The Ford Focus ST is the go to in this sector but doesn't come close to the i30N as a driver's car.

★★★★★ Hyundai i30N – The wild child

What Have We Got

Hyundai have quite the Motorsport pedigree, particularly in rallying. They’ve made some pretty tasty toad cars too, remember the Hyundai Coupe? This is one of the latest fast Hyundai’s, the i30N. It’s a 2.0 litre T-GDi turbocharged 247bhp, popping, banging, hard edged hot hatch.

This is a serious car, in race mode, it is a single-minded weapon, very capable, yet in normal mode, it’s a pussycat. It’ll take you to Waitrose to do the weekly shop, put a smile on your face on the daily commute or let you thrash it around any race track you can think of all day long.


If I said it’s an exhilarating drive it would be an understatement. Hyundai have gone to town with multi-link rear suspension, electronic differential, extra strengthening of the chassis and electronically adjustable suspension. That means at the press of a button it transforms from a fast but subtle hatch in to a serious tool for going fast. The change is dramatic, very firm suspension and man it sticks to the road. It’s a superb drivers car. One of our all time favourites. Where a focus ST would be spinning wheels and understeering, this i30N is manic, single minded, and very very good.


The car has a high level of standard equipment with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, Qi wireless charging and several USB charging ports. There’s a 5-inch centre infotainment screen with sat nav and a host of safety features as you would expect on a modern car; from high beam assist, to lane-keep assist, collision and driver attention warnings, plus camera-assisted speed limit warning and more.

The interior is very cool. Solid, well built with quality materials and supportive bucket seats.  Choose your drive mode with the button beside the ‘N’ steering wheel; Normal, Eco, Sport modes, and enjoy. You could always opt for race mode if you really want to have fun.

Living with it

In race mode, the i30N is pretty extreme and I don’t think I could live with it every day. Good job you don’t have to. In normal or comfort mode it really is a pussycat and a real pleasure to drive. This car feels like an extension of you. There’s good visibility, it’s practical and not bad on fuel if you take it easy. You don’t attract too much attention, just the right amount, and where brand image may have been an issue a few years ago, you don’t need to worry now, you’ll get admiring looks wherever you go in the i30N.


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The Verdict

The Ford Focus ST is the go to in this sector but doesn’t come close to the i30N as a driver’s car.

With the electronic suspension and drivers modes, you really can have your cake and eat it. Soften it up for the daily commute and at the press of a button, it’s popping and banging when you lift off and acting like a track car on the road. It’s fantastic to drive. This is the 250ps version but there is an even wilder version; the i30N performance, with 275ps and even more toys.



Awesome Chassis

Brilliant manual gearbox

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Too conservatively styled?

Can’t help myself misbehave

People still buy Focus ST’s!!

Car – Hyundai i30N 250
Price – From £25,760
MPG – 39.8 mpg
0-62 – 6.4s
Power – 247 bhp – 353 Nm torque
Top Speed – 155 mph

About the author: Mark Turner
Journo @ Blacktopmedia & freelance for various digital & print publications & some corporate mags. Big petrol head, particularly bikes!