Hyundai i20 N Review & Prices
The i20 N is the go-faster performance version of Hyundai’s popular supermini. It’s great fun on a twisty road, even if its steering is a bit too heavy, but its looks might be a bit challenging for some
Find out more about the Hyundai i20 N
The new i20 N is the punchy performance version of Hyundai’s popular, practical supermini. And just like any good Game of Thrones character, its sole purpose in life is to topple the excellent Ford Fiesta ST from its throne, and crown itself king (or queen) of the affordable hot hatchback kingdom.
It’s certainly got the weaponry to help it win that battle. For starters, it looks like it’s out for a fight – it’s all big chin spoilers, body kits and wings here. Depending on your tastes, you might even think the i20 N is a bit too aggressive looking – particularly when you compare it to the more subtly-styled Fiesta ST.
But you just as easily might love its amped-up appearance, and that’s fine too. Those looks certainly make for a contrast with the interior, anyway. Open the door and you’ll find it’s a bit more relaxed on the inside, even if some vivid blue bits of trim and chunky bucket seats are giveaway signs that this is still the go-faster version of the i20 N.
Those chairs are comfy and hold you snugly in place through fast corners, and the driving position is pretty spot on too. There’s also a good amount of space in the back, and the boot has 352 litres of space, which is way more than the Fiesta ST.
You get a load of equipment as standard too, such as heated front seats, a wireless charge pad, automatic lane-keep assist and regular cruise control. Also in the mix is a sharp 10.3-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
But the main attraction is everything that’s going on beneath the skin. For starters, its 1.6-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine packs a wallop: kicking out 204hp and 275Nm or torque.
That’s more power but less torque than you get in the hot Fiesta.
Launch it from a standstill, however, and you’ll hit 60mph in 6.2 seconds – which is (just) quicker than the Ford can manage. It feels fast on the road too, even if it doesn’t sound quite as good as you might like.
The i20 N is a fun little hot hatch that packs a hefty punch. The weighty steering feels a bit odd to me, though
Visibility is decent enough, and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera help make it easy to park too. The steering is heavy though – particularly in the sportier drive modes – and you might find you don’t like this meaty sense of weight so much.
Elsewhere, its suspension and bodywork have all been stiffened up to make it even pointier and more fun on a twisty road, and there’s a limited-slip differential to give you even more grip through corners. Then there are the beefier brakes, and a range of customisable drive modes to play with too.
But even though it’s been set up for driving thrills, the i20 N is still comfy enough to use around town every day. The ride is firm, for sure, but not as firm as you’ll find on hotter versions of the Mini hatch.
Ultimately the Hyundai i20 is an entertaining, feisty hot hatchback with impressive practicality and an exciting attitude that will appeal to many. See how much you can save on one by clicking on our Hyundai i20 N deals, or have a look at our latest deals on used Hyundais.
The Hyundai i20 N has a RRP range of £26,530 to £26,530. However, with carwow you can save on average £1,255. Prices start at £25,275 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £397. The price of a used Hyundai i20 N on carwow starts at £21,700.
Our most popular versions of the Hyundai i20 N are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.6T GDi N 5dr||£25,275||Compare offers|
The Hyundai i20 N looks like good value next to alternatives including the Ford Fiesta ST (costing over £26,500) and the Volkswagen Polo GTI (an extra £1000+ over the Fiesta).
But it offers even better value when you take a deep dive into the i20 N’s specifications because all the kit you’d expect in a car like this (and plenty more) comes as standard and – to top it off – it has more power than the Ford and the VW. Now that’s value!
Hyundai’s gone to town on the i20 N to make it a hoot to drive on road and track – you’ll not find a car that’s more fun for the money. Predictably, long runs aren’t the car’s forte thanks to more tyre and wind noise and less comfort over bumps than other hot hatches
Hit the city and you’ll find the Hyundai i20 N is relaxing and easy to drive thanks to its slick gear shift, light clutch pedal and light steering.
Parking’s as simple as you'd expect. Okay, so the large pillars around the windscreen obscure visibility a little at the front, but the large rear pillars are broken up by small windows and you also get rear parking sensors (no front sensors, sadly), plus a camera – as a result, the i20 N’s straightforward to reverse park.
That’s true of the standard i20, what’s unique about the i20 N is that it has loads of power to squirt through city traffic and make fast getaways from junctions.
Even the firm ride won’t get you down. Yes, it’s a little harsh over bumps and jiggly over surface changes, but it’s a fair trade given how flat and secure the car feels in bends.
On the motorway
The jigglyness you get in town continues when you spread your wings onto the motorway but, again, it’s what you’d expect from a car like this.
What you might not expect is the tyre noise generated by the i20 N’s wider rubber and the wind noise you hear fluttering from around the wing mirrors – because of this, a Volkswagen Polo GTI will be a better bet if you want long-distance comfort from your hot hatch.
On the upside, the i20 N’s generous equipment list will put a smile on your face. You get lane assist as standard so the car will keep you dead centre in your lane on the motorway, and the electrochromatic rear-view mirror removes the glare of following cars’ headlights.
On a twisty road
If you want a car that’s fun on road and track, the Hyundai i20 N is the best you’ll get for the money.
Hyundai’s gone over its specs with a microscope adding stiffer suspension, beefed-up brakes, a grippy limited slip differential (LSD), a stronger body, and Pirelli tyres that have been designed specifically for the i20 N
The result? It’s a total riot. The i20 N suffers from very little body lean and grips corners like a sucker fish. Alright, so the steering wheel squirms in your hands out of bends, but it’s a fair trade for the way the LSD transmits all the i20 N’s power to the road under acceleration.
Aside from this, the steering is brilliant – weighty and accurate – while the i20 N’s brakes don’t run out of puff under sustained use like they do in a Ford Fiesta ST.
Even the gearshift has a solid mechanical feel and the car’s well-spaced pedals make it easy to ‘heel and toe’ like a racing driver…or you can just use the car’s auto blip function to much the same effect.
For these reasons, the i20 N is the most fun you can have this side of (the far pricier) Toyota GR Yaris.
It’s as practical as a regular small hatchback, with special credit going to the big boot, though the rear isn’t spacious
In true hot hatch fashion, the Hyundai i20 N is a fun performance car that you can live with every day.
Sure, its sporty bucket seats grip you like Donald Trump’s unwavering handshake but everything else is very similar to a standard i20.
The front seats have loads of adjustment and so does the steering wheel – whatever your size, you can get comfortable behind the wheel and even tall drivers will have plenty of headroom.
Keeping the cabin tidy should be easy, too. The large door bins will happily swallow a big bottle of water with room to spare and the tray in front of the gearstick is big enough to fit a large smartphone. You’ll also find it has been kitted out with two USB plugs and a 12V power socket.
Downsides? Well, the glovebox is only average for this size of car but you do get some additional storage hidden under the front centre armrest.
The Hyundai i20 N has plenty of backseat space for a small hot hatch. You get a decent amount of knee room and headroom, although the latter is a tiny bit off what you get in a Volkswagen Polo GTI. Three people will feel squeezed in the back – the same is true for all cars like this – and fitting a large child seat is also awkward thanks to the tight space and hidden ISOFIX mounts.
It’s much the same as the standard i20, although the cool N-blue chequered flag motif on the backrest separates makes the i20 N feel more special. The one-piece front seats aren’t so welcome, their integrated headrests block your passenger’s view of the road.
While some hot hatches' boots are compromised by a sporty exhaust system, four-wheel drive or relocated battery, there’s no such problem in the i20 N – its 352-litre capacity is identical to the standard car’s.
You also get the standard car’s handy false floor that makes it easy to slide luggage into position and gives you a completely flat floor with the rear seats folded away.
The touchscreen system is nice, and the sprinkling of ‘N’ badged elements lifts a cabin that otherwise suffers a little from interior plastics that could have done with an upgrade on the cheap-feeling reguar i20
Hyundai sprinkles the i20 N with N badges and N-blue trims that make it look sporty, but you also get handy features like drive mode buttons and an interchangeable display.
Numerous upgrades mark it out from the standard car.
Go-faster touches kick off with the i20 N’s sports steering wheel – which has extra buttons so you can quickly access the car’s driving modes and auto-blip gearbox function.
You’ll find Hyundai’s ‘N’ motif on the steering wheel and the car’s unique gear knob. You also find ‘N’ embossed on the sports seats and as graphics on the car’s kick plates.
Hyundai N’s signature baby blue also features throughout the cabin on the steering wheel, door pulls and centre console, while the car’s pedals are finished in aluminium.
Hyundai has even updated the infotainment so you can have extra instruments on the centre display and selecting N mode on the steering wheel sets the rev counter alight with a fun and fiery graphic.
What’s not so good are the bits carried over from the standard i20. Plastic quality, for example, feels (and even looks) cheap for a car of this price and the design – which resembles a fish’s gills – is also odd.
Things are a lot better when you zero in on the i20 N’s infotainment. It gets i20’s upgraded system as standard so you get two large screens – one on the dash and the other behind the steering wheel.
The centre touchscreen looks great, is slick to operate and has handy shortcut buttons so whizzing between different menus is completely painless.
Having said that, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are fitted as standard so, most of the time, it’s easier just to mirror the screen of your smartphone, using its apps and voice recognition on the car’s large display.
The car’s digital instrument binnacle, meanwhile, lets you choose between a standard layout or a sportier look – with the rev counter in the centre of the instrument binnacle.
The Hyundai i20 N comes fitted with a 204hp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s good for 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds, which is just half a second slower than the banzai Honda Civic Type R from the class above, thanks to the Hyundai’s impressively low 1190kg weight. For reference, the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI both do the dash in 6.5 seconds.
Factor in the Hyundai’s riotous sports exhaust – which can be calm and concealed when you want it to be or machine-gun loud when you don’t – and it’s clear the i20 N can be fun as well as fast.
And your piggy bank will remain intact. Yeah, so road tax of £585 in year one is pricey – a Fiesta ST costs £230 – but fuel economy of 40.4mpg is pretty good for a genuine performance car.
The Hyundai i20 scored five stars for safety in 2015, however, this rating has since expired and as a result the Hyundai won’t be as safe as a Volkswagen Polo that scored five stars under 2022’s tougher Euro NCAP testing regime.
The Hyundai was outperformed by the Polo in terms of Adult Occupant protection (94% v 85%) Child Occupant protection (80% v 73%) and in Safety Assist (70% v 64%). On the upside, the Hyundai does come with an alarm as standard.
Configure your own i20 N on carwow
Save on average £1,255 off RRP
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.