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Long-term review

Hyundai i30N Performance - long-term review

£27,995/£28,580 as tested
Published: 07 Oct 2019


  • SPEC

    Hyundai i30N Performance



  • BHP


  • MPG


  • 0-62


Goodbye, friend

“I adore hot hatches and this might be my current favourite.” Words I wrote when the i30N first arrived in the Top Gear Garage. It’s faced numerous hurdles during the 10 months it’s had to prove me right – a brand-new Renault Megane RS, my weep-inducing inner London commute, some literal mountains to climb on a huge 4,000-mile Eurotrip – but it’s swept aside each one with aplomb.

It feels made exactly to my dream spec: 6spd manual only, proper hugging sports seats and just enough power and grip to thrill, but not so much of either that it feels stifled or suffocated as a road car.

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I’d go as far as to say it sits in the exact sweet spot of how much performance you can happily use nowadays, something the more senior Honda Civic Type R can’t claim. You can provoke a handful of lift-off oversteer without feeling like a liability, while its astoundingly immature sports exhaust laces even low-speed driving with a cacophony of crackles and bangs that could wake the dead. And make them chuckle.

Bad points? An insatiable thirst that makes 300 miles on a tank a genuine effort, the turning circle of an oil tanker and alloy wheels so large and exposed, more than one colleague has handed the key back to me with a red-faced apology.

These are hallmarks of a performance car that’s happy to trade off a bit of liveability in the name of outright fun, though, and ones you’re happy to forgive when it’s this flipping good to drive. Particularly if you consider it’s N division’s first effort.

There’s still loads of room and a five-year warranty, too, so it’s hardly like Hyundai’s made a trackday special that won’t slot into your daily routine. In fact, I don’t know mine will function without it. I adore hot hatches, and the i30N really is my current favourite.

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