Hyundai i30 N Performance: PH Fleet


This is exciting. Our newest recruit, a Hyundai i30 N in top drawer 275hp Performance format, has a proper PistonHeads-worthy battle on its hands. This is a hot hatchback from a new performance division, one underpinned with the brainpower of former BMW M engineers. Its first effort ought to have been a range-finder - but on first and second acquaintance, it has impressed right out of the gate. Now though the real test begins.

Our new i30 N has to prove itself for three whole months, which is no easy feat when you consider the level of talent its rivals possess. In this segment lives the dynamically oustanding Honda Civic Type R, the longstanding all-round champ, Volkswagen's Golf GTI, and, fresh from Dieppe, Renault Sport's new and compelling challenger, the Megane 280 - which recently pipped the i30 N in a back-to-back drive.

No pressure then.


Our car does at least get off to a flying start. At £28,010, the i30 N Performance finds itself at the lower end of the price spectrum, with only the Megane costing less at £27,495. At the business end there's a 2.0 T-GDi powerplant (wielding twin scroll turbocharger technology) mated to a six-speed manual gearbox that drives the front wheels via an electronically-controlled limited slip differential. Driver assist technology includes a proactive lane keep assist system and cruise control, which might come in handy during long journeys.

There's also a wide window of customisation for the chassis and powertrain. There are four main drive modes: Normal, Sport, Sport+ and N Mode, but you can delve deeper and configure idividual parts, meaning it's possible to have the chassis in the softest setting and powerplant in its most aggressive state. This could prove particularly useful during lengthy cross-country drives. Then again, could having so many modes become tiresome?

Hyundai i30 N to get revised suspension in 2019

Rest assured that EN67 LUZ will be faced with as many B-road jaunts and track days as possible. Those experiences should reveal how a hot Korean hatch compares to its competitors in real-life PHer scenarios. We’ll also be subjecting this i30 N to the weekly shop and urban commutes, of course, to evaluate whether a five-door car that first grabbed our attention for its hilarious exhaust note and inspiring chassis can ‘do the boring’ and become a genuine all-rounder. Ultimately, we want to know if this car is capable of taking on Wolfsburg’s so-called ‘People’s Supercar’ GTI at its own game while also seeing how it fares against the Type R for outright entertainment.


Other questions to be asked include: will observers notice the purposefulness of our car's 19-inch wheels and Pirelli P Zero tyres, or will the Hyundai badge on its nose leave them assuming a small-capacity ecobox lives under the bonnet? And will most of the PH editorial team be toothless after sampling the brittle N mode on British roads?

We’ve a jam-packed few weeks ahead to find out the answer to those questions and more. If there’s anything you’re keen to discover, let us know and we’ll endeavour to answer them…


FACT SHEET

Car: Hyundai i30 N Performance
On fleet since: August 2018
Run by: Sam Sheehan
List price new: £28,010 (As tested £28,895 comprising £300 for winter pack and £585 for metallic Clean Slate paint).
Last month at a glance: The performance of Hyundai N’s first model already had us impressed. Now’s our chance to find out what it’s like to live with


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Comments (28) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Onehp 18 Aug 2018

    I don't see the many modes as something you go flipping through at every ride, it is however an excellent way to finetune the car to your own preferences, potentially saving big ££ for people like me that would otherwise e.g. invest in a new suspension or exhaust to get the behaviour one wants.

    And if I understood correctly, with the steering wheel buttons one can quickly switch between ones favorite jekyll and hyde settings, are both programmable like M1 and M2 on BMW M cars?

  • Jon_S_Rally 18 Aug 2018

    These certainly interest me a lot.

    Quick question for any owners/experts; when you've tweaked the settings into your preferred mode, does it retain it until you change something again? One thing that irritates me about some of these modes is that they disappear every time you switch the engine off. In my RS Megane, you have to press the 'Sport' button every time you drive the car and, in my Golf R, while it stayed in 'Race' mode for example, the exhaust flaps seemed to go back to their quieter setting.

    I don't mind the ability to adjust things but, once I've chosen a setting, I would much prefer it to just stay as I selected, as I am not really one who wants to flick back and forth between settings.

  • DeanHelix 18 Aug 2018

    "Today in Hyundai i30 N news......"
    This is the 3rd i30 N article since Tuesday. Is PH currently being sponsored by the letter "H for Hyundai"?

    Not that I mind overly. I've got my N experience at Milbrook tomorrow morning, all this fuss is helping build the excitement.

  • S9JTO 18 Aug 2018

    Jon_S_Rally said:
    These certainly interest me a lot.

    Quick question for any owners/experts; when you've tweaked the settings into your preferred mode, does it retain it until you change something again? One thing that irritates me about some of these modes is that they disappear every time you switch the engine off. In my RS Megane, you have to press the 'Sport' button every time you drive the car and, in my Golf R, while it stayed in 'Race' mode for example, the exhaust flaps seemed to go back to their quieter setting.

    I don't mind the ability to adjust things but, once I've chosen a setting, I would much prefer it to just stay as I selected, as I am not really one who wants to flick back and forth between settings.
    Something that can easily be coded in with an OBD11 reader and mobile phone app.

  • patmahe 18 Aug 2018

    Saw one of these the other day, not sure about the default baby blue colour that seems to be favoured for the press cars (I'm assuming you can have it in any colour?), the looks are pretty nice but nothing outstanding, a different colour may help.

    For me a hot hatch has to be hatch first, hot second, the whole purpose of cars like these, at least originally, was that they could be usable every day and still have enough go to entertain. The modes are good as long as their is one that can make the car supple on a crap road as sometimes it seems even the softest settings on cars like these is rock hard. We'll see what Hyundai have come up with.

    Overall I like the way Hyundai have gone about this, no clever marketing strategy (turning pertolheads TV ads aside) or trading on past glories like some do, they seem to have poached the right people, gone away and quietly built their car and since then they have been getting rave reviews and the marketing takes care of itself. They are clearly trying to establish a performance brand fan base so I'm guessing we will see many more cars along these lines. I will keep a close eye on the future values of these and this long term test.

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