Hyundai i30 N review - performance and 0-60 time

Some rivals are quicker, both on paper and in the real world, but it’s certainly not slow

Evo rating
Price
from £25,995
  • Enthusiastic and hard-hitting yet balanced and engaging, the i30 N does it all
  • Engine still lacks true sparkle; still heavier than ideal

If there is a weak point within the i30 N’s dynamic package it’s the Theta turbocharged engine. It’s not a slow car, far from it, but compared to the engines found in rivals the 2-litre four-cylinder can be a little flat. While it revs cleanly to its red line, it doesn’t have the top-end enthusiasm of units found in the Mégane RS and Civic Type R, and it also lacks the huge mid-range punch of the latest Focus ST. The extra power is nigh on impossible to feel, but the extra torque does make its presence known, albeit at a slightly higher point in the rev band than before.

The engine’s relative lack of sophistication is partly due to its fairly humble beginnings in American-market midsize saloons and SUVs, making this feel like a potent engine put into a small car, rather than one designed specifically for the job.

Performance on paper is strong enough though, breaking the 155mph mark having passed 62mph in 5.9sec. Not class-leading but on the money with its rivals. In our own performance testing we recorded a pre-facelift i30 N Performance at 60mph in 6.6sec, and 100mph in 14.9sec. DCT models take a huge 0.5sec off the 0-62mph time, down to 5.4sec, the difference on account of not just the faster shift times, but also its shorter gearing.

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