2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N review (video)

Mark Davis

Hyundai’s performance ‘N’ range has the competition clutching its pearls, especially with the 2022 i30 sedan N in the company’s arsenal. It is the complete performance package, fit for the track and ready to raise adrenaline levels.

The South Korean brand has dug its heels in by offering a full suite of shapes with its i30 N performance range. You can get it in hot hatch, sedan, and fastback form (for a limited time), and in eight-speed wet dual-clutch auto or six-speed manual form.

It goes all out with a 2.0-litre twin-scroll turbo-petrol engine that produces a beastly 206kW and 392Nm, electronically adjustable suspension, an active variable exhaust system, and an aggressive design.

Retailing for $50,200 (excluding on-road costs), we’re excited to be putting the N sedan to the test in auto (Performance Blue) and manual trim (Cyber Grey). Although, we’ll try and concentrate on the manual more since we previously tested new DCT (including our performance tests/video) during the launch event late last year. We’ve also included a video of the manual here.

2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N manual – THE SPECS

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]Engine: 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder
Output: 206kW@6000rpm / 392Nm@2100-4700rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Drive type: Front-wheel drive, limited-slip differential
Wheels: F & R: 19×8.0, 245/35
ANCAP: Not tested
Tare weight: 1440kg
Power-to-weight: 6.99:1 (kg:kW)
Official fuel economy: 8.2L/100km
Economy during test: 9.2L/100km
Fuel capacity/Type:
 47L/95 RON[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]Power efficiency: 25.12kW:L/100km
0-60km/h: 3.51 seconds*
0-100km/h: 6.00 seconds*
60-110km/h: 3.54 seconds*
1/4 mile: 14.16 seconds at 171.0km/h*
Max acceleration: 0.787g
100-0km/h braking: 2.93 seconds at 37.94 metres*
Max deceleration: -1.171g
Decibel at idle (/N mode): 50/55*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h:
Priced from: $50,200[/column][end_columns]

* Figures as tested by PerformanceDrive on the day. Factory claims may be different

2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N – THE PACKAGE

The N sedan is quite a large sedan for the small car market, measuring 4675mm in length. It is actually an Elantra in other countries, and rebadged in Australia to leverage the successful i30 name. It steals the show with an angled, athletic and totally unique design. Almost the entire front end is contrasted in black like a fierce reptile, accented by a sporty red stripe around the bottom skirts. The sharply angled headlights slope down towards the centre, giving off a dangerous vibe.

Flowing through the doors are sharp, linear creases that cast prominent shadows and draw the eye. The rear continues a similar theme with a long, single LED strip, black apron and large spoiler. We love the red highlights on the skirting. Unambiguously athletic. A set of 19-inch alloy wheels complete the look, wearing 245/35 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres.

The interior is made up of leather and plastics, glossy black areas, and blue accents to add flair. The door skins are a little too plasticky in our view. But soft blue backlights, mood lighting, and seat stitching lift the levels of elegance. Passengers are reminded of what this car is all about with a solid grab handle on the centre console. Air vents are blended into the futuristic design of the dash, and a unique swooping contour in the doors and dash give off a flowy, consistent feel.

A high-resolution 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster goes a long way to give off a modern vibe. The centre touch-screen is the same size, and integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with a Bose premium sound system. It displays more info than usual, including oil temperature, live torque output, a turbo boost gauge, g-force metre, and a lap timer, all via the dedicated N Performance page.

In terms of space and practicality, even though the i30 N is a hot performance car, it is still a very liveable place to be. There is plenty of leg and shoulder room in the front and rear. You get many storage spaces and a generous amount of cupholders. The leather seats are heavily bucketed to keep you securely locked in when taking on corners.

If luggage space is important, the sedan offers the biggest boot of the three shapes, measuring 464 litres. It is also large compared to the rest of the small sedan market.

Like with previous N models, the i30 N comes with all you need in a performance car. In fact, the only costed add-on option available is a sunroof, for an extra $2000.

As standard, both the manual and auto come in N ‘Premium’ configuration only. That means they come loaded with features. Some of the highlights include dual-zone climate control, red painted front and rear brakes, heated and ventilated front seats, launch control, an electronic limited-slip diff, rain-sensing wipers, a rear strut brace, wireless phone charger, and tyre pressure monitoring to name a few.

Safety kit is also impressive, with forward and reverse collision mitigation and pedestrian detection, road sign recognition, distance-controlled cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and active lane keeping aid with lane departure warning.

2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N – THE DRIVE

You’ll find the same engine in all i30 N models. It’s a 2.0-litre, four-pot with breathing assisted by a twin-scroll turbo. It all belts out 206kW and 392Nm. In the auto, this translates to a 0-100km/h time of just 5.3 seconds. Our tests in a controlled environment previously clocked it in 5.60 seconds. For the manual, the official time is 5.8 seconds, and 6.00 seconds in our test.

In the driver’s seat, it is nothing short of an exhilarating drive. Truly exciting. It’s the kind of engine that desires to be revved. Full torque kicks in from a low 2100rpm, meaning you get a decent boost quickly, and held until 4700rpm. Then it’s not far to go until peak power is achieved at 6000rpm.

If you’re seeking a more interactive driving experience, go for the six-speed manual gearbox. We found the gear shift sleek and simple in its movement, and the clutch to be light and intuitive in its function. A handy rev-matching system between down-shifts goes a long way to keep the momentum going in high-tempo conditions, but you can turn it off and do it yourself if you prefer.

If you opt for the auto, you get a brilliant eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch that is capable of ripping through the gears at lightning speed. The new design seems to take away some of that take-off delay when driving gently, often experienced in dry dual-clutch autos. Unlike the manual, the auto comes with an “N Grin Shift” function. At the click of a sparkly red button on the steering wheel, engine performance is boosted to 213kW for 20 seconds. There are also three performance modes to play with; ‘N Grin Shift’, ‘N Track Sense’, and ‘N Power Shift’.

Performance elements keep on coming with the vibrant sound of the active variable exhaust. As you select different driving modes, the exhaust note and volume adjusts to suit. You get some wicked crackling happening when the performance modes are selected.

Of course, the selectable driving modes (including a self-customisable “N custom” setting) adjusts other aspects of the car, like steering weight, throttle response, stability control response, and suspension stiffness. It is just what the N needs to enable some comfort during chilled cruising or sheer performance on the racetrack.

Although the sedan is the longest shape on offer, its ability to zoom around corners is not at all compromised. There is a stabiliser bar in the boot, and the ‘N Corner Carving Differential’ or ‘e-LSD’ mechanically controls the power to each front wheel. Even though all that power is driven through the front wheels only, only minor and predictable torque-steer is evident when accelerating hard. Add to that, impeccable handling is helped by the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S performance tyres. These are 10mm wider than the tyres on the hatchback.

Compared to standard i30s, the brakes are beefed up to match the abilities of the engine. You get bright red ‘N’ labelled calipers, and 360mm front and 314mm rear discs. We clocked 100-0km/h in 37.94 metres in the manual.

Although the N sedan is a performance-oriented car, we are always mindful of fuel consumption. The official average for both the manual and auto is 8.2L/100km. Around town, the manual earns a slightly better score than the auto, with 11.5L/100km vs 11.9L/100km. But on the freeway, the auto is more economical, with 6.3L/100km vs 6.1L/100km.

Our test returned an average of 8.4L/100km in the auto and 9.2L/100km in the manual. Consumption is a little high by small car standards, but not too outrageous among high performance cars. Expectedly, 95 RON fuel is required, but it is compatible with E10 blended fuel.

Reliability in highly strung vehicles like the i30 N sedan might raise questions for you. That’s why Hyundai offers its robust five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, and 12 months of free roadside assistance. Servicing intervals are required more regularly than average, at 10,000km or 12 months.

2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N – THE VIDEO

2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N – THE VERDICT

Hyundai has certainly made a solid name for itself when it comes to performance cars and the i30 N. It is a true performance car fit for the track, or an adrenaline boost for the everyday drive. The engine is a star performer with its gutsy acceleration and strong torque through the rev range. At the same time, it is still liveable for everyday use, thanks to those adaptive dampers and exhaust.

And for all this, it’s very reasonably priced. Your only hurdle will be your patience to get your hands on one, as the current waiting times are long.

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]PROS:
– That 2.0L N engine is as exhilarating as they come
– Rock star exterior design stands out
– Available with auto and manual transmission
– Aussie-tuned variable suspension makes the ride more liveable when you just want to cruise[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]CONS:
– Currently long wait times to get one
– Noticeable road noise
– Door skins are a little plasticky[/column][end_columns]

As always, if you’re thinking about buying a new car don’t forget to click here to speak with our car buying specialists.

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