Strange Hyundai i30 Outback tests for our everyday comfort
REMEMBER getting into a car with vinyl trim during the height of summer?
Red hamstrings became a fashion statement back in those days.
Materials have changed, and when delving into the detail of modern day cars, it's intriguing to see the real-world testing undertaken by manufacturers.
We've been behind the wheel of Hyundai's i30 SR Premium for the past two months and it's been especially good in the comfort realm during a phase of hot weather.
Not typically something you notice, but the little hatch is quick to cool after copping the might of Queensland's sun... even with its panoramic sunroof.
Having a sunroof in the warmer climes is not our preference. Sure, it might be a great feature in the UK or Melbourne where you want to make the most of sunny days, but for those living in hot climates a sunroof is equally useful as the NBN.
After leaving the i30 in the sun, you can climb inside, flick on the front seat coolers, crank the air-conditioning and the cabin temperature drops rapidly.
That kind of stuff doesn't happen by accident.
You might think of engineers wielding sharp pencils and embedding their attention in pivot tables within Excel spreadsheets, but they also tackle the mundane.
Hyundai Australia's tuning team undertook five months of local testing on both real-world Australian roads, including in the Outback in mid-summer, and in controlled conditions both here and in Korea.
"In ambient temperatures, exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, these engineers obsess over seemingly small details. Things like timing how long it takes for the air-conditioning to bring a 60 degree cabin temperature down to a bearable 23 degrees,” Hyundai Australia senior product planning manager Andrew Tuitahi said.
"They'll make some system tweaks, lock the car, leave it out in the sun to bake, and then they'll repeat the process. They will do it again, and again and again.
"They will do things like drive it on an incline at a painfully slow 30km/h measuring engine and transmission cooling performance when there is no air passing over the radiator. Once again, they make system tweaks, measuring the temperature and response and they'll repeat the process.
"It's this kind of testing in our harsh, hot and rugged climate that is testament to our commitment to durability, reliability, and ultimately, customer satisfaction.”