IF YOU’D TOLD us a year ago that Hyundai would soon have one of the world’s best hot hatches in its ranks, we’d have been dubious, to say the least. But the Korean brand really has gone from zero to hero, bettering established rivals such as the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI with its first serious attempt at building a car in this class.

There are two versions of the i30N: the regular model and the more hardcore Performance version that, among other things, throws a limited-slip differential into the mix. Both are super-talented and the latter is slightly faster and even more capable through corners, but we reckon you’ll actually have more fun in the regular car – especially on the road.

It’s slightly more playful in the bends, feels barely any less rapid in a straight line and builds on one of the i30N’s other great strengths: value for money. For less than £25,000, this is a car that undercuts the Honda Civic Type R by a whopping £5000 and yet still comes with loads of creature comforts, including keyless entry and wireless phone charging.

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