The hot hatch fold may be facing a significant decline as more patrons choose SUVs over small cars but if we are honest, they still make sense and knowing South Africans, the market is still there for them.

An example is the Hyundai i30 N which is simply an answer to Volkswagen Golf GTI, Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane R.S.

Previously, the Hyundai i30 N was only available with a six-speed manual transmission and for the 2022 model year, the Korean carmaker is introducing a refreshed model that comes with it a DCT automatic gearbox.

On the Outside

The exterior of the new Hyundai i30 N features a sporty and aggressive stance that comes in the form of a black bezel of the enhanced headlights with v-shaped daytime running lights. The front boasts an N signature imprinted on the grille, fresh air inlets on both sides on the front bumper for extra cooling of the brakes and aerodynamics plus a front splitter.

The rear comes fitted with V-shaped LED combi lights, rear wing spoiler and side fins with air curtains for improved airflow. There are two large exhaust pipes that are integrated into the lower bumper diffuser as well as a triangular rear fog light integrated into the middle of the rear bumper.

The new i30 N comes in five exterior colours, including Performance Blue, which is exclusive to Hyundai N models (As shown). The other exterior colours are Atlas White; Engine Red; Dark Knight; and Phantom Black. The Hyundai i30 N runs on newly developed 19-inch forged alloy wheels that are 14.4 kg lighter than those fitted in the previous model. The alloys are home to N specific red brake callipers with the N logo.

Hyundai I30 N Interior

On the Inside

Inside, the new Hyundai i30 N comes fitted with an N steering wheel that incorporates a driving mode button as well as a chequered flag N button for the N model. The steering wheel boasts an N unique blue stitching and is garnished with an N logo at the bottom.

There is a lap and accelerator time for those track days. The infotainment system consists of a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity plus a wireless charging pad. The interior is further fitted with a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, sporty metal pedals and Performance Blue stitching. The interior comes in one-tone Black with artificial suede and leather seats.

Powertrain and Performance

Powering the new i30 N is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that sends 206 kW and 392 Nm to the front wheels. Compared to the outgoing manual i30 N, the torque has been raised by a significant 39 Nm.

The i30 N wields an eight-speed DCT transmission enough to catapult the hot hatch from a standstill to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds – 0.2 seconds quicker than its manual forebear. The top speed is capped at 250 km/h.

Safety

In terms of safety, the i30 N is fitted with Hyundai SmartSense active safety and driver assistance features that include forward collision avoidance assist, lane following assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance assists and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance with pedestrian detection. There’s also lane following assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, blind-spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision warning, fatigue detection/driver attention warning, airbags plus ISOFIX child seat anchorage points.

Pricing, Warranty and Service Plan

The Hyundai i30 N carries a recommended retail price of R749,900 and comes standard with the brand’s 7-year / 200 000 km manufacturer warranty, a 5-year / 75 000 km service plan and roadside assistance for 7 years or 150 000 km.

What We Like: Fun to drive, makes a sensible buy

What We Don’t Like: Firm ride may not be everyone’s favourite

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