Susie's Big Day Out and Hyundai i30cw Wagon Review
Susie ElelmanBalloon rideBy Susie Elelman

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would be doing aerial acrobatics, high in the sky, when asked recently to road test the new Hyundai i30 Wagon.

Now I should quickly point out that I wasn’t actually in the Hyundai wagon at the time. Instead, I was aboard a Russian designed 2 seater Yak, where talented pilot Matt took me through a series of extreme manoeuvres over Cessnock airport.

This amazing, exhilarating experience was just one of the many unexpected surprises that awaited me and my fellow media colleagues during our 24 hours in the NSW Hunter Valley.

We paired up for our road trip and my co-driver/navigator & self-confessed ‘Nana driver’ Antonino Tali - owner & editor of Australian style Magazine Cream, took the first leg up the expressway north from Sydney, where irresistible warm scones awaited us at our pit stop.

My first chance to take the wheel of our spacious petrol driven wagon, which handles more like a sedan, didn’t last long. Soon Antonino found himself swapping the comfort of our passenger seat, to buckle up in the front seat of a Tiger Moth – a 1930s bi-plane.

After all our unexpected surprises at the airport, we headed to our hotel to freshen up for dinner. That turned out to be the most delicious 6 course degustation menu at ROCK restaurant – winner of coveted 2 hat award from SMH Good Food Guide. Each course was served with award winning wines from Poole’s winery next door.

Susie with the HyundaiI chose much needed sleep over a night cap, knowing we had to be up at 5 the next morning to enjoy another unexpected surprize. The perfect weather conditions (and our great pilot John) allowed our hot air balloon to drift us above the tree tops, for a bird’s eye view of the picturesque Hunter Valley at sunrise.

We road tested the diesel wagon on the drive back along the narrow Putty Road, which was filled with lots of twist and turns for Antonino to put it through its paces.

We switched drivers during a break in the quant village of Wollumbi, where the last 24 hours were starting to catch up on Antonino. He took advantage of the smooth ride, reclined the passenger seat right back, and before I knew it, he was sleeping like a baby.

It was a shame to wake him when we arrived back at Hyundai‘s head office an even more of a shame that our astonishing adventure had come to an end and it was back to reality.

We certainly packed a lot of unexpected surprises into those 24 hours with mind-boggling memories that will last a lifetime.

Unexpected surprises about the Hyundai i30cw Wagon.

  • Diesel – better economy, better for the environment, with much more power & a smoother ride than the petrol version.
  • Input for iPod, USB & Aux – easy access to your mod cons
  • Air conditioned glove box – to keep drinks or food cool
  • Reversing sensors & clear line of sight makes easier parking.
  • Retractable side mirrors – for that tight parking spot.
  • Spacious luggage area (holds full size stroller/wheelchair & shopping) with stretchy cargo net to steady luggage safely and retractable cover for security.
  • ESP stability control – advanced engine & brake-control system developed by Mercedes-Benz & Bosch. Renowned motoring media man, John Cadogan, explained that ESP was to correct skidding & loss of control without the driver requiring advanced skills.
  • Cruise control (optional extra) – A must have for me! The easiest cruise control I have ever used, with safe access from the steering wheel & the extra cost will pale compared to the money you’ll save in speeding fines.
  • Converts quickly from a Family Wagon into a Work Wagon – the rear seats folded flat & the cargo net mounted behind the driver & front passenger, turns it from a family wagon, that comfortably seats 5 adults, to a spacious work van, ideal for moving larger items and trips to the tip.