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|The Czech-made Korean Hyundai i30 wagon has several subtle differences from the German-Korean version of the i30 hatch. Photos: supplied|
What's better than a Korean car that was designed and engineered in a German automotive design hub, Russelsheim, but assembled in South Korea?
How about a Korean car that was shaped, sorted and is built not in Germany but the Czech Republic, where Hyundai has its only European car plant?
Place the Czech wagon alongside the German-Korean i30 hatch tested on these pages a couple of weeks back and all sorts of differences emerge.
Obvious styling differences aside, most are small things - like the indicator wand being on the ''wrong'' side - but get out on the road and there's a
clear sense of the efforts Hyundai's Czech operations go to in trying to produce the best cars.
They've also been dabbling with the suspension and steering tune, and I suspect the seat design too, all to positive effect. The manual 1.6 turbo-diesel I drove at launch felt immediately comfortable and ''right''.
The old i30 wagon was popular and there's high confidence the petrol and older editions of its successor will perform strongly for a brand that was placed as the country's fourth-most popular in 2012, with 7127 sales.
''We did really well with the previous i30 wagon so we are confident the new one will continue that good work,'' brand boss Andy Sinclair says.
The i30 wagon is 185mm longer than its hatch sibling at 4485mm, though the wheelbase is identical. At 528 litres, its cargo capacity is 150 litres more than the hatchback's (378 litres), extending more than three-fold to 1642 litres with the rear seats folded.
By comparison, the larger i40 wagon has a capacity of 553 litres with the rear seats in place, climbing to 1719 litres with the rear seats folded.