The Hyundai i30N is the performance version of the Hyundai i30, one of the most popular and best-sold Hyundai hatchbacks of all time. The i30N was first introduced with the 2016 model year which marked the begging of the 3rd generation of the i30 in general. Ever since then, Hyundai has been offering the i30N as part of its regular catalog. So, is Hyundai i30N a good car?
The Hyundai i30N is definitely a good car as it manages to combine the practicality, ease of use, affordability, and efficiency of the regular i30 with the excitement that comes from a 200hp+ engine and loads of performance upgrades. The engine on offer is potent, exciting, and it actually sounds really good for such a small engine.
Design-wise, the i30N is much more serious than the regular i30. It gets special exterior colors, beefed-up bumpers, cool-looking wheels, and a whole host of visual and aerodynamic upgrades. The interior is also more serious than in the regular i30, but the differences aren’t as pronounced as they are on the outside. Practicality is no different from the regular i30 while the value aspect is a bit more complicated.
Reliability-wise, the i30N manages to be as reliable as the regular i30 which is certainly a good thing. The most common issues include problems with electrics, the fuel pump, interior trim, and certain active safety systems. All in all, the i30N is one of the most reliable hot hatchbacks on the market, so much so that you’d be surprised.
Hyundai i30N – The powertrain
The Hyundai i30N is available with a single engine option, a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine with either 250hp or 275hp for the top-spec Performance version. Torque is limited to 260lb-ft for both variants which are certainly enough for a small hatchback. The i30N comes with either a 6-speed manual or a fast-shifting DCT.
The 0-60mph sprint is done in just 6.1 seconds with the hatchback manual version while DCT variants can reach 60mph from a standstill in just 5.3 seconds respectively. FWD is the only option you get with the i30N, but that does not take away from the excitement as the i30N also gets a front limited-slip differential.
Efficiency-wise, you can expect the i30N to return up to 35MPG at best which is a really good number for a car that can do 0-60mph in 5-6 seconds. All in all, the i30N offers an exciting engine with an exhaust system that offers quite some theatrics.
Hyundai i30N – Design and chassis
The i30N gets a whole host of upgrades over the regular i30 which means that it actually looks attractive for a change. You can get special exterior colors, cool-looking sporty wheels, large exhaust pipes, contrast color parts such as the front bumper, and various other components throughout. You can also get a large spoiler which makes the i30N look even more serious.
The chassis and suspension tuning of the i30N is focused on handling rather than on comfort which is noticeable if you are used to driving the regular i30. This car stays flat in the corners and it can feel a bit too stiff for those not used to driving performance cars.
Hyundai i30N – Reliability and common issues
When it comes to reliability, the i30N is as reliable as the regular i30 which is certainly a tall order for a performance car. Moreover, the i30 in itself is a tremendously reliable car that constantly wins all sorts of awards in this segment. Furthermore, maintenance costs are also really low which makes the i30N a full package deal.
The most common i30N problems include issues with the electricals, issues with the fuel pump, issues with some active safety systems, and issues with the interior build quality and potential squeaks and rattles.
Hyundai i30N – Value and practicality
With a starting price of over $40,000, a Hyundai hatchback is definitely a tough sell. Only those who know what the i30N brings to the table are going to buy it which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Practicality isn’t too different from the regular i30 which means that the i30N is spacious enough for a hatchback, but it ain’t no family car.
Used i30N models are really popular on the 2nd hand market because they do lose their value rather quickly and become bargains really soon.
Why does the Hyundai i30N exist?
It is totally normal to question the necessity for a 275HP FWD Hyundai hatchback with a starting price north of $40,000. After all, these types of cars are rare, especially compared to all other i30 variants and subvariants. However, the demand is obviously there as Hyundai continues to offer the i30N all around the world.
It may seem like a tough sell to some, but the i30N is a beloved car by many because it is exciting, fast, and way more emotional than any other Hyundai hatchback ever.
Which cars rival the Hyundai i30N?
The mid-level hot-hatchback market is actually brimming with options and the i30N is in some serious company. We first need to mention cars like the Honda Civic Type R which have been around for a long time and have become legends in this segment. The VW Golf GTI is very much the same, especially because it touches the premium market when it comes to quality and tech.
Other rivals include the Ford Focus ST and even the new Toyota GR Yaris which took the world by storm last year. The i30N also rivals the Renault Megane RS CUP in Europe where the RS CUP is becoming more and more popular.
Is the Hyundai i30N worth it?
We have already mentioned that the i30N is a relatively expensive car for a Hyundai hatchback. For this price, you can buy a premium hatchback from reputable German brands like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. The question of whether is it worth it to pay such a high price for a Hyundai depends on what you want from a car.
If you are someone who truly does appreciate a fast car and you know how to enjoy it, then the i30N is not only worth it, it’s a great car for the price. On the other hand, if you are not interested in performance cars, the i30N is going to be a waste of money for you.