2022 Hyundai i30 Review: 2.0L Turbo

  Colin Windell


 19 May, 2022

The Hyundai i30 N is sporty enough in looks, it is never showy, brash, or ‘in-your-face’ but, when put into an angry mode, explodes with power, aggression, and purpose capable of shaping ‘Wow’ lips on even the most jaded back road speedster.

Carshop Likes:
 ...and more

Carshop Dislikes:
 The constant comparisons to the Golf GTI
 No adaptive cruise control

There was a great writer of cowboy novels named JT Edson whose hero character through many, many books was one Dusty Fogg, a ‘short-growed’ man lightning quick on the draw but also trained in the martial arts – so when picked on as often happened, and he slapped his aggressor silly, the writer would often refer to Fogg as having ‘become the biggest man in the room’. 

The Hyundai i30 N has been enhanced with a new design focused on performance, emotion, and statement.

Eye-catching 235/35/ R19 Alloy Wheels

It is a hot hatch and rides on 235/35/ R19 tyres. So, the compromise for the exhilarating performance is a very choppy ride on urban thoroughfares with the low profiles absorbing little of the bumps even with the car in Normal mode.


And, to address the elephant in the room, it does butt heads with the Volkswagen Golf GTi, the MINI John Cooper Works Hatch and the Mercedes-Benz A200 AMG Line – however, it has more power, more torque, is faster to 100 km/h and tops out at 250 km/h, matched only the Golf.

Hyundai refers to the i30 N as a ‘Corner Rascal’ with the N logo symbolising a chicane, the part of the track where the i30 N achieves maximum traction, precision and feeling.

The aerodynamic design of the i30 N reduces lift to keep the body firmly on the road when maximum traction is required. The N Corner Carving Differential, an Electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD), enhances grip and improves maximum cornering speed, and the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can be switched off completely for maximum freedom.

What the Hyundai 130 engine gives you

It is motivated by a 2,0-litre turbocharged engine that delivers 206 kW at 5 5000 r/min and 392 Nm torque from 2 100 r/min, driving through a new N DCT eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that enables a range of high-performance driving features.

Unlike a dual-clutch transmission, which runs without oil or is dry, the wet-type N DCT uses two electrical oil pumps to reduce the amount of friction between the moving parts and cool off the clutch, thus allowing a higher amount of torque to transfer through the gearbox. 

Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h comes up in 5,4 seconds (with Launch Control), an improvement of 0,2 seconds or 3% compared to the previous model.

The N DCT feature permits a proper manual mode and shifts gears either by using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel or the gear stick. However, this mode does not allow an automatic upshift at the highest RPM.

The paddle shifters allow the driver to shift gears without taking their hands off the steering wheel for an even sportier experience. If the driver decides to use the gear lever instead, the gear lever comes with sporty shifting logic: to downshift, push forward, upshift, and pull back.

Hyundai’s i30 N has been enhanced with a new design focused on performance, emotion and statement - for the first time, the upgraded i30 N will be available with N DCT – an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission which offers paddle shifters and enables three new N performance functions for an even sportier driving experience.

Hot hatch interior design

For the first time with i30 N, the N DCT enables three new N performance functions: N Power Shift, N Grin Shift, and N Track Sense Shift.

N Power Shift (NPS) engages when the car accelerates with more than 90% of throttle, mitigating any reduction in torque during upshifts to deliver maximum power to the wheels.

N Grin Shift (NGS) maximises engine and DCT performance for 20 seconds. The car will shift to the lowest available gear to get maximum acceleration – the grin part. After the boost, drivers must wait approximately 40 seconds to use it again. 

Taking the Hyundai i30 N to the track

N Track Sense Shift (NTS) optimises adaptive shift for racetrack driving and automatically recognises when the conditions are optimal for dynamic driving on a racetrack and activate automatically. Based on motorsport data combined with the driver’s behaviour, the car selects the right gear and shift timing in sport driving conditions to provide optimal performance.

This is quite a clever system and generally works faster than most people can flick their fingers on the paddle shifters, with the car adapting to throttle, steering and braking inputs all quite seamlessly.

If this sounds a little like a ‘nanny’ system, believe it is not. It was designed into the car to allow the driver maximum focus on attacking the twisties, needing only to concentrate on steering, braking and the point-and-squirt that makes hot hatches so much fun.

In Normal mode and doing the test route round of the city, urban and highway driving, the i30 N returned 9,1 l/100 km, which is slightly more than claimed and is higher even then (by a small amount) than the opposition products previously mentioned.

Expect, however, to be led astray by the little go-faster devil on your shoulder – at which point fuel consumption bets are off.

Dimensions and suspension 

The new suspension settings include a 1,5-degree negative camber, new dampers, new springs, new bump stops, and an adjusted kinematic layout. The weight saved through the 19-inch forged alloy wheels results in better performance and handling, and the front brake disc size added a few from 345 mm to 310 mm. 

Interior and functions

Since the i30 N will spend most of its time in mundane driving activities of going to work, the shops and the like, Hyundai has included a good selection of features for the occupants, all standard and avoiding the optional add-ons favoured by some other automakers.

Modern dash and tech features

The specific N mode screen menu offers customisable settings for the engine, suspension, steering, differential, transmission Rev matching, exhaust sound and stability control and it comes with a 10,25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a wireless charging pad.

Safety and driving assistance

The SmartSense active safety feature has upgraded its functions. You can now:

  • Avoid head-on collisions with the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Keep pedestrians safe with the pedestrian detection (FCA-P) feature
  • Stick to your lane with the Lane Following Assist (LFA)
  • Change lanes with ease with the Blind-Spot Collision-avoidance Assist (BCA-R)
  • Back up without worry with the Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-avoidance Assist (RCCA) and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW)
  • Fatigue Detection/Driver Attention Warning (DAW) monitors driving eligibility

There are two front and two side crash bags for the driver and front passenger and curtain bags extending to the rear seats with a knee bag for the driver.

All rear seats have 3-point safety belts and ISOFIX child seat anchoring points on the outer seats.

Maintenance and warranty information

As part of the standard package, the customer also gets Hyundai’s 7-year/200 000 km manufacturer warranty, a 5-year/75 000 km service plan and roadside assistance for 7-years or 150 000 km. 

Did I mention something about ‘the biggest person in the room’?


R749 900,00
2,0-litre inline 4-cylinder, turbo-petrol
206 kW
392 Nm
8-speed automated dual-clutch
Wheels Front
5,4 sec
Top Speed 
250 km/h
Average Fuel Consumption 
8,9 l/100 km (claimed)
CO2 Emissions 
191 g/km

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Find the keys to your dream
Hyundai i30

2013 1.6 GLS Premium

R 120,000

2016 1.6 GLS Premium

R 199,990

2021 N 2.0 TGDI

R 599,890

2021 N 2.0 TGDI

R 629,990

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