We had the privilege to spend a few hours with the Hyundai's i30n, courtesy of Ancaster Hyundai Croydon, a car both of us had dreamed of driving or potentially owning one day. To us the i30n is one of the biggest underdogs in the hot hatch market with the general consensus of people preferring to purchase a Golf R or Audi S3, however we feel the i30n deserves a lot more credit especially after spending the day with one. The i30n does everything its competitors can do and even more in some aspects, which is highly impressive when you consider the fact that this is Hyundai's first attempt at a true performance hot hatch. The i30n comes with all the commodities, from a heated steering wheel to comfortable seats, the i30n really does cover everything that its competitors have but for a relatively smaller fee.
As usual before heading to the event both of us had done our research on the car looking up specs and analyzing the technical side of the car, however nothing prepared us for the sheer wealth of technology the car had, the i30n just continued to surprise us. For example the drivers seat has a memory function which returns the seat to your selected driving position once you put the ignition on, or the ability to adjust all the driving characteristics of the car from the touch screen display, for example, the throttle response, how loud you want the exhaust to be or how stiff you want the suspension. Another piece of kit that we found on the car was the ability to have a in car lap timer and g-force display, along with being able to adjust all the cars settings, this really did make the car feel like it belonged on the track, which as we found out is also where Hyundai expect their car to be driven. So Hyundai sell there car with a 5 year warranty plan which includes cover for the race track, which no other companies warranty plans will cover, a big bonus if you are planning on taking the i30n to its spiritual home, on the track.
The i30n felt great to drive as well, the gearbox had a really satisfying mechanical feel to it which gave it a strangely rewarding feeling when you shifted gear. Along with this the car had great steering weight, and was comfortable and easy to drive in the normal and eco driving modes, this to me was another pro compared to the Golf R which has very light steering and through the corners even at low speeds makes you feel on edge. However when you put the i30n into n-power mode the car changes into a different beast altogether, the exhaust becomes like a prowling lion snarling and roaring at every little touch of the throttle, the steering wheel becomes heavier and slightly harder to turn with the suspension seriously being stiffened up. Trust us when we say this you don't want to hit a sleeping policeman with the car in n-power mode.
Our only slight criticisms of the i30n are to do with the styling of the car, we feel the car looks really good but lacks that aggressive nature which a no holds barred track car really should have. Also we feel the car really lacks that star studded quality of the interior compared to the interior from the base i30 with only a few minuet details being changed, and with the touch screen display it looks very messy and a little disorganized however it still functions as it should.
All in all we feel the i30n is one of the best hot hatches on the market for its value, with a full spec i30n coming in at just under £30,000, for a first performance hot hatch Hyundai have done a great job, making sure it does everything its competitors can and more. The i30n truly is the stuff of pure motoring enthusiasts dreams and remains as the car which both of us long to own one day.
So a big thank you to the Ancaster Hyundai Croydon site for allowing us to spend sometime with such a magnificent car and for pulling out all the stops making us feel welcome and taking a genuine interest in our work, it was a privilege to spend the day with the car and you're very friendly sales team.
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