What Car? says...
It’s never easy being the young upstart. It often means that the only way to gain the respect of your peers is to do a better job than them, and for less financial reward. But that’s potentially good news for anyone interested in the Hyundai i30N.
This car is the Korean manufacturer’s first crack at building a proper hot hatch, and in order to be taken seriously in a class that includes some seriously polished performers, the upgrades over the regular i30 had to be much more than extra exhaust pipes, a set of fatter bumpers and a tuned engine.
As such, you’ve got electronically controlled suspension (to improve handling), launch control (for the fastest possible getaways), automatic rev-matching (for smoother gearshifts), an overboost function (to help with overtaking) and a lap timer (for, well, timing laps).
And, depending on which version you go for (the standard i30N is a rival for cars such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, while the more powerful i30N Performance takes on the likes of the Renault Megane RS and Honda Civic Type R), you also get an electronically controlled limited slip differential. All of that, and the i30N still costs significantly less than most of the cars it competes with.
So, serious time and technology has gone into making the i30N a serious contender for your hot-hatch cash, but the question is, has it worked? Read on and we’ll let you know.