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Car Reviews, Hot Hatch Corner

Hyundai i30N Performance Pack Review

4 Nov , 2017  

It’s not often a manufacturer hits the nail so squarely on the head first time round. But that’s exactly what Hyundai have done with their all new i30N. It shows what can be achieved with clean sheet thinking, a generous budget….and a little help from an ex BMW M Sport head honcho.

Now the i30N isn’t perfect, I’ll go into that later, but it is an exceedingly good all-rounder.

 

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Hyundai i30N Price

For some reason Hyundai have released a stripped back, lower powered i30N. Following suit just as SEAT and Peugeot did, before swiftly dropping them from production after barely selling any units.

If you want a hot hatch, you want a hot hatch. No some slightly cheaper half-cocked affair.

No doubt it’s to get punters through the door, as the price is rather attractive at £24,995. But you don’t want that one.

That’s the lower powered 242 BHP model, which goes without the electronic limited slip diff, bigger brakes, a roarty variable exhaust, larger wheels and Pirelli P Zero tyres. Torque is the same no matter the version, but power jumps to 271 BHP with the Performance Pack model.

0-62 times differ between the two, the more potent managing the sprint in 6.1 seconds as opposed to 6.4 for the inferior model.

The price also increases to £27,995.

So realistically the i30N is £27,995. That’s still cheaper and more potent than most of its competition, a cunning move on Hyundai’s part.

 

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Looks

When Hyundai first announced a hot hatch I took a look at the i30 and thought…really? It’s a car your Nan and Grandad would buy. Dull colours, shod with chrome and fitted with frugal, lacklustre engines.

Add some new bumpers front and back, a spoiler here, some darkened lights there and the whole appearance is transformed.

It’s still subtle, not aggressive (as Hyundai point out) but it has that special look about it. Something different that hints at its sporting prowess.

Nice features include the diamond shaped third brake light, and the additional stick on aero lines on the rear quarter. The red detailing around the lower front and rear bumper is another nice touch.

 

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Drive

Hyundai have talked this car up, and then talked it down. They stated they weren’t going for ‘ring records and weren’t trying to compete with the other players in the segment. So why bother?

Well it can be summed up by a gimmicky line in their presentation ‘BPM not RPM’.

They want the i30N to be an all-rounder, for you to get to nine tenths safely and in a useable manner.

Needing to be as comfy as a boggo hatchback, but able to attack Silverstone if you so desire.

Now I’ve lauded the FK2 Civic Type R as the best hatch in a generation. It’s firm, unforgiving, a bit of an animal. For me that’s what a hot hatch should be about, in my eyes you want a semi track prepped race car for the road.

But as we’ve seen in the latest generation Civic, buyers seem to want a woollier, cuddly type of performance hatchback. This is where the i30N mops up its competition.

 

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Let’s start with the power delivery from that 2.0 litre turbo charged lump up front. It’s not as savage as the last gen Type R, or even the 308 GTi. It’s smoother, less digital in the way those horses are delivered to the ground.

Torque steer is negated to zero, and I mean zero. Even burying your right foot from stationary, wheels slightly turned, there’s no tugging or fighting as you’d get in a Type R or 308 GTi. That’s a good thing, it’s calm and controlled…but it has a negative effect that I’ll get to later.

As with the Type R you get rev matched downshifting, perfect for posers who can’t heel and toe. It can also be switched off for the more hardened hot hatch aficionado.

The gearbox is nice and tight with a short throw, adding to the well-honed performance aura of the N.

 

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Ride is mind bogglingly good. In ‘N’ mode the trick dampers are near enough solid. You’re bumped up and down in your seat as if sitting in a race car. Switch into ‘Normal’ and 90% of those imperfections are gone. In seconds.

The i30N changes up from track weapon to comfy cruiser in an instant.

There’s the ability to set a ‘custom’ setup, so you can switch the different elements into ‘N’ mode but leave the suspension softer if you desire. Far more pliable than Honda’s simple On or Off R+ button.

The i30N is also pretty nimble, light and balanced. It takes a lot…or a mistake…to get the N to push wide and understeer. When it does, a simple lift will pull the nose back into place. It’s very forgiving and won’t run away with you. The type of car you can safely play around with, it won’t bite.

Through corners the N also stays extremely flat, with just micro levels of pitch and yaw whether on track or on the road. This enables you to get on to the power ridiculously early, having full faith in the diff below to suck you through the corner.

 

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Now for the complaint. Steering feel. Negating torque steer and axle tramp is all well and good, but to do this the steering suffers. There’s little sensation through the wheel. Granted you can place the i30 with ease, but it feels somewhat Playstation…like you’re not actually there.

Turn in isn’t as instantaneous as its competitors either. There’s a fair few degrees to be had off centre before you get a reaction. Again, that’s down to personal preference, a quick, sharp rack can make a car like this feel twitchy and on edge.

Weighting is nice though. In normal mode everything is easy and light, move into N and the weight piles on admirably.

You also get a rather fruity exhaust note. Lifting off at anything over 3,500 RPM results in a double or triple backfired. Partly due to opening valves, and the rest is a fuel drip system that creates the bangs. So it’s manufactured, but it does half sound good.

 

 

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Hyundai i30N Release Date

The i30N officially goes on sale January 4th 2018 here in the UK.

 

Interior

Inside is a much more sedate affair. The only real special additions are the blue stitching on the seats a sparingly small scattering of N badges.

The most important new feature are the light blue driving mode buttons, nestled between the spokes in the wheel.

 

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In the boot you’ll find a removable strut brace behind the rear seats, which is a cool touch. Other than that the N is rather standard i30 on the inside.

A weight saving worth noting however, is that the Performance Pack upgrades the seats to electronic full leather jobbies. But you can downgrade these to fabric, manual ones. In doing so you’ll save roughly 13kg.

 

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Conclusion

It’s rare for a hatch at this price point to have trick adjustable dampers, an electronic diff and an active exhaust system. These are the quarry of £60k performance Audi’s. And yet to undercut the competition it’s surely got to move the game forward, for the better.

Hyundai have undoubtedly made the best all round hot hatch currently on the market. Yes, we wish the steering feel was a little sharper, but that really is the only complaint.

If you’re in the market for a B road blaster that the Misses can also drive around town, the i30N is definitely worth a steer.

Oh, and that 5 year warranty Hyundai are so famed for. Well, that covers track use too. In the PR’s words ‘taking the i30N on track isn’t out of its normal parameters, so of course it’s covered’.

So if you put a con rod through the block at 6,000 RPM coming out of Stowe, Hyundai will pay the bill.

 

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i30N Specification

Engine and Transmission
N
N Performance
2.0 T-GDi – 6 Speed Manual Transmission 2WD (250PS)
2.0 T-GDi – 6 Speed Manual Transmission 2WD (275PS)
Exterior
N
N Performance
18″ Alloy Wheels
19″ Alloy Wheels
Bumper Accents
Bumpers – Body Coloured
Door Mirrors – Black
Exterior Door Handles – Body Coloured
N Exclusive Front and Rear Bumpers
N Exclusive Radiator Grille
Rear Spoiler
Red Brake Caliper
Red Brake Caliper with N logo
Shark Fin Antenna
Window Surround – Black
Interior Styling
N
N Performance
Door Centre Trim – Artificial Leather
Door Sill – N Branded Aluminium
Headlining – Black Cloth
Interior Door Handles – Black
Interior Front Map Reading Light and Sunglasses Holder
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel and Gear Knob
Seating
N
N Performance
Driver’s Seat Electric Adjustments
Driver’s Seat Extendable Seat Cushion (Manual)
Driver’s Seat Height Adjustment (Electric)
Driver’s Seat Lumbar Support (Electric)
Driver’s Seat Memory Function
Front Passenger’s Seat Electric Adjustments
Front Passenger’s Seat Extendable Seat Cushion (Manual)
Front Passenger’s Seat Height Adjustment (Electric)
Front Passenger’s Seat Lumbar Support (Electric)
Head Restraints – Vertical and Horizontal Adjustment (Front)
Rear Seats – Split Folding (60/40)
Seat Trim – Cloth
Seat Trim – Leather (Seat Facings Only)
Ventilation and Visibility
N
N Performance
Automatic Dimming Rear View Mirror
Automatic Headlight Follow-Me-Home Function
Automatic Headlights with Dusk Sensor
Automatic Windscreen Wipers with Rain Sensor
Climate Control with Automatic De-fog System for Front Windscreen
Cornering Lights – Static
Daytime Running Lights – LED
Door Mirrors Puddle Lights
Headlights – LED
Headlights – Smart High Beam
Indicator Lights – Door Mirror (LED)
Interior Lights – Front, Rear and Luggage Compartment
Privacy Glass – Rear Windows and Tailgate
Rear Air Vents – Centre Console
Rear Lights – LED
Rear Windscreen – Heated with Washer
Rear Windscreen Wiper – 1 Speed Non Intermittent
Smoked Tail Lights
Tinted Glass with Windscreen Shade Band
Convenience
N
N Performance
12V Power Outlets in Front Console and Luggage Compartment
Arm Rest – Front with Storage
Arm Rest – Rear with Cup Holders
Cruise Control – Smart Adaptive Speed Control
Cup Holders – Front
Door Mirrors – Electric Adjustment and Heated with Power Folding Function
Door Pockets – Front & Rear
Electric Windows – Front and Rear with Anti-Trap Mechanism and One Touch Control (Driver Window)
Glove Compartment
Intelligent Stop and Go
Parking Brake – Manual
Parking Sensors – Front and Rear
Parking System – Rear Camera and Guidance System
Smart Key – Keyless Entry with Engine Start/Stop Button
Spare Wheel – Emergency Space Saver (Alloy)
Steering Column – Height and Reach Adjustable
Sun Visors – with Driver and Passenger Vanity Mirrors Illuminated
Windscreen Washer Fluid Sensor and Warning Indicator
Technology and Entertainment
N
N Performance
Audio Control with Voice Recognition
Bluetooth® Connectivity with Voice Recognition
Driver’s Supervision Instrument Cluster with LCD Display (4.2″)
Phone Connection – Android Auto™
Phone Connection – Apple CarPlay™
Radio – Digital DAB
Radio – Stereo, RDS with MP3 Compatibility
Speakers – 2 Tweeters, 2 Front, 2 Rear
Steering Wheel Audio, Phone and Cruise Controls
Touchscreen Satellite Navigation (8″) including Traffic Messaging Channel, Mapcare and Live Services
Trip Computer
USB – Centre Console
Wireless Phone Charging Pad
Safety & Security
N
N Performance
Active Head Restraints
Airbag – Front Passenger De-Activation Switch
Airbag – Rollover Sensor (Curtain)
Airbags – Front, Front Side & Curtain Airbags
Alarm and Immobiliser
Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Forward Collision Warning System
Central Locking – Remote Control
Childproof Rear Door Locks
Deadlocks
Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)
Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)
Immobiliser
ISOfix Child Seat Anchorage Points – Rear (outer seats only)
Lane Departure Warning System with Lane Keep Assist (LKAS)
Locking Wheel Nuts
Seatbelt Reminder – Front & Rear
Seatbelts – Height Adjustable Front
Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF)
Speed Sensitive Automatic Door Locking
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Individual Tyre Pressure Display
Performance
N
N Performance
Active Sound Design (Electric)
Active Variable Exhaust System
Aluminium Pedals
Drive Mode Buttons
Electronic Limited Slip Differential
Electronically Controlled Suspension
Launch Control
N Exclusive Rear Diffuser
N Exclusive Sport Cluster
N Exclusive Sports Seats
N Mode Button
Performance Information Display
Performance Tyres – 18″ Michelin PSS
Performance Tyres – 19″ Pirelli P Zero
Rack Motor Driven Power Steering
Reinforced Brakes
Rev-Matching System
Shift Timing Indicator
Torque Vectoring
Twin Exhaust Pipe
Customer Options
N
N Performance
Metallic / Pearl Paint
Warranty
N
N Performance
100% MapCare Programme – 10 years of Map Updates
12 Years’ Anti-Perforation Warranty
Five Year Annual Vehicle Health Checks
Five Year Roadside Assistance
Five Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty

 

i30N Technical Spec

Engine
N
N Performance
Euro Status
EURO 6C
EURO 6C
Type
e-CVVT
e-CVVT
Valve
16
16
Displacement (cc)
1998
1998
Bore & Stroke (mm)
86 x 86
86 x 86
Compression Ratio
9.5
9.5
Max Power (PS/kW)
250 / 183.9 @ 6000 rpm
275 / 202.3 @ 6000 rpm
Torque (Nm/lbs ft)
353 / 260.4 @ 1500 – 4700 rpm
353 / 260.4 @ 1500 – 4700 rpm
0-62mph (seconds)
6.4
6.1
Top Speed (mph)
155
155
Suspension
N
N Performance
Front
Mac.Pherson Strut
Mac.Pherson Strut
Rear
MULTI-LINK
MULTI-LINK
Steering
N
N Performance
System
R-MDPS
R-MDPS
Steering Wheel Lock to Lock Turns
2.14
2.14
Turning Circle (metres)
11.6
11.6
Brake
N
N Performance
System
ABS with front and rear discs diagonally split
ABS with front and rear discs diagonally split
Braking Distance 62 – 0 mph (m)
34.6
34.6
Rear Brake Disc Diameter (mm)
300
314
Front Brake Disc Diameter (mm)
330
345
Dimensions
N
N Performance
Overall Length (mm)
4335
4335
Overall Width (mm) (Excluding Door Mirrors)
1795
1795
Overall Width (mm) (Including Door Mirrors)
Wheelbase (mm)
2650
2650
Weight and Capacities
N
N Performance
Kerb Weight (kg)
1400 – 1480
1429 – 1509
Payload (kg)
470 – 550
441 – 521
Gross Vehicle Weight (kg)
1950
1950
Max Tow Weight (kg) – Braked
1600
1600
Max Tow Weight (kg) – Unbraked
700
700
Gross Train Weight (kg)
3550
3550
Noseweight (kg)
80
80
Max Roof Weight (kg)
80
80
Fuel Tank Capacity (litre)
50
50
N
N
N Performance
Front Tyre
225/40ZR18
Rear Tyre
225/40ZR18
Front Wheel
7.5J x 18 (Alloy)
Real Wheel
7.5J x 18 (Alloy)
Front Track
1557
Rear Track
1566
Overall Height (mm)
1451
Luggage Capacity VDA (litres) – Seats Up
395
Luggage Capacity VDA (litres) – Seats Down
1301
Urban MPG (l/100km)
29.7 (9.5)
Extra Urban MPG (l/100km)
51.4 (5.5)
Combined MPG (l/100km)
40.4 (7.0)
CO2 Emissions (g/km)
159
N Performance
N
N Performance
Front Tyre
235/35 R19
Rear Tyre
235/35 R19
Front Wheel
8.0J x 19 (Alloy)
Real Wheel
8.0J x 19 (Alloy)
Front Track
1556
Rear Track
1564
Overall Height (mm)
1447
Luggage Capacity VDA (litres) – Seats Up
381
Luggage Capacity VDA (litres) – Seats Down
1287
Urban MPG (l/100km)
29.1 (9.7)
Extra Urban MPG (l/100km)
49.6 (5.7)
Combined MPG (l/100km)
39.8 (7.1)
CO2 Emissions (g/km)
163
Performance
N
N Performance
Overboost Torque (Nm/lbs ft)
378 / 278.8 @ 1750 – 3500 rpm
378 / 278.8 @ 1750 – 3500 rpm
Overboost Max Duration (seconds)
18
18
0-50 mph (seconds)
4.6
4.4
50-75 mph (seconds)
5.7
5.6

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By  -  

Owner / Editor of Carwitter – French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter