Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
As we mentioned at the start of this review, Hyundai is a latecomer to the hot hatch market, so it needed to build a really good car and undercut its more established rivals on price if it was to succeed in grabbing people’s attention. And fair play: it has achieved just that.
Whether you are comparing the standard i30N against rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, or the Performance model against the Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane RS, the Hyundai looks like good value for money. Even the priciest N, the Fastback, doesn’t cost much more than the regular Performance model.
In addition, every i30N comes very well equipped. The standard car has 18in alloy wheels, LED headlights, red brake calipers, automatic lights and wipers, privacy glass, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera.
Meanwhile, the i30N Performance adds luxuries such as leather upholstery and electric front seats with lumbar adjustment and memory recall.
You also get plenty of standard driver aids. These include automatic emergency braking, a driver fatigue monitor, automatic speed limit recognition and lane departure warning. What's more, the regular i30 was awarded five stars (out of five) for safety by Euro NCAP.
However, don't dive into i30N ownership expecting regular hatchback running costs; clearly, a 2.0-litre engine that pumps out 271bhp (for the Performance model) isn’t going to sip fuel like a thrifty diesel. Indeed, in our real-world tests, the i30N Performance averaged 31.2mpg, while the more powerful Civic Type R managed 35.1mpg.
The latest i30 was too new to feature in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. However, Hyundai performed well as a brand, finishing seventh out of 31 manufacturers included.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here