Hyundai i30 N review
The Hyundai i30 N is a seriously fun hard-edged hot hatch, but lacks the comfort of some of its more versatile alternatives
What's not so good
Find out more about the Hyundai i30 N
If you’re in the market for a hot hatch, the Hyundai i30 N is one you may consider alongside the likes of the Honda Civic Type R, Toyota GR Yaris and Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The Hyundai i30 N is like the Korean fried chicken of hot hatches, bringing a twist from an unexpected source on the classic recipe.
You’ll immediately spot this is no regular Hyundai i30. The N gets an aggressive new body kit, lots of red striping, lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels and a massive twin-exit exhaust system to highlight its boy racer aspirations.
Changes to the inside aren’t quite so obvious at first glance. The N does get some sports seats, a new steering wheel and blue stitching, but the core design of the i30 remains the same. That is until you switch it on to be greeted by shift lights, an N logo in the instrument cluster and a serious growl from the exhaust.
You’ll also find a 10.0-inch infotainment screen taking centre stage on the dashboard, complete with ‘N Mode’ — a dream for stats nerds. Here you’ll find a lap timer, G meter and also settings to configure your own driving mode.
Those sitting in the back benefit from the thinner sports seats too thanks to a little more knee room, plus they’ll still get the decent headroom from the hatchback body shape. There’s also a nice helping of Alcantara across the rear row, too.
Boot space does take a bit of a hit because of a bar across the back designed to stiffen the car, though. This drops the capacity to 381 litres from 395. If sheer space is a concern, take a look at the Skoda Octavia vRS with its 600-litre capacity.
If you’re willing to trade a bit of comfort for a lot of fun, the Hyundai i30 N will have plenty of appeal
Powering the Hyundai i30 N is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A 2021 update boosted power up to 280hp, sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. You can also pay a bit extra for an eight-speed automatic.
As far as fun goes, the Hyundai i30 N is up there with the best hot hatches. It’s overly harsh in its all-out sporting N Mode but play with the settings a little to soften it up, and you’ll quickly find it easy to get some serious thrills out of.
Its steering is sharp, the engine is responsive and powerful while there’s loads of feedback on how the car’s behaving through the wheel and your bum. It’s a proper riot.
However, that does compromise daily usability a bit. It rides a bit harshly over bumps in the road — not unbearably so but certainly not as good as the Volkswagen Golf GTI would. You’ll also get plenty of road noise coming into the cabin at motorway speeds.
Overlook those shortcomings though and you’ll find the Hyundai i30 N to be a really good, fun hot hatch.
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*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.