We've driven both "standard" and Performance Pack versions of the Hyundai i30N. What are the differences? Find out in 2.5 minutes...
Until a few months ago, if someone asked you to name a brand of performance hot hatch, Hyundai wouldn’t have even begun to cross your mind. Now, well, it might be slightly different.
To create the i30N Hyundai hired former Chief Engineer of BMW’s M-Division, Albert Biermann, handed him the existing i30 C-segment hatchback and a bucket of money with the instruction to go and do his stuff.
The results are the i30N and the i30N Performance Pack. Both models share the relocated steering rack, electronically controlled suspension, a multiplicity of drive modes, rev-matching and the N-specific body kit as well as the 2-litre turbocharged engine.
The Performance Pack adds a further 25 metric horses to the 250 of the standard motor, bigger 8Jx19 inch wheels instead of 7.5x18, bigger front brakes, a slightly different exhaust system, the E-diff electronic differential and a heated leather interior. Both versions deliver 353Nm of torque and are limited to about 150 miles per hour. The Performance Pack will shave 0.3 seconds off the N’s 6.4 second 0-62mph though, so there is that.
Power delivery isn’t quite what you’d expect, being almost linear and more akin to a straight six than a turbo’d four cylinder. If you’re looking for hooliganism, it can be found via the driving modes. There are many, but you soon realise that few will see any regular use. We found the best for daily use was Comfort with rev matching turned on, that configuring everything to “Sport” apart from Comfort suspension was the best for “driving with intent” on British roads and that N Performance is only suited for use on the track. An Eco mode exists, but merely to dull throttle response - on motorway cruises it’s no different to Comfort.
Ride comfort varies between the two models. The 18-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Sports of the N give a more compliant ride than the 19 inch Pirelli P-Zeros of the Performance Pack.
Still, the N will comfortably cruise across Europe in 3-figures and record extremely reasonable fuel consumption while doing so. CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and the cabin; comfortable sports seats, steering wheel and gear knob aside; has all the same virtues as the standard i30 which we’ve discussed before.
The exterior has an N-specific body kit that’s remarkably honest. Where something looks like a scoop or a vent, it is, and where there are spoilers, they provide downforce. Unless you specify Performance Blue - yes, that is for Performance Pack cars only - then the overall look is somewhat subtle.
The i30N is keenly priced against its competitors, some £6,000 cheaper than the nuttier Civic Type-R and £4,000 cheaper than the base Golf GTi at £25,010 with the Performance Pack model having a £3,000 premium over the base. Which to choose? Well, we recommend trying both before you decide but feel that Hyundai’s 1,000 i30N-per-year target is conservative.
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