Hyundai has recently debuted the Hyundai i30, the first model from the automaker’s N performance brand. The N stands for both the brand’s home in Namyang, South Korea, and its foreign outpost at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The i30 N is considered a success for Hyundai given its great value, keen sense of style, and pleasing chassis and drivetrain. Though Hyundai still somewhat struggles for mainstream acceptance when compared to Volkswagen, Peugeot and Renault, it’s slowly overcoming its low-cost image. Hyundai has also added the i30 Fastback N to its i30 N range. The hatchback has notably improved its suspension.
The i30 comes with a two-liter engine and a six-speed gearbox and features outstanding brakes at every trim level with good pedal feel. Because it was developed at Nürburgring, where road testing is painstaking, the i30 performs extremely well on the road as long as drivers avoid racy suspension settings. It also enjoys precise steering and positive balance.
The difference in price between the i30 N and the i30 N Performance is an estimated $3,000. Standard equipment for all cars includes distinctive N body styling, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, sports seats, CarPlay and Android Auto integration, navigation and variable driving modes. The Performance features leather-trimmed, electrically adaptable sports seats as well as an array of mechanical upgrades, such as an electronically coordinated limited-slip diff, 19-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli P Zero tires, larger brakes and a functioning exhaust.
The new Fastback is also distinguished for its connectivity. To allow drivers to continually charge their phones, the i30 Fastback provides a wireless inductive charging pad (Qi standard) for mobile phones and a USB port located in the center console. The navigation system features a seven-year free subscription to LIVE services, which offer updated information in real time: weather, traffic, speed cameras and online searches for points of interest. The navigation system also includes 3D maps and can display photos when connected to an USB stick.
The i30 N Performance compares to the Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance and Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport, though the Golf and Peugeot are more understated in terms of styling and the Peugeot is a bit faster, though testers have noted that nothing beats the i30 N when it comes to fun.
Though the Fastback doesn't currently have any direct rivals, it is on trend for what manufacturers are calling "four-door coupes."