The Hyundai i30 N is getting great reviews - but does the badge put you off?

The motoring press have thoroughly enjoyed driving the Hyundai hot hatch at its launch, but would a good review convince you to see past the badge?

3y ago


Hyundai as a brand is doing all the right things - it has grown much in the same way as Kia, starting with low cost, cheap hatchbacks and then slowly working towards an emphasis on quality. Once a standard has been reached, it's then time to bring some pep to the lineup. Like the Proceed GT and Stinger, Hyundai has introduced a performance car to its range through its latest hot hatch.

Standing on the shoulders of its extremely successful World Rally campaign, the i30N is positioned to take on the VW Golf GTI and Honda Civic Type R. But can it shake off its poor badge appeal to become a true player in the hot hatch marketplace?

Hyundai has been outspoken with the fact that its aim was to cram as much performance into the little hatch for as little cost as possible, with the i30 N coming in at a somewhat attractive £24,995. That's for the entry level car, which brings a 247bhp four-pot, an electronic limited-slip differential and three-way adaptive suspension to the table.

The full quoted 271bhp comes with an optional Performance Package, which allows the little Korean to use an overboost function to get to 62mph in 6.1 seconds. That's 0.3 seconds quicker than the standard Golf GTI and essentially matches the top spec (and more expensive) Peugeot 308 GTI.

Sure, the Hyundai lacks a bit of quality compared to its European and Japanese counterparts but with auto rev-matching, a short shifter and a chassis that has been setup to be thrown about with ease, it seems the company's first attempt at a hot hatch has been a true success. It also sits in the middle of the hot hatch power race - it doesn't have the silly power of the Golf R/Focus RS hyper hatches but it does bring more grunt to the party than its similarly priced 'junior' hatch rivals.

The question is, would you actually buy one? Would you walk past a Golf GTI, 308 GTI or Focus ST to buy a car with a Hyundai badge on the grille?

I absolutely would. To me, brand allegiance barely exists in this modern age of motoring, and there's something very attractive about the sudden new kid on the block from such an unassuming brand. In the same way that we all can't wait to see how the Kia Stinger GT shapes up, the Hyundai i30N appears to have won over the hearts of the top motoring journalists.



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Comments (44)

  • First time posting here. And I hope I don't step on anyone's toes... but here goes.

    Schreyer, Donckerwolke, Lee, Leclercq and Loasby. Wanna know what they have in common? They're for the most part, former VW group designers who now work at Hyundai. Schreyer was Audi, Donckerwolke was Bentley and so was Lee. Lee was also responsible for the Camaro's exterior designs (and I think the Camaro is a good looking car) and Leclercq was responsible for BMW's SUV designs. Loasby was also formerly with VW.

    I've read so many comparing Hyundais to Audi's design and concluding that Hyundai is copying established brands when in fact these designers have penned the very cars they're comparing Hyundai to. The new A8? yeah, I don't see the resemblance between that car and the Hyundai Elantra at all. And guess which one came out first. Also, wanna guess who's responsible for tuning their cars? Albert Biermann. Former Chief of Engineering at guess where? BMW M division.

    I own a Hyundai. So credit where it is due and harsh words where they are due. Their paint sucks. Sorry, but I've never seen such weak paint in my life. But that's just about all I can think of (maybe they should poach the paint dude from VW too?).

    I feel for Hyundai cause despite their top ranking in surveys and research as some of the most reliable cars around, people still assume that they're junk without any concrete data to prove it. If we judged "junk" by reliability, I can name more than a couple of German brands that would be junk. I've noticed more than a few people who've actually owned Hyundai/Kias that say without hesitation that they'd own another. But people who've never even bothered to test drive one are the loudest when it comes to concluding otherwise.

      3 years ago
  • 1. Hyundai/Kia are quite the reliable cars, build quality is par with Nissan and Toyota (hell, they look a lot better inside and out lets be real), offer great warranties too. 2. No jap auto maker makes a true hot hatch nowwadys (I´m looking at you Honda, the new Type R is a liftback style that looks more like those "grand coupes" style), 3. While its not as refined as a GTI or a Megane in driving dynamics, its cheaper and its a daily driver. People, nobody drives the Ring everyday, so stop it with "Ring" times already. Having said that, people talk shit about Hyundai and Kia like they all fucking own a Rolls Royce and a Bugatti. Most people drive some boring arse car so stop it. They know they´re an affordable auto brand, anyone who knows half a thing about cars knows that too. If I can afford a GTI (I personally drive an M135i but cars are literally 2x as expensive here as anywhere else, that´s an 82k USD car brand new here) I will buy the GTI, but if I´m a 20 something guy who wants a reliable hot hatch and can´t afford premium prices, this is a great option. I for one cheer for the new i30 and the Kia Stinger GT.

      3 years ago
    • And, that seems to be a problem... 20+ year old probably doesn't have that money... if it's not the case, than father probably would spend more money for... GTi... Quite honestly, few years ago I tried i30 turbo...contemplating to buy it. It...

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        3 years ago
    • There’s a big different between maintaining a used BMW than a full warranty new Hyundai. Buying a car is only half the issue, it’s keeping it running properly as a daily driver.

        3 years ago
  • I don't know about Europe, but in North America Hyundais have nicer rides and handling feel than Toyotas and VWs. Couple that with the lower price and better equipment, yeah I might buy it over a Focus ST. But it all comes down to how it drives.

      3 years ago
  • No competition for the type r, the golf r or the focus rs,but it looks fine and I thinks its definitely a competive car in the second league of hot hatches

      3 years ago
    • I still can't justify the hot hatch trend pricing over a cheaper and better performing sports coupe.

        3 years ago
  • I have a mk7 Golf GTI, I want one of these

      3 years ago


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