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The Hyundai i30N isn’t *quite* the bargain it used to be

But at a whisker under £34k, Hyundai's 276bhp hatch is still good value

We’ve seen this a lot in the hot hatch world. Heroes like the Focus RS, Mk7 Golf R and original BMW M135i all guilty: launching to great fanfare with a sub-£30k price tag, then eking up the cost in the background throughout the car’s life while no one’s looking.

And so we land at the Hyundai i30N, wearing its mid-life facelift and a new £33,745 entry sticker… when it originally launched in late 2017 at £27,995 with the Performance package that’s now standard-fit in the UK.

Of course, inflation has taken its toll, and there have been other impacts on how much things cost in Britain. Ones we’ve simply not got time to debate here. And given Hyundai loads the i30N up with equipment and leaves you broadly with only colour to choose, it’s still actually good value – especially when you consider a Focus ST, Mk8 Golf GTI and Megane RS are basically the exact same price in base trim, while tangibly less satisfying to drive. The elephant in the room is the only slightly more expensive but improbably talented Civic Type R. There’s every chance you simply can’t move on from the way the Honda looks, though.

The Hyundai also offers a ridiculously good warranty, and more variants than the Honda. You can now add a (really very good) eight-speed twin-clutch paddleshifter in place of the (also very good) six-speed manual for the sum of £1,950, taking half a second off the 0-62mph time in the process (5.4secs vs 5.9secs). Then there’s the slipperier i30N Fastback body style, another £750. All come with new lightweight 19in forged alloys and many inches of new touchscreen as standard.

Tempted? There’s no denying the hot hatchback class is madly, brilliantly competitive right now…

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