2017 Hyundai i30N review – verdict
The Hyundai i30N isn't just a new hot hatch, but the beginning of a whole new...
You might wonder why we’ve not mentioned closer-priced rivals, such as the Ford Focus ST and Peugeot 308 GTi in this review. Well, it’s simple: the i30N, in Performance spec at least, is a much better drive than either. So if those are on your wish list, buy the i30N instead.
And if you’ve been hankering after one of those cars for driving pleasure, but their garish looks and high price tags have stalled your purchase, then we’d suggest taking Hyundai’s new N model seriously. Very seriously in fact – it’s that good.
What Car? says...
Rated 4 out of 5
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Hyundai i30N buyer's file
Engine 4cyl, 1998cc, turbo, petrol
Power 271bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 260lb ft @ 1500-4700rpm (279lb ft on overboost)
Gearbox six-speed manual
Top speed 155mph
Official economy 39.8mpg
CO2, tax band 163g/km, 31%
Release date January 2018
The best (and worst) hot hatchbacks
The Hyundai i30 N is entering a very competitive class, so what's the best hot hatch on sale today? Below we count down the top 10 – and reveal the models to avoid.
10. Audi S1
The S1 may be based on Audi’s little A1 shopper, but a 228bhp engine has been shoehorned under its bonnet and a four-wheel-drive system replaces the usual front-wheel-drive set-up. All that power in such a small package means the S1 is seriously rapid in a straight line. In fact, it’ll outrun a Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI. The four-wheel drive helps the S1 stay glued to the road in fast corners and the interior is up there with larger luxury models. The ride is a bit firm and the steering a bit lacklustre, though.
9. Audi RS3
Audi has been locked in a power battle with Mercedes-Benz in recent years, but this revised RS3, which borrows the 394bhp five-cylinder engine from its TT RS sports car, puts the hot hatch firmly in the top spot for outright acceleration. You’ll need a well-padded wallet to buy and own an RS3, though. If you’re after something more playful and cheaper, check out the BMW M140i and Ford Focus RS.
The regular Ford Focus is already a very competent family hatchback, so it makes sense that the go-faster version, the Focus ST, would be a great all-rounder as well. You can have it in either 182bhp or 247bhp forms, but whichever option you choose you'll get engaging handling and a great driving position. The interior could do with being a little classier, but it's still a solid option in this market.
Our pick: ST-2