Hyundai more than catered for the bare-arsed would-be racetrack tyros with the i30 N hot
hatch; now the South Korean automobile manufacturer has turned its attention to the
‘driver of a certain age’ with a sedan version.
Hyundai’s first dip in the sports sedan segment, the latest tech and creature comforts go
hand in glove in the i30 Sedan N with surprising alacrity, without losing the hot hatch
experience. And, by all accounts, Hyundai’s debutant is on the way to becoming a
segment icon. Not to be confused with the i30 Sedan N-Line, the N is an out-and-out
sports sedan to be compared with similar European ‘hotties’ unlike the i30 N-line whose
additions are basically cosmetic.
The N-Line manual sedan comes to market starting at less than $30k, plus on-roads, the
top-of-the range i30 Sedan N Premium auto tips the scales at a little over $50,000. The
latter was on test.
While undeniably sculpted with an N sports body kit to earmark its high-performance
pedigree from all angles, the i30 Sedan N shows its most exciting view from behind, that
most likely being other road users’ first glimpse of the car as it accelerates past ‘mere
Not that the rest of the design elements don’t stand out from the crowd with a bold front
bumper and N diffuser, triangular rear fog lamp, full-width tail-light strip and boot-mounted
spoiler, plus bespoke 19-inch alloy wheels with N-branded calipers peeking out from
behind dark matt-ish spokes. There’s plenty there to please the performance car fan.
It has a selection of creases and curves, while side sills reduce drag and improve air flow.
The rear wing and diffuser manage downforce at high speed and on the track, front air
intakes cool the brakes during repeated hard use. Nothing is surplus to requirements.
A driver-focused cabin continues the N(ness) with race-inspired seats, wrapped in black
leather topped off by stitched N logos, firmly offering lateral support to front occupants
during enthusiastic cornering. The driver’s seat is height and 10-way power adjustable,
which includes two-way lumbar support.
There are heated steering wheel and front seats for comfort and convenience.
Storage is good in the centre console area, as well as door pockets, cup and bottle slots.
The boot has up to 464 litres of practical space compared to 381 litres in the hatch. It’s
hands-free opening with the key fob. The spare is a space-saver.
The all-new i30 Sedan N comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen navigation system with
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s access to music, podcasts and connectivity
apps. Wireless smartphone charging comes standard.
Sound comes from seven high-fidelity speakers, plus a separate subwoofer and a Bose
audio for a rich sound.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
While the i30 Sedan N-Line makes do with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine,
the N jumps up to a 2.0-litre turbo four. On offer are either a six-speed manual or eight-
speed DCT automatic transmission.
The i30 Sedan N has the Hyundai SmartSense Advanced Drivers Assistance System
developed to help avoid imminent danger on the road.
Included are blind spot rear and forward collision avoidance, lane keeping and following
assist, and high beam assist. It has driver attention warning, safe exit assist, rear-seat
occupation alert and rear cross-traffic avoidance.
With the six-cylinder engine stumping up 392 Nm maximum torque between 2100 and
4700 rpm, plus 206 kW of peak power of 5500 from 4500 to 6000 revs, there’s plenty for
the enthusiastic driver to play with.
An eight-speed wet double-clutch automatic N transmission sends the power package to
the front wheels. There is the option of a six-speed manual.
Fuel consumption of 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres is claimed in the combined urban /
highway cycle. The test vehicle with eight-speed DCT recorded 8.7 litres per 100
kilometres in mixed driving conditions.
Ride and handling are under the direction of an integrated drive axle (a first for Hyundai)
that is made up of drive shaft, wheel hub and bearing, with a weight saving of 1.7 kg. The
result is added lateral g-force exhilaration during swift cornering.
With drive modes it becomes a choice between Normal, Eco, Sport and Smart, the last
determining driving habits by the position of the brake pedal and the operation of the
steering wheel, then tailoring such elements as shift pattern and engine torque to suit.
Special to the ‘N’ is an aptly named N Grin Control System, N Performance Driving Data
System and various track maps with lap timer. Just set to the track, cross the start line and
lap times are automatically recorded as you go.
Hyundai’s five-year / unlimited-kilometre warranty is part of the Sedan N package, along
with capped-price servicing at $1005 for the first three years and $1675 for the first five
For those turning their back on the Hyundai i30 hot hatch in search of something more in
keeping with becoming ‘grown up’, the i30 Sedan N is equally at home on city streets as it
is on the race circuit and, for good measure, it has a ‘proper boot’.
AT A GLANCE
Hyundai i30 Sedan N: $53,403
Premium paint: $495
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Hyundai dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Hyundai i30 Sedan N 2.0L T-GDI Turbo 4-cylinder petrol, 8sp DCT,
Capacity: 1.998 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 206 kW @ 2100-4700 rpm
Maximum Torque: 392 Nm @ 5500-6000 rpm
Fuel Type: Regular unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.8 L/100km
DRIVELINE: Seven-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic, front-wheel drive
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4675 mm
Wheelbase: 2720 mm
Width: 1825 mm
Height: 1430 mm
Turning Circle: 11.7metres
Kerb Mass: 1480 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 47 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Five years / unlimited kilometres