Is the Hyundai i30 Sedan N efficient?
Not many people buy a performance sedan expecting frugal fuel economy. The i30 Sedan N doesn’t disappoint, though it averaged 8.2 litres/100km - with either transmission - under the combined fuel cycle.
Expect to see real-world 10s, climbing to 15L/100km if you have a serious crack at your favourite back road (all while maintaining the posted speed limit). The engine note doesn’t sound particularly impressive inside the cabin but is much more resonant for passers-by, especially when it pops and crackles on a downshift.
How does the Hyundai i30 Sedan N drive?
The i30 Sedan N rolls on a unique chassis and it is the best Hyundai performance model the company has delivered to date.
The front end - where all the weight of the engine resides - is a well-executed evolution of the i30 N hatch platform and results in a more convincing and communicative drive.
Head office in South Korea has allowed Hyundai’s local product development manager Tim Rodgers to tweak the algorithms that govern the adaptive suspension for local conditions.
He has adapted roll and rebound to cater for our potholed and patchy bitumen and the result is a vehicle that - in comfort mode - deals with some of the gnarliest B-roads our local government departments are prepared to invest cash on.
The grip is aided and abetted by Michelin rubber, which clings like a distressed toddler to their parent. I suspect replacing them won’t be cheap but, hey, it’s your baby so price won’t be an issue.
Flip the car into Sport mode and the ride isn’t as composed over back roads but is a great match for smoother surfaces
Hyundai has also installed a pair of “N” buttons on the steering wheel, letting owners adjust engine and transmission power with steering and suspension response. Wind the first two up to max and softer the latter duo and you have a car that can outrun most while still being amenable enough to not upset your child’s sleep.
Should I buy one?
Yes. Providing you are prepared for entry and exit to the low-slung sedan driving position, the i30 Sedan N is the most versatile performance vehicle Hyundai has produced.
The space in the boot and space in the rear make it a serious proposition as a weekday commuter, while the mechanicals under the floor and bonnet make it a genuine performance vehicle that can do the job on a track or a back road.
Hyundai i30 N Kona
So you want a quick Hyundai but aren’t prepared to stoop to an i30 Sedan N. The company has you covered in the form of the Kona N.
Even Rodgers can’t rewrite the rules of physics, so the Kona’s higher centre of gravity means it can’t match the sedan in outright performance, but he has fettled the machine to fuse practicality with the potential for serious fun.
The Kona N comes in two flavours, neither of them vanilla. The base car is fitted with a 10.25-inch LCD touchscreen, digital radio, eight-speaker Hamon Kardon sound system, 19-inch alloy wheels with premium Pirelli P-Zero tyres, an electronically controlled limited-slip differential and impressive 360mm ventilated front brakes.
Priced from $47,500 before on-road costs, buyers can add metallic paint for $595 of the matte gold finish for $1,000.
Another $3,000 will put you behind the leather-wrapped wheel of a Premium version, which adds powered leather front seats with heating and ventilation, a sunroof, front parking sensors and an electro-chromatic (auto-dimming) rear mirror, which should be mandatory for all new vehicles.