By Samuel Smith
Last updated on: November 15, 2019 at 2:30 am
Hyundai’s hot hatch was able to fend off the competition for a repeat win – a respectable feat when you look at the quality of the finalists.
Winner: Hyundai i30 N Performance
Variant: N Performance
Engine: 2.0 litre petrol turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual
ANCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars
Second place went to the Honda Civic Type R and the Volkswagen Golf GTI placed third.
What sets it apart from the rest
Hyundai Australia knows our unique road conditions don’t suit Euro-developed suspension set-ups, and they have spent countless hours fine-tuning and recalibrating settings, focusing on providing a more forgiving ride.
This has paid dividends and the i30 N rates highly compared to some of its hard-riding Euro rivals in the category. The compliant ride doesn’t compromise the i30 N’s handling attributes, where it remains one of the best.
Its rack-mounted electric steering, multi-adjust suspension, electronic limited slip differential and sticky performance tyres work in harmony, delivering a precise, balanced feel through corners, which road irregularities or mid-corner bumps fail to upset.
- Suspension specially tuned for Australian roads
- A grunty 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine
- Sporty feel with menacing exhaust note
- Hyundai’s renowned value for money
- A class-leading factory warranty
- Exceptional overall performance
What it’s like to drive
Providing the necessary grunt is a 2.0 litre turbo 4-cylinder engine producing 202kW and 353Nm, with an extra 25Nm available with overboost. Maximum torque is made from a low 1450rpm and the engine’s power delivery is seamless in building all the way to 5000rpm.
The i30 N comes to life when you choose the more aggressive drive mode option, and the exhaust delivers the mechanical cacophony enthusiasts love.
While many hot hatches are increasingly equipped with dual clutch transmissions and paddle shifts, the i30 N’s 6-speed manual is a stellar performer. It’s quick to shift between gears with the aid of a short throw lever and lightly weighted feel, which the clutch also shares in its operation.
How the finalists compared (scores for each category from 1-10)
|Sports cars under $62,000||Hyundai i30 N Performance||Honda Civic Type R||Volkswagen Golf GTI|
|Cost of depreciation ($)||8||2||5|
|Running & repair costs||3||1||4|
|Warranty & dealer access||8||7||7|
|Build & finish quality||7||7||8|
|Smoothness & quietness||6||6||7|
Images: Mark Rogers, Magnum Photography Australia