If you’re anything like me, then you would also love to own a hot hatch or a sports car of some description.
However, the sad reality is that these sorts of cars quickly move on from the honeymoon period into a land of resentment, due to the compromises they make in the name of performance.
Sure, it’s fun purchasing these performance cars and getting that first big drive or track day under your belt. But as soon as Monday comes around, you’re all of a sudden realising that for daily driving, your new vehicle might not have been the best choice.
On the other hand, you also don’t want to drive something that is soul-crushingly boring, all in the name of practicality.
Hyundai offers both a full ‘N’ performance i30, and also this, the i30 N Line. It takes a few sporty cues both superficially and under the bonnet to try and provide a cost-effective but fun-to-drive ‘warm hatch’ - not quite a full ‘hot hatch’.
I took this Hyundai i30 N Line manual home for a week to see if you could get the best of both worlds.
Build Quality4.3 out of 5.
I was thoroughly impressed with the build quality of Hyundai’s popular mid-sized hatchback.
Sure, you’re immediately going to notice a lot of cheaper materials, however it’s just cheaper to touch - the actual fit and finish on the inside is well executed.
The major touch points, like the doors, shifter and steering wheel are all dressed in soft leather which feels premium, and helps justify a price increase over the cheaper models.
Seats were the highlight here, with an N badge embossed into the backrest, helping lift the overall sporty feel of this interior.
On the outside, the main quirk was the panel gap between the bonnet and front bumper that was filled in with a rubber gasket, something found on all i30’s of this generation. Not a negative aspect, however it doesn’t scream accuracy in panel fitment on the outside.
Value for Money4.5 out of 5.
The i30 range starts off at $25,490 drive away, whereas the i30 N Line hatch starts from $33,112.
The range can go all the way up to the i30 N-Line Premium, which maxes out at $38,056 (before you’re shopping for the far more expensive and more powerful i30N).
For your money, you’re getting an interior and exterior upgrade from the N department, with sporty front grills, side skirts, grippy Michelin tires, upgraded wheels and a dual exit exhaust.
On the inside, there are N-inspired bucket seats, steering wheel, pedals, shifter and floor mats. There’s also a 8-inch centre infotainment paired with a half analogue, half digital driver’s display.
Finally, it’s topped off with 150kW, 265Nm from a 1.6L petrol four cylinder and sports-tuned suspension.
For $33,112, it’s a great deal for those who want a bit more power and sporty flair packaged into a medium sized hatch. However, you’ll have to pay a little extra if you don’t like driving a stick.
Maintenance4.2 out of 5.
Hyundai ships the i30 N Line with a 5 year/unlimited km warranty.
Servicing for the i30 can be prepaid up to 5 years or up to 50,000kms, costing a total of $1,385 for 5 services. Most people won’t be travelling more than 10,000km a year, so that means yearly servicing will cost $277.
As for fuel, it’ll cost you around $66 to fill up a full tank.
Noise Level3.8 out of 5.
Surprisingly, you’re met with a quaint and quiet cabin, despite opting for a more ‘sporty’ hatch over the standard car.
On the outside, you do get a more raspy and active sounding exhaust producing plenty of performance noises. Only issue is, you rarely get to hear this exhaust from the inside, aside from the occasional pop when revving.
I guess having a quieter cabin is part of the N Line hatch’s appeal, as you’d be shopping for a hot hatch if you really wanted more performance theatre. Less external noise entering the cabin allows you to relax during the daily commute and over longer trips.
I found the audio system to be just fine - it’se clear and loud enough for daily listening. However, it wasn’t mind-blowing or particularly deep in its sound. If you’re looking for a better listening experience, you’ll need to opt for the ‘Premium’ model which will upgrade your speaker system, along with other features.
Braking3.8 out of 5.
The braking ability of the i30 N Line hatch was as expected for a medium sized hatchback. The car looks sporty, but you’re not going to find these brakes fulfilling the hot hatch vibe this car is trying to portray.
You’re going to experience brakes that are predictable, easy to operate and will tick the box just fine. Additionally, there’s AEB available just in case there’s a need to brake for an emergency.
Acceleration/Power4 out of 5.
The appeal of the i30 N Line is the power bump it receives over the standard range.
This hatch is packing Hyundai’s familiar 1.6L turbocharged inline four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 150kW at 6000rpm and 265Nm at 1500-4500rpm.
As this is the manual, you’ve got six speeds to choose from, which is all fairly standard.
The power produced by the i30 N Line isn’t exactly adrenaline inducing, but it does produce enough performance to make this i30 fun to drive.
In reality, you don’t need more power than what’s given here. You’ll get up to speed more than quick enough, and you’ll be able to conduct clean overtakes out in the country.
Off-the-line acceleration is hampered by the exclusive drive to the front wheels, as you’re met with the typical wheel-chirp of rubber failing to grip onto the road after the initial launch.
I am forever grateful for the existence of this turbocharger, as it really does allow this engine to come alive when you dig down into the accelerator pedal.
Gear Shifting4.1 out of 5.
This is the i30 N Line that comes with a manual transmission, so on paper and when you’re seeking thrills while driving, it'll be the obvious choice over the dual clutch alternative...or is it?
Having driven both variants of the transmission available when you purchase a i30 N Line, I have to say, the manual does come in second place.
It’s the involvement required when using a manual transmission that gives you little reward over the dual clutch. Some manuals are absolutely worth the pain they provide in being a little more effort than an automatic, but I’m not so sure this particular transmission is.
I do believe that the manual provides more ‘fun’, but I found that it was a bit more effort than the dual clutch when I just wanted to run to the shops, or somewhere close.
As for the manual transmission’s operation, there are no complaints here. It was slick, relatively precise and offered a rewarding exchange when shifting gears. If a manual transmission is a must, it’s going to be plenty of fun when you want to have complete control over this vehicle.
Suspension & Handling4.4 out of 5.
The N Line gets a ‘performance-oriented’ suspension and handling tune, in the form of stiffer springs, bigger wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport tires.
It’s a greatly appreciated improvement over a more comfort-orientated setup.
The best part is, the suspension here isn’t back breaking - but instead it’s designed to limit body roll and sway through corners.
The grip from the Michelins is reliable once you’ve pushed past the initial loss of grip from launch, and pairs nicely with the larger wheels fitted to the N Line.
The suspension allows you to coast over rough parts of the road, while also getting just enough feedback to understand what’s happening beneath your tires. Although it won’t translate the road like braille for your butt if that’s what you’re hoping for - you’ll need to seek out a proper hot hatch for that experience.
Fuel Efficiency3.7 out of 5.
Hyundai claims a combined fuel efficiency figure of around 7.1L per 100km.
I saw figures cross 10L/100km while driving around town in this warm hatch, which was partly due to me operating the manual transmission as I’d hoped an aspiring hot hatch owner would.
For the manual gearbox, you will see higher consumption figures than the dual clutch, simply due to us humans not being solely designed to make optimal gear changes for fuel efficiency.
In short, just know that since this is the more powerful i30, you will be spending a little more at the pump than a more ‘responsible’ economy-oriented hatchback would.
Interior Design4 out of 5.
The interior of the non-premium version of the i30 N Line hatch is looking a little old, compared to its sedan counterpart.
From a layout perspective, it’s all logical and predictable.
The N Line not only adds visual flair to the outside, but also spruces up the interior with an assortment of N upgrades, like a N specific steering wheel, shifter, seats and carpet. Oh, and don’t forget the red seat belts.
If it wasn't for the N upgrades, I’d say the interior was a little boring. However, we have these upgrades featured in this cabin, and that’s what made a world of difference for me when it came to enjoying the interior design of the i30 N Line.
Boot Size & Comfort4.2 out of 5.
The i30 N Line hatchback has a minimum of 395L of boot space.
Seats fold in a 60:40 split, meaning you can still carry up to 4 people, while one seat is folded.
If you need to move some items from IKEA, you can fold all the seats down for a total usable space of 1301L. This provides plenty of space for those home office improvements during your next lockdown.
Although, be careful dragging longer items in and out of this hatch, as there are some sizable ledges both at the entrance and at the base of the seats when folded.
Features4 out of 5.
Since this isn’t the Premium variant of the i30 N Line, you miss out on some creature comforts, like heated seats. However, you do get an assortment of performance upgrades, both superficial and mechanical.
Here’s what you get when purchasing an i30 N Line manual:
- 1.6L turbocharged inline four-cylinder petrol engine
- 150kW at 6000rpm and 265Nm at 1500-4500rpm
- 6-speed manual transmission
- 8-inch full colour touch screen
- 7-inch 'supercluster' analogue and digital driver's display
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- 6 speaker audio system
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
- Lane Keeping Assist - Line (LKA-L)
- Lane Following Assist - Line (LFA)
- N Line specific suspension
- N Line specific exhaust system
- Michelin tyres
- Keyles entry and exit/engine start and stop
- Automatic headlights
- Reversing camera
Should you buy one?
Consider buying a Hyundai i30 N Line if you’re after a hatchback as a daily driver, but also add a little performance car flavour to your life. The i30 N Line hatch does a great job of filling the gap between economy car and full-on hot hatch.
I’d say in this base i30 N Line trim, with a manual, you’re going to have most of the fun you’d find in a hot hatch, especially when rowing out your own gears.
However it does have to be said that the full fat enjoyment that you’d get out of a proper hot hatch is something that you’ll only find in the $48,000 i30N.
About the author
Cameron is your typical car nut, but also drives and writes about cars for ProductReview.
Reviewer Photos & Videos
Price high design and quality low
Went to see as wanted to buy a sedan, what a disappointment on the i30 sedan. The dashboard looks cheap and without any design. The front screen seems too small or the panel is too big, the buttons look like from a 1990 car. See picture attached also of the AC controls just 3 knobs compared to the hatch design, totally different cars.
One thing I could not get head around is what looks like a holding point for passenger? Next to the gear stick, just a way to make car feel cramped?
Looking the sedan from the side looks as the bonnet was open,...but actually is like the bonnet comes out where meets the corner panel. Also sedan with key? Cmon! Makes it look more outdated. Price on the i30 line seems to go up but the quality and design seem to have lowered the bar, competing with mazda 2 or 3 in sedan leaves a lot to desire.
Good cheap runabout
We Purchased new in 2019 as a second runaround car with safety pack.
After test driving most of the small hatch backs in this segment / price range we found the other cars trying to be too ‘sporty’ with harsh suspension, ‘bucket’ style seating and engine/gearbox that would rev highly with a most uncivil / grey response.
The i30 we found did exactly what we wanted for a second car, cruises along without a fuss, comfortable and plenty of tech for a base model
In the two years we have owned the car we haven’t experienced any problems with the ...car, service from Hyundai has been outstanding. The only two faults I can think of; The car only has one rubber seal around the door/boot so you get dirt on the sills causing you to get dirt on your clothes when you get out (most cars have two) and when you turn the climate control off you still get a small amount of cool/hot air coming through the vents. Really only minor problems, but something you probably won’t pick up on a test drive.
Purchased for $21,500.00.
I wasn’t impressed with this car as the ride was very bumpy. Granted, our roads aren’t the best in Australia but with the suspension on this car I felt every bump in the road.
Nice car until it breaks down
The car itself is fine when it works. Nice to drive and great arrange of features.
However, our Hyundai SR has been horribly unreliable in its first year. Car has already broken down twice and sits in the dealership today. Worst of all Hyundai Customer Care is shocking. They deflect all issues to the dealer and all repersentatives I've spoken to are rude.
Don't make the mistake of thinking Hyundai are now world beaters. They still seem to sell unreliable cars with a poor quality of service.
Purchased in September 2018.
It has a spacious boot load capacity and the features are very useful and it’s recommended for a family who loves travelling even in long trips carrying a lot of baggage.
It’s a good everyday vehicle.
My organisation has the Hyundai i30 as their company car of choice. It’s quite comfortable and the CarPlay feature is great, especially for my iPhone and the longer drives. It’s relatively economical for a car of its size.
Purchased in July 2017.
ticks all the boxes except one
I love this car, has features that are helpful like the speed camera warnings. I use the car for Ubering so fuel cost are noticeably higher. At start of refueling you can reset the mileage use per full tank, it reads around 643km but at best I get
480kms. Eco mode and normal mode makes no difference so I drive in normal to get the car's full power out of it, Eco mode restricts the acceleration resulting in cars behind are tailgating at times. Otherwise would definitely recommend this car.
Purchased in January 2019 for $25,000.00.
Really Good Car for the Money!
For around $22K this is a good vehicle. Adelaide roads suck as there are metal plates just where your tyres go everywhere. I thought I would need a 4WD but the i30 does a good job generally. They say they fine-tuned the suspension for Australian conditions - seems like they probably succeeded.
There is lots of room inside the car - probably a bit like a car of old in one way - you feel like you are one a bench seat, not in your own cockpit. This is not to say the seats are not comfortable, they are, even the back seats are not too bad having ...travelled for some time sitting on them. The car has good features such as the tyre pressure monitoring which has already caught a slow-leak puncture in time for me prior to a long trip. You can get some reasonable length items into the boot/car area when you lay the back and passenger front seats down. The rear-view camera is very useful for parking and plain reversing out of a park. The car has a diagnostics module that you can Bluetooth to use Hyundai apps to see all sorts of things that your vehicle is doing. The 12-month fixed cost servicing is acceptable. I am suspicious because the brake fluid changes are missing and car crews just love to invent additional things to try yo out on and get more money. They did not try it on in the first service. The 5-year warranty is good - as is the included Roadside assist. One thing that grates is the GPS - they don't update it very often (never in the 12 months that I have had mine) and when you get outside of larger centres like Adelaide some of the smaller roads don't exist in the GPS. You have to operate a TomTom simultaneously to get serious help at times. Another is the speedometer is out by about 8-10% and I use my TomTom to give me an accurate speedo. The interesting thing about this is that your fuel consumption looks better than it is and you are actually doing less Km than is stated - by up to 10%. Hyundai are no orphan in this regard of course. Another thing that is not winning any brownie points is the delay in the auto transmission. Sometimes when you try to move off quickly the vehicle acts like it has a flat spot and just does not move as you expect it to and what it does do normally. The mechanics say that it is what it is - but it can almost be dangerous at times and I find myself saying 'Move you slug' - or words to that effect :-). It does not do this all the time - but it can be unnerving in city driving when it chooses the wrong time to do it. The vehicle is very comfortable on long trips and the A/C works well. I was not that impressed with the after-sales service where I bought it from and found Reynella Hyundai to be really helpful and customer focused, so I now get it serviced there instead (I just don't get companies that don't understand customer service, especially when that is their core business - but that is the good thing about competition, eh!) Cars are cars - but overall you usually need to have one, so overall I like this vehicle, it is comfortable to drive, is priced right and am not disappointed with the purchase. It is my first Hyundai anything, but at this point in its ownership cycle and my experience with it, I would probably buy another Hyundai.
Purchased in January 2018 at Adrian Brien Hyundai for $22,000.00.
Great car, I love it!
The 2017 I30 has proven to be a great little car, I get approximately 9L of fuel to every 100kms. The seats are comfy, it has great Bluetooth and steering wheel accessories. It shows you tyre pressures and has warning lights when they get low. I have only had one service so far and there was no issues. The only downfall I can point out is the GPS device, the issue with this is it does not recognise a lot of addresses, even addresses that are old and should be on there. Overall I would give it 4 stars (would be 5 if the GPS Was more efficient)
What is the five year warranty about.
Purchased a new 2018 Hyundai I30, not four months old yet. Washing it the other day I noticed a crack in the plastic surround in the handle of the tailgate. Rang the dealer where I purchased it, Lakes Hyundai, Qld. Was told that I would have to bring it in and have it looked at to see if it was covered by warranty. If it was, I would then have to wait until they got the part, then go back to have it fitted. Trip to Lakes Hyundai from my home one hour. Rang another Hyundai dealer, this one told me that the same plastic surround was cracking on a...lot of 2018 I30'S and they might recall them for this. Not good all around, part should be purchased by the dealer straight away and fitted by them when they get it. When I told a person at Lakes Hyundai that I was an hour away from the dealership he told me that I should look for a closer dealer. What does the five year warranty really cover.
Great fuel economy
Rented this on a recent trip to Brisbane - Wowo I loved it. Boy has this brand come along since I was a kid and they are getting into the performance side of things with the N series too now which are rivalling VW Golf. I really couldn't fault the car in any way - perhaps finish quality on some of the internal surfaces if you pushed me but it was not a problem. Mine was an auto an it was getting under 6l per100kms on the freeway - outstanding!
Happy I made move from my previous European car
Bought my SR as a demo 12 months ago. Came out of a turbo diesel European car. Am very happy with my hyundai. Has all options I was seeking. Great service and insurance prices compared to what I was paying. Only thing I miss is sometimes lacks power. My cruise control is playing up (turns off) and plug and play over last 12 months has become sluggish but hoping these can be rectified. Overall very happy with car. Stylish and practical. Interior roomy. Visually good and easy to park. Love my sunroof. Would definitely recommend this car. Dealers...hip were great, easy to deal with and no sales pressure. Update at January 2019 Cruise control cannot be fixed - to me it’s not really a cruise control. If going down hills on slight decline it turns itself off. My old car did not do this. Service tells me this is how cruise control works, not many cars will brake and hold the speed. My European car did. Plug and play is working much better since an update. Seems whenever apple changes iOS then Hyundai need to update their system and in turn we need to get ours updated or you have issues with it. Still happy with my car for price and functionality.
Step up for Hyundai, but same misses let it down.
Overall, probably one of the best cars in it's price range, but it's not perfect.
Good design, spacious, great boot space and flexibility (flat seats, boot lip etc).
Seats are comfortable, although the quality of the leather isn't the best, and some of the plastics are a bit cheap.
Feels solid to drive and handling is really good and up there against cars that are priced well above.
Features and inclusions are also well above a car in this price range - you get a lot of bang for your buck IMO.
The engine handles well and has got some ...
Questions & Answers
Can anyone tell me when the next delivery of NLine premium i30 sedans are due in Brisbane, I placed a deposit in middle of last month in June, I'm curious if any one has a Estimated delivery date
I have a 2016 Hyundai i30 which I absolutely love. The paint seal seems to be coming off on the rear door handles and the back of the hatch. Has anyone else had this happen? What can I do about it?
I have a 2015 i30 and the clear coat (paint) is coming off the roof
Thanks John do you think a cut and polish would fix it? Have you done anything about it or just left it
We've got the same problem, ours is a 2014. Can I ask what colour is your car? Ours is red and as I now understand, red Hyundais have this as a known issue.
Hyundai i30 2018 model,, after car service and upgrading radio and navigation system, it now doesn’t give verbal alerts ,, like red light camera school zone warning road narrows. Why is this happening..
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|Drive Type||Front Wheel Drive (FWD)||Front Wheel Drive (FWD)||Front Wheel Drive (FWD)|
|Wheels||16" Alloy||17" Alloy||18" Alloy|
|ANCAP Safety Rating||5 Stars||5 Stars||5 Stars|
|Fuel Consumption||7.4 L/100km||7.4 L/100km||7.1 L/100km|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||50 L||50 L||50 L|
|Engine||4 Cylinder 2.0L||4 Cylinder 1.6L||4 Cylinder 2.0L||4 Cylinder 1.6L|
|Max Power||120kW @ 6200rpm||120kW @ 6200rpm||120kW @ 6200||150kW @ 6000rpm|
|Max Torque||203Nm @ 4700rpm||203Nm @ 4700rpm||203Nm @ 4700||265Nm @ 1500-4500rpm|
|Country of Manufacture||South Korea||South Korea||South Korea|
|Manufacturer Warranty||5 year(s)||5 year(s)||5 year(s)|
|Release date||Jan 2017||Jan 2017||Jan 2017||Jan 2017|
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