– Article/Photos by Rod Fuller –
I’ll say this up front, the i30N is the most fun car I have driven this year, bar none. Neck snapping acceleration, crackling exhaust with ‘rev matched’ downshifts and the POP of the exhaust on upshifts add theatre and enjoyment to, what has to be one of the best performance cars released this year.
At their first attempt at a ‘Hot Hatch’, Hyundai have smashed it out of the park! Priced from $40K (plus on roads) i30N is a convincing winner against its rivals in the ‘Bang for your Buck’ stakes. Outperforming most competitors both on road and on the track! Because you can take your i30N to a track day, enjoy all the performance it has to offer and not void your five year unlimited km new car warranty!
i30N’s heart and soul is its 202kW, 353Nm (378Nm on overboost), 2.0 litre four cylinder VVT, twin scroll turbo engine. Offering astounding performance that’s exciting and scary good at the same time, delivering power via a six speed manual transmission to the front wheels, for a sensational drive. 235/35R19 Pirelli P Zero’s put that power to the road and massive ventilated disc brakes (345mm front and 314mm rear) help bring it to heel.
Adding to the experience, i30N features an active variable exhaust system (which provides the Snap, Crackle and POP), electronically controlled LSD and suspension. Five separate drive modes (Eco, Normal, Sport, N and Custom) combine these features, allowing you to select the i30N you want to drive today. A quiet daily drive for shopping – Eco mode, or a snarling, loud, aggressive monster that wants to rip the road apart – N mode. Adjustable from the steering wheel, each driving mode’s attributes are displayed on the infotainment screen and colour themed as well, Green for Eco, Dark Red for N. Custom mode allows individual selection of performance criteria with 1,944 possible combinations.
N-mode, is where it is at! Push the “N” button on the steering wheel and its party time. All the powertrain (rev matching on downshifts, throttle response, engine sound), chassis and suspension settings are set for optimal performance, which will have you grinning like a Cheshire cat! It is loud, exciting and above all fun! Steering response/handling is razor sharp, grip, chassis control and road holding are phenomenal. Combined with it’s staggering engine performance, N mode is why you would buy this car!
Fuel economy is listed as 8.0 litre/100km (combined), but I saw an average 12.7 litre/100km, no doubt due to overuse of N mode.
i30N’s sporty looks match what it can do. Aggressively styled without being over the top, it sits on unique 19” wheels with distinctive headlights/DRL’s and grille, big twin exhausts and a rear wing with a signature triangular brake lamp.
Inside the sporty theme continues with a blacked out interior including roof lining. The gearshift has SHIFT LIGHTS adding to the sportiness with a short throw for fast changes. The clutch weight is light, making it easy to live with every day. Seats are comfortable (including lumbar support for the driver – yeah!) and very supportive for spirited driving. Dual zone climate control air conditioning keeps the interior the right temperature even when the action is heating up.
Hyundai Smart Sense features with AEB, FCW, LKA and TPMS, but strangely i30N misses out on Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Apple Car Play/Android Auto along with a USB and three 12V outlets (one in the boot) Sat Nav, Bluetooth and a DAB radio with six speakers are provided.
Incredibly fun to drive, i30N is a genuine performance car, with serious track credentials. Need further proof? Behind the rear seats there is a chassis brace ensuring optimum chassis stiffness for better handling and performance. It also is a car that you can live with every day, commuting, school runs or shopping. It doesn’t have to be in N mode ALL the time! But, it’s fun when it is!
Australia’s new Hot Hatch Hero is here – the i30N.
What does it look like as a Novated Lease?
|RRP (including GST)||$39,990|
|Annual Savings with a Novated Lease||$2,729|
This data is from the 2018 Novated Leasing Guide produced by Fleet Auto News.