Hyundai i20 N (2021-2024)VerifiedMPN:BC3.V1 Also referred to as: Hyundai i20 N 2023 and Hyundai i20 N 2025.
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The very best FWD small hot hatch you can buyAfter driving an Abarth 500 for the past 10 years, I have a list of improvements I’d like to make to the small hot hatch driving experience. And the i20N address them all and is easily the best small front wheel drive hot hatch you can buy today.
The i20N feels like a quality product. If you go poking around the exterior of this car, you’ll find that the large rear wing refuses to flex, the exhaust exit sits firmly in place and the doors are fairly weighty..
Sure, there are some larger panel gaps noticeable around the hood, however it doesn’... Read moret detract from this little hatch’s appeal. Additionally, there’s a clear absence of any squeaks or rattles, even when traveling over questionable Australian B roads. $32,490 before on-road costs is what you’ll pay for this car. Let me rattle off a few features that I find surprising to find on a car this inexpensive. There’s automatic rev-matching, two 10.25-inch displays, an active valved exhaust, two-piece bucket seats and - who could forget - launch control. Served up with a 5 year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, it’s a standard Hyundai product so far. However, unlike its rivals, you also get a track day warranty accompanying this period. Meaning, you can safely take your car to the track with additional peace of mind. There are shorter service intervals for the i20N, at 10,000km between services versus Hyundai’s normal 15,000km service interval. Under Hyundai’s capped price service program, it’ll cost you $309 a visit over 5 years or 50,000km of driving. Didn’t I get excited when I saw that the i20N featured BOSE speakers on top of what was sure to be an iconic exhaust note, seeing as this is an N car from Hyundai. These speakers deliver a richer and fuller sound than the base speakers Hyundai provides in their vehicles. Although, it does require a little more volume to overcome the roar of those Pirelli tires emanating into the cabin. When cruising, that road noise can become a little too overpowering for some. If you’re cruising in ‘N mode’ with the exhaust valves open, the drone of that engine can become a little intrusive too. This is where the i20N outshines the slightly more powerful Fiesta ST. The larger brakes make all the difference when trail braking into sweeping bends (or avoiding hitting any wildlife on the roads). There was minimal fade experienced after pumping these brakes over a series of twists and bends. Okay, so on paper, I was a little disappointed to see there wasn’t some detuned version of the 2.0L motor stuffed under the bonnet of this little rocket. Instead, there’s a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder unit producing 150kW at 6000rpm and 275Nm between 1750 - 4500rpm. That’s 123.7kW per tonne! I was unsure how this engine was going to perform, as it seemed similar to the 1.6L turbocharged unit found in a few other of Hyundai’s less performance-orientated cars. How wrong I was to think this engine wasn’t going to live up to the N performance name! The sound and rev-happy nature of this particular 1.6L motor was a pleasant surprise. It’s a fulfilling motor that provides peak power close to redline, allowing you to use your entire rev range. 0-100km/h times is claimed to be 6.2 seconds, using launch control. My best attempt saw a time of just over 7 seconds. Obviously I need some more practice getting a decent launch, however, the i20N does feel as every bit fast in a straight line as its power-to-weight ratio would suggest. Only available with a 6-speed manual transmission, the i20N is going to be popular as a new hot hatch, and out in the used market. There’s no automatic version available at launch. It’s a slick-feeling shifter, and provides satisfaction upon every gear selection. On occasion, shifts between 4th to 5th can be a little awkward, but I’m sure you quickly get used to the notch feel. Automatic rev-matching helps blend downshifts, providing a far smoother driving experience compared to manual transmission cars without it. It’s easily toggled on and off, thanks to that giant red ‘Rev’ button on the wheel. Additionally, the location of the shifter, raised and close to the steering wheel, helps with more rapid and effortless gear changes. This is the lead over the i30N that the i20N possesses. As Lotus’ founder would say, “Simplify, then add lightness”. That’s what the i20N is in the N performance line up. It’s nearly 300kg lighter than the i30N, and a whole lot shorter too. Compared to other small hot hatches, it’s wide, low and a little longer than those cars. This provides an exceptional front wheel drive cornering experience. Suspension is firm, but it’s nowhere near backbreaking. It provides plenty of travel to translate a load of road feel through the wheel and chassis of this hatch. Cornering is simply addicting. Pair these sticky Pirelli P Zero tyres with a finely tuned limited slip differential and you have a recipe for success. You could fool some passengers into believing that this is an AWD car as you lay down more power mid-corner. Where most front wheel drive cars would drag their front ends in understeer, the i20N pushes that outside wheel even harder to confidently tackle sweeping bends. Part of the appeal of this particular hot hatch are N-branded buttons on the wheel. They’re customisable buttons that can jump between drive modes, custom modes and N mode. Expect to see higher consumption figures the more you want to enjoy driving this car. Over 700km of driving, I saw an average of around 10L per 100km - a little above the claimed combined figure of 6.9L per 100km. Luckily the i20N can run off 91 octane, allowing you to choose the cheapest petrol for the week compared to some other hot hatches which demand 95 octane and above. Hyundai smashed the interior design of the new i20N. Visually, there’s a lot going on, in a good way. It makes the i20N feel like an upmarket and well thought out product, rather than something that’s based on an economy car. What stands out to me are the long horizontal strikes in the dash, making it appear as if the air vents run the entire width of the car. Additionally, for $32,000, you have two large 10.25-inch digital displays, providing a Mercedes-eque level techno-luxury experience. I’m obsessed with the video game-like graphics that appear on the gauges throughout this car, from the way you can sink your teeth into information like throttle percentage input or what G-Forces you’re pulling in corners through to the Lamborghini-like animations between gear changes. Boot space is rated at a minimum of 310L with all the seats folded up (around 2 medium-sized suitcases). Fold the 60:40 split seats down, you’ll be able to haul up to 1123L of cargo - a practical size that’ll see a set of track tyres fit in the rear. It’s lightweight, it’s packing power in all the right places, it combats understeer like an all-wheel drive car, it’s fully-equipped and it’s priced perfectly in the market. You even get a space saver spare tyre! A necessity as I had to use it after lodging a bolt deep in the rear left tyre after filming this review. It’s a shame that this car won’t hit large markets like the US, as it’d be talked about in the same praise as the Ford Fiesta ST was back in the mid 2010s. The i20N is the car I’d personally buy today, if my job didn’t revolve around swapping and borrowing cars every week. It fixes most of the issues I’ve grown to loathe after owning an Abarth 500 for 11 years. *Disclaimer - I work for ProductReview as their independent car and motorbike expert. I borrow new cars and motorbikes from manufacturers and owners to review. I am not paid or incentivised by these brands to post reviews. I write and create content to provide insight and information about any new or used vehicle I can get my hands on.
What a car!!!I've owned my I20n for almost a year and there's a thrill factor every time I drive it, even at low speed, it hasn't missed a beat, it's economical and it corners with little or no body roll which feels super safe. Best car I've ever owned, a real driver's car but super practical and roomy. I love my I20n!!! Show details
Questions & Answers
How long do the i120n pirelli pzero tyres last?
Hi Edgar, so far I'm at 15,000kms and all is well, but I wouldn't expect to get 30,000-plus out of them. They're still great and I'm a pretty sedate driver, but I have heard that with "spirited" driv... Read moreing 15,000-20,000 is about it. Hope that helps. There's a fantastic group on Facebook of i20N owners and if you're interested in doing a bit of research, they're a gorgeous, helpful group!
Thanks alot this helps
|Front Wheel Drive (FWD)
|Fuel Tank Capacity
|SmartStream G1.6 T-GDi
|150 kW @ 5,500 - 6,000 RPM
|275 Nm @ 1,750 - 4,500 RPM | Overboost: 304 Nm @ 2,000 - 4,000 RPM
|Country of Manufacture
|Android Auto (Wired), Apple CarPlay (Wired), Bluetooth and USB
|Steering Wheel Adjustment
|Halogen and LED
|Auto High-Beam Dip, Auto-Dimming, Automatic On/Off, Cornering and Delayed Off When Parked
|Front and Rear
|Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Forward Collision Warning
|Emergency Lane Keeping (ELK), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
|Speed Sign Recognition
|Yes, read only
|Built-In Navigation System
|Heads Up Display
|Digital Radio (DAB+)
- MPN: BC3.V1
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