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Hyundai i30
4.2 from 73 reviews · View Statistics
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Expert Review

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4 out of 5 stars

Introduction

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 Quality

4.3 out of 5.

i30 N line from rear three quarters

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 Money

4.5 out of 5.

N Line Badge

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.

Maintenance

4.2 out of 5.

Instrument cluster

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 Level

3.8 out of 5.

Exhuast pipe exit

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.

Braking

3.8 out of 5.

i30 Wheels

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/Power

4 out of 5.

i30 motor

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 Shifting

4.1 out of 5.

i30 manual shifter

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.

Here’s why.

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 & Handling

4.4 out of 5.

i30 front three quarters

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 Efficiency

3.7 out of 5.

i30 headlight

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 Design

4 out of 5.

i30 interior dashboard

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 & Comfort

4.2 out of 5.

i30 boot space

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.

Features

4 out of 5.

i30 infotainment

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?

i30 on carpark rooftop rear three quarters

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.

CameronPicture

About the author
Cameron is your typical car nut, but also drives and writes about cars for ProductReview.

Reviews

  • Build Quality
    4.4 (23)
  • Value for Money
    4.5 (24)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.9 (22)
  • Noise Level
    4.4 (19)
  • Braking
    4.8 (20)
  • Acceleration / Power
    4.8 (20)
  • Gear Shifting
    4.8 (19)
  • Suspension
    4.8 (20)
  • Fuel Efficiency
    4.6 (19)
  • Handling
    4.9 (19)
  • Interior Design
    4.7 (20)
  • Boot Size
    4.5 (20)
  • Comfort
    4.6 (21)
  • Features
    4.8 (20)
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Reviewer Photos & Videos

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Glen
Glen
  • 3 reviews

I really love this car, we have had Hyundias for the last 10 years. We just the the way this car drive, it is very comfortable and has lots of features inside the car. The storage features that you don’t find in other cars
Places for sunglasses. Maps cc storage and so on.

BodyHatch
BadgeActive X
Engine Size1.6
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedMay 2017
Geoff
GeoffFar North Queensland, QLD
  • 5 reviews
  • 3 likes

Really good buy for the money!

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Purchased in December 2020.

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B. Johnson
B. JohnsonSydney, NSW
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 likes

Very good and simple car

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Great car that has been easy to drive and own for the last year. The base engine still has enough power and is fuel efficient. Not too expensive to buy.

Purchased in May 2019.

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Blako
Blako
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 likes

Great car for a great price

published

Have the manual version of this car and it's a pretty good all rounder. It can run on 91 which is odd for a turbo and I was able to get a brand new one for $24k so the value has held up really well.

Purchased in March 2020.

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Culprit
CulpritGreater Melbourne (Outer), VIC
  • 6 reviews
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Next Level Hyundai

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I bought a 2018 2Litre premium and I love it. I came out of a 1994 Falcon which didn't have all the bells and whistles my i30 has. I love all the safety features.....Although I don't use my sunroof and hot and cold seats very much, it is nice to know they are there. The other day I wasn't paying as much attention as I should and alarms went off to tell me I was gaining on the car in front of me too fast!! I also love the adaptive cruise control......it slows and speeds up by itself.
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Questions & Answers

Bill J.
Bill J.asked
i30 Sedan 1.6L Petrol T-GDi N Line Premium (2021)

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

No answers
Jan S
Jan Sasked
i30

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?

4 answers
John C.
John C.

I have a 2015 i30 and the clear coat (paint) is coming off the roof

Jan S
Jan S

Thanks John do you think a cut and polish would fix it? Have you done anything about it or just left it

Carly R.
Carly R.

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.

Deni
Deniasked
i30

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..

2 answers
Luiys Reviews
Luiys Reviews

You should check the settings in the navigation system, sometimes the service guys set it to default.

Deni
Deni

We have since been told that the new update doesn’t have verbal alerts, anymore which we aren’t pleased with this !!

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Hyundai i30

Details

Compare all 21 Hyundai i30
CategoryHatchbacksHatchbacksHatchbacksHatchbacks
Starting Price $23,390$27,790$34,990
TransmissionAutomaticAutomaticDual-Clutch (DCT)
Drive TypeFront Wheel Drive (FWD)Front Wheel Drive (FWD)Front Wheel Drive (FWD)
Fuel TypePetrolPetrolPetrol
Wheels16" Alloy17" Alloy18" Alloy
ANCAP Safety Rating5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Fuel Consumption7.4 L/100km7.4 L/100km7.1 L/100km
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L50 L50 L
Engine4 Cylinder 2.0L4 Cylinder 1.6L4 Cylinder 2.0L4 Cylinder 1.6L
Engine CodeG4NCG4NCG4NCG4FJ
Max Power120kW @ 6200rpm120kW @ 6200rpm120kW @ 6200150kW @ 6000rpm
Max Torque203Nm @ 4700rpm203Nm @ 4700rpm203Nm @ 4700265Nm @ 1500-4500rpm
Country of ManufactureSouth KoreaSouth KoreaSouth Korea
Manufacturer Warranty5 year(s)5 year(s)5 year(s)
Release dateJan 2017Jan 2017Jan 2017Jan 2017
Compare all 21 Hyundai i30
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