The time has finally arrived for the Hyundai i30 N to experience the tarmac in South Africa which happened at the launch on Wednesday the 12th of February. As we all know, only a limited number of i30 N’s have been shipped to SA and car journalists together with some notable influencers were at the launch to report what the hot hatch was like to drive. Their comments were very much positive about the i30 N with some stating that it is fun to drive and comfortable on the high roads. That’s something we all expected for them to say but there is more to what meets the eye.

So quick facts about the Hyundai i30 N. Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces an astonishing 271 hp (202 kW) and 353 Nm of torque. It comes with only a 6-speed manual gearbox and that enables the i30 N to hit 100 km/h in just 6.1 seconds.

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Car journalists have stated that the i30 N handles pretty well when it goes around the corner and still provides a comfortable ride thanks to the dampened suspension which irons out the bumps on the road. Safety features like lane keeping assist and blindspot assist make the i30 N much more easy to manage on the road.

The exterior has been modified and changed to look sporty and set it apart from the normal i30 hatchback. This being Hyundai’s first attempt on making a hot hatchback, they pretty much nailed it with the styling. It has an aggressive front end, a magnificent side profile with double-spoke wheels and a beautiful rear coupled with a spoiler and twin-exhaust pipes which by the way sound amazing.

The i30 N comes in 4 colours: Engine Red, Performance Blue, Phantom Black and Polar White. It comes with a 7 year/ 200 000 km Warranty which practically comes with most Hyundai Vehicles on sale. What’s the asking price? Well, it will cost R679 900.

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And that’s where my problem is with the i30 N, it’s the price. This is a car that has been made to rival the Volkswagen Mk7 Golf GTi but then the GTi costs only R568 600. I know some will say the GTi has been around for a while and of course it should cost less but let me remind you that the i30 N was launched 3 years ago in other markets and made its way to SA this year.

And for the price you pay for the i30 N, you could get a 228 kW Golf 7 R which has four-wheel drive unlike the front-wheel drive Hyundai. So in essence, the i30 N is in the wrong territory considering the pricing but let’s remind ourselves that units are limited and import taxes were involved and have amped up the price. The i30 N is not exactly the car you would buy if you were looking for a hot hatchback without considering the great hatches like the Golf 7 R, Audi S3, Megane RS or Civic Type R. You buy the i30 N because you are a Hyundai Purist and you are looking for exclusivity or probably it just puts a smile on your face and why wouldn’t it?

 

All Images Credit: Khulekani On Wheels