sedan, which is an unrelated vehicle built on a different production line in South Korea.

The updated Hyundai i30 hatch will be the second facelift for the current model since it arrived in 2017 – and received its first major styling change in Australia in 2020 – and will extend its life until the middle of the decade.

It is an unexpected stay of execution for the model – which, given the typical six-year life cycle of Hyundai passenger cars, was poised for axing imminently – and could be the last of its kind, as plans for an all-new i30 hatch with petrol power are far from certain.

The hatchback accounted for 78 per cent of Hyundai i30s reported as sold in Australia last year.

European-made 2020-2023 i30 hatch.

Spy photos show there will be mild styling changes, but the biggest updates for Australia will come under the bonnet – and on the price list.

The European-built i30 will be hit with a 5 per cent import tariff – as Australia does not have a free-trade agreement with the Czech Republic, as it does with South Korea – which means a price rise is likely. Increased shipping distances from the land-locked country may also play a factor.

The current i30 hatch is priced from $24,000 plus on-road costs with a manual transmission, or $26,000 for an auto – though over the past 18 months the entry-level automatic model has been offered for about $28,000 drive-away.

Australian 2020-23 i30 hatch.

Tipped to magnify the price rise is the fitment of a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to trim fuel use.

It is set to be more frugal than the 2.0-litre non-turbo, non-hybrid petrol four-cylinder and six-speed auto in i30 hatchbacks today – but the more complex turbo engine, dual-clutch transmission and mild-hybrid system are set to cost more to build.

The 1.5-litre turbo engine (118kW) has a similar power output to the 2.0-litre (120kW) but it produces more torque (253Nm vs 203Nm), and promises fuel economy of 5.7L/100km in more stringent European standards (vs 7.4L/100km for the 2.0-litre in Australia).

2020-2023 i30 N Line sold in Europe.

It is expected the N Line will continue – with new styling Australia missed out on with the 2020 facelift – but with the 1.5-litre engine, as the current 1.6-litre turbo engine (150kW/265Nm) isn’t offered on the European production line.

Australia has been the sole source for Hyundai i30 hatchbacks built in South Korea for about three years, after New Zealand switched to versions built in Europe – and the i30 hatch was axed entirely in South Korea and North America.

Hyundai executives told media last year that customers will be directed to the Kona small SUV, Venue city SUV, and i30 Sedan – the lattermost offered for $31,990 drive-away with an automatic – during the ‘blackout’ of i30 hatch stock.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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