The i30N follows the usual i30 format inside, but sadly with little in the way of added sporting fanfare. So while the sports seats are bespoke, and trimmed in suede and leather on the Performance version, it all looks rather less jazzy than the Honda Civic Type R’s interior. And even though the i30N feels just as well made as that car, it's no match for the Volkswagen Golf GTI, which stands alone as the plushest-feeling hot hatch in this price range.
The driving position is terrific – something you can’t say about the Ford Focus RS’s lofty seating position. The sports seats grip you securely around the midriff and shoulders, and on the Performance model they are electrically operated, including lumbar adjustment. Together with plenty of height and reach adjustment to the steering wheel and well-positioned pedals, you feel right at home.
All the buttons and switches are easy to reach, including the standard 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system that sits high up on the dashboard. It is so much better to use than the Civic Type R’s confusing infotainment system, with snappier menus that are easier to grasp. It’s also very well equipped; sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring as well as online connectivity for live traffic, weather and speed camera reports are all standard.
For the PlayStation generation, there are some specific additions to the N models. Should you wish, you can keep tabs on your engine’s power, torque outputs and boost pressure on the screen. Or, if you venture onto a track, it’ll inform you what g-force you’re pulling through corners and relay your lap times.