HYUNDAI says that the new i30 is its ‘DNA car.’

So the family hatchback is progenitor of the range to come in terms of style and more, representing the core of the brand in Europe.

An important car for the company, then, and Weekend Wheels took the opportunity to run the rule over a five-door SE Nav 1.0 T-GDi during a week-long road test.

The two previous generations of the i30 have sold more than 800,000 cars in Europe since 2008.

The latest car was designed by the South Korean manufacturer’s technical centre in Germany and is built in the Czech Republic.

The factory was opened in 2008 and started production of the first generation i30 the same year.

The new design has plenty of eye-appeal, with a sculpted body to create a timeless and confident appearance including the introduction of the ‘cascading grille’ giving a distinctive front-end appearance.

With its harmonious proportions, short front and rear overhangs, a long bonnet and a tapered roof silhouette, the car gets a sporty appearance and solid stance on the road.

The inside story is one of clean lines with a horizontal layout that conveys an elegant impression and a feeling of roominess. Chrome surrounds and high-quality materials round up the calm and sophisticated atmosphere.

Our car had the optional eight-inch touch screen on the dashboard, which integrates navigation, media and connectivity features. The new multi-function three-spoke steering wheel is a tactile treat with its leather covering.

The comfortable cabin feels spacious, with generous rear-seat legroom. Luggage capacity is 395 litres extending to 1,301 litres with the seats folded flat and practicality is enhanced with a two-stage luggage board and a ski-hatch in the rear centre seat.

Features include front fog lamps, DAB radio, rear parking assist system, rear view camera, Bluetooth with voice recognition, wireless phone charging, and integrated stop-and-go system.

On the safety front, features include autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control, lane-keeping assist system, driver attention alert and blind spot detection.

The driving experience is positive, with smooth, quiet power from the three-cylinder 120bhp petrol engine (0-60mph 10.7 secs, 56.5mpg on the combined cycle, CO2 emissions of 115g/km) mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Price: £19,645