WHAT WE LIKE: roominess; performance, handling, and driveability; value for money.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: second row lacks a few creature comforts; suspension is stiff; powered passenger seating missing; needs better ambient lighting.
It’s a strange and unusual thing when the whole team at the office wants to drive the same car. Literally every hand went up when the boss dropped the stick shift version of the 2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N Premium on the list.
There’s a good reason for that. The sleek and sporty i30 Sedan N is striking from first sight, thanks to its sculpted body lines, functional aerodynamics, aggressive design elements and 19-inch intricate alloys that complete the package.
The subtle N logos which adorn the i30 Sedan hint ‘beware’ to unsuspecting road users. Not that we condone or endorse it in uncontrolled environments, but, on a racetrack or drag strip this baby can hold its own.
The interior is just as impressive too. There’s very little subtlety either, and as family friendly as this car is, the gorgeous leather appointed steering wheel, gear knob and sport seats with extended bolsters, continue the N trend.
Everything just feels like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, making it perfect for selling it to your partner as a family car. The driver’s seat is 10-way power adjustable (including 2-way lumbar support), with manual adjustment for the front passenger.
That’s a bit of a disappointment for co-pilots, but the wireless charging pad, 12V outlet, two USB ports, and USB multimedia input should make up for it. A heated steering wheel, and heated and ventilated front seating add to the list of front row goodies.
Second row seating is roomy and comfortable, and child seats (ISOFIX is included) or three passengers wouldn’t present a challenge. But with all this space, there are only directional air vents and door bin bottle holders back there (along with a single netted pocket).
We’re sure some USB ports, a centre armrest with cupholders or even ambient lighting would go a long way to making it a bit more user friendly. Back up front, the 10.25-inch touchscreen display features AM/FM, DAB+ digital radio, Bluetooth and satellite navigation.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also present. You also get an ‘N Supervision cluster’ with a trip computer, oil temperature, torque and turbo boost gauges, a G-force meter, lap timer and digital speedometer.
Oh, and you get a ‘mystery circle’ design on the right of the steering wheel. Our best guess has it doing nothing, and we couldn’t find anywhere to tell us what its purpose was. An 8-speaker Bose premium sound system will satisfy your audio needs.
That is of course only if you get tired of the snap, crackle and pop from the exhaust system. The 464-litres of boot space is good for groceries and prams too.
But it’s on the road where the i30 Sedan N shines, and if you can look past the firm ride from the electronically controlled suspension, you will soon realise that everything about this car is intentional.
The purposeful aero that provides air flow, reduced drag and improved downforce make up a set of design elements that lead to an enhanced driving experience. The electronic limited slip diff doesn’t hurt anything either.
No matter where you’re headed, this go fast Hyundai will have you forgetting petrol prices and taking the most scenic route. Built to perform, it offers precise and responsive cornering, a firm yet sturdy ride and an exhaust note that matches its demeanour.
Other than some very minor oversteer and tyre chirps, it is very easy to forget it’s a FWD vehicle too. You show the i30 Sedan N a corner, and it says “how fast did you want me to take it?”, or at least that’s what it feels like. Such is the car’s persona.
The 2.0-litre in-line 4-cylinder twin-scroll turbocharged engine plays a sweet symphony as it uses its full 206kW of power and 392Nm of torque, right through its rev range. Hyundai claims 8.2-litres/100km. We saw a best of 10.4 and a worst of 12.2.
The 6-speed manual gearbox, matched with Hyundai’s automatic rev matching technology, is super smooth and will have you shifting like a seasoned road warrior. Be warned though, you’ll find it hard to resist any driving mode other than the completely performance focused N.
There is Eco, Normal Sport, and two Custom varieties as well, but really, who cares. It’s also worth a word of warning that the sounds of artillery fire from the active variable exhaust can cause negative reactions from unsuspecting bystanders. It will make you giggle, every time it happens though.
There’s something quite cool about knowing you can unleash hell at the push of a button. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber and N-branded brake callipers really prove their worth too, especially when pushing your driver ability boundaries.
Performance is nothing without safety though, and the i30 Sedan N is equipped with Hyundai’s SmartSense advanced driver assistance technology, including high beam assist, blind spot collision avoidance, lane keep assist, and all the other usual suspects.
There are a bunch of cool colours to choose from, including the Cyber Grey of our tester and the iconic N Performance Blue, and it also comes loaded with a body kit, stunning LED lighting and an N diffuser with a triangular rear fog lamp.
Interior wise, black is all you get and need, the coloured stitching, along with the N dark metal painted inserts. Getting in a 2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N Premium will set you back $53,254 drive away. Add the sunroof and that bumps up to $55,354.
It’s a good family friendly car, more so than the hatch, some might say, that just happens to have a wild side. Put simply, the 2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N Premium makes a great daily driver, that will satisfy your need for speed cravings.