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First Drive

First Drive: Hyundai i30 N-Line

The story:
Having successfully launched its much acclaimed first tilt at a hot hatch, the i30 N, Hyundai has now backed it up with a sporty trim level for a more sedate engine offering.
Category:Lower medium
Key rival:Ford Focus
Hyundia i30 N
Emissions: 123g/km
On sale:Now

The Hyundai i30 N surprised hot hatch fans last year by being up with the best in class, when it would have been understandable if it were simply a credible first effort.

But there was no link to the rest of the range, hence the new N-Line trim level, which is being introduced firstly on the i30.


N-Line is offered with only the 1.4-litre 140hp petrol engine, and comes with six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT automatic transmission options.

First Drive 2018 - Hyundai i30 N - Image 1The N-Line has significantly smarter looks, with the front and rear bumpers shared with the performance i30 N model, as well as twin exhausts, 18-inch alloys, sports seats and steering wheel. There’s also an N-Line + trim, which adds heated electric suede sports seats, dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, LED headlamps and auto wipers.

All N-Line models get changes to the suspension, brakes and engine response to enhance the driving experience.

The firmer ride is certainly noticeable, but the sports seats and wheel are both nice, and there are some good details such as the ‘N’ branding on the gear lever.


First Drive 2018 - Hyundai i30 N - Image 5The 1.4 turbo engine delivers decent performance, given the emissions figures of 133g/km for the manual, and 4g/km less for the auto, and there’s a pleasant feel to the manual gear lever when shifting.

It’s a car designed to have the “show without the go”, as Hyundai’s UK boss Tony Whitehorn describes it, and in the main it works. There could maybe have been more visual enhancements, but it’s a smart-looking link between regular i30s and the 275hp hot hatch.

Paul Barker





The verdict

Looks good, but it’s a shame it’s not available with a wider engine range.