The performance market is new territory for Hyundai and the brand knows that, to get your attention, it needs to build a good car priced to undercut its more established rivals. And it has done just that.
Whether you are comparing the standard i30N against rivals such as the Ford Focus ST or Volkswagen Golf GTI, or the Performance model against the Focus RS or Honda Civic Type R, it's a great-value cash buy. Unfortunately, it’s too early to tell how competitive monthly PCP finance rates are, but we do have an idea of how well the i30N will hold onto its value: not as well as a Civic Type R after three years but better than a Golf GTI.
We can also tell you how well equipped it is: very. The i30N offers far more toys than its rivals, with the standard car featuring 18in alloy wheels, LED headlights, sports seats, red brake calipers, automatic lights and wipers, privacy glass, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. That’s on top of the bits we’ve already mentioned, such as adaptive dampers and the excellent infotainment system.
Move up to the Performance model and, as well as the limited-slip differential, 19in wheels, sticky tyres and sports exhaust that make it go quicker and sound better, you add luxuries including leather seats and electric front seats with lumbar adjustment and memory recall.
Safety-wise, the i30N gets the full five-star Euro NCAP rating and you get plenty of features. These include automatic emergency braking, a driver fatigue monitor, speed limit display and lane departure warning with lane assist.
However, don't dive into i30N ownership expecting regular hatchback running costs; clearly, a 2.0-litre engine pumping out 271bhp (for the Performance model) isn’t going to sip fuel like a thrifty diesel. Once you’ve recalibrated your expectations, however, you can pacify yourself with the knowledge that the i30N's claimed average of 39.7mpg and 163g/km of CO2 output are roughly on a par with its rivals. That said, we found in real-world testing that the i30N returned 31.2mpg. Not bad, but not stellar either.
Unfortunately, no reliability data is yet available for the i30N. However, Hyundai performed well as a brand in our most recent reliability survey, coming seventh out of 32 manufacturers tested.
Keeping thieves at bay is a standard alarm and immobiliser.
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