Hyundai i30N Performance
We’re living through a golden age of hot hatchbacks. From bargain Up GTIs to supercarslaying RS3s, every carmaker with a hatch in its range and a modicum of petrol coursing through its engineers’ veins has something to offer. Even Hyundai.
The i30N is a belter, too. Just 25bhp less than the Porsche next door and tons of usability. There’s every bit of equipment you could hope for, a big boot and five seats. Civic Type Rs only have four seatbelts, something that’s scuppered me in the past.
Good behaviour is only one half of a great hot hatch, of course, but luckily the i30N is also a proper tyke. It’s dripping with the sort of details normally found in only the most serious performance cars. My favourites? The illuminated red line moves around the rev-counter as the engine warms up, while the manual gearbox’s rev-matching function turns on and off with just one simple button press. There’s no auto option, either, and the handbrake is old-school mechanical. I could go on...
Entry-level i30Ns cost £24,995, but you should spend an extra three grand (or £20 a month) on the Performance pack, which adds a limited-slip differential, 25bhp, bigger brakes, 19in wheels in Pirelli P Zero tyres, a sports exhaust and some properly hugging seats. It’s a no-brainer. To that, we’ve added the N’s signature Performance Blue paint, taking us up to £28,580.
I adore hot hatches and this might be my current favourite, but I’ve got loads planned in the coming months, y’know, just to be absolutely sure. I can’t wait.