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Hyundai i30 N (2018 - 2024) – design

Less expressive than Hyundai’s newer designs; its last update sharpened everything up without fundamentally changing too much

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

The N’s exterior design is a similar story to the inside, as fundamentally it is sound, bar some well-placed and well-integrated modernisations. At the front, the previous i30 N’s theme is continued, but the lines and junctions sharpened right up. There are no longer the lower-mounted DRLs and indicators, these having been integrated into the headlights.

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The wheels are a 19-inch design that crucially are forged and therefore both weigh less and look more racy. They’re less stylised than before, with a graphite finish replacing the chunky diamond-cut design, and with the thinner spokes you also get a clearer look at the chunky brake package behind.

The rear end is more of the same. LED clusters look cleaner and sharper, the lower valance is slightly bigger and the huge exhaust pipes are more expensive looking with their thin-gauge steel tips. The triangular third brake light remains – that’s a win – and so too the Performance Blue hero colour.

Despite its age, the i30 N didn't look like a car in its fifth year of production, but rivals including the VW Golfs look sharper still (their actual competency notwithstanding), while for ultimate hot hatchback kudos the Honda Civic Type R looks to be writing its wrongs with a brutish and brilliant new look.

> Honda Civic Type R (FL5) review

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