What is it like on the inside?
It’s lighter and brighter in here than the i30N’s myriad rivals from the Volkswagen Group, with flashes of baby blue used just the right amount.
The ergonomics have been nailed, too: clearly benchmarked on some of those VWs, with an easy to use touchscreen (much wider in the facelifted car), simple CarPlay connection and a bunch of driver aids that deactivate with straightforward button presses. Actually, it’s better than a VW in here these days, now the Mk8 Golf (and its various Seat and Skoda spin offs) have gone for an overly touchscreen or voice control direction. Important stuff like climate controls have remained physical in here, rather than being buried too deeply in the screen.
More fun stuff, please.
If that all sounds too sensible, then keen mimers of oversteer will enjoy a strut brace in the back (which doesn’t affect the i30’s practical boot or seating for five), front seat squabs that slide fore and aft (like in a BMW), and the ‘N’ performance button on the steering wheel that brings your favourite of the myriad drive and chassis settings together in one quick press (like an M car).
Like all the best hot hatches, it’s plenty practical enough in here to swallow most of the prosaic bits of everyday life. The swoopier Fastback version actually brings a whole 69 extra litres of luggage room, too.
No digital dials, though?
Newer N division cars get them, but the i30N’s instruments remain stoutly analogue. We’re here for it in truth, just as we are for the mechanical handbrake, with Hyundai resisting the urge to digitalise both during the mid-life facelift. It all adds to the rufty tufty charm.
Instead, the chintz is all saved for the middle screen. The car’s mid-life update has brought a bigger display and much better graphics, including a very clever way of pulling together your favourite combination of driving modes. Given there are almost 2,000 possible combos, that’s welcome. You can even set up one of those mock log fires on the screen – complete with ambient noise – should you want to pop everything back into ‘comfort’ and just relax.