Tom

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Tom

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Power 7/10
Acceleration wise, the 2L 4cyl twin scroll turbo has enough to entertain, not a lot to impress, and doesn’t frustrate. Though at times, its thrust feels constricted, almost resembling a 1.6L turbo instead, but a very good one. Engine revs start off rather weak from idle and quickly picks up from 3,000rpm onwards, offers good throttle response from mid to top end.

The i30N really isn’t the most powerful hot hatch in its class, yet it still is as, if not more intoxicating to drive than the rest. It has a unique NA-like rev range, where the very linear power delivery tempts you to chase for climax at the top end at every gear, almost like a K20A from the FD2 Civic Type R.



Modest boost levels also means it is less affected by rising intake air temps as power seem to remain consistent throughout the hill drive, right up to redline. Unlike its high hp competitors which seem to see the curve taper off as the car climbs harder. Of course, the i30N has less to begin with, so nothing much to lose. In the end, it remains the least thunderous of them all but is just as motivated and feels like a sweet engine with a lot of untapped potential.

2020 Hyundai i30N Performance

6.1 secs / 1429kg / 275ps / 353nm / 2L 4cyl turbo / FWD / 6 speed manual / auto rev match / E-LSD / adaptive suspension / RM298,888



Drive 7.5/10
Effortless to operate, zero learning curve, gear shifts are easy to get right, intuitive to drive, telepathic, direct and quite possibly the most cheerful manual hot hatch right now. It feels like a very developed, refined performance car for a first time effort. Ride from the adaptive suspension is spot on, always leveled, very livable with and commendably well tuned for most terrains.

Normal mode has just enough firm, while sport and sport + gets increasingly harder, almost concrete Type R Plus R like. General drive ambiance resonates with typical Korean car character but this one feels heavily reinforced, insulated and has strong European influence



Handling 7.5/10
Not the fastest manual hot hatch nor the grippiest either. With less drama, the stickier old Megane 3 RS Cup can claw the road better and bite this loud kimchi in an all out hill duel. But as a daily hot hatch, none of these modern manual competitors, not the perpetually in expert mode RenaultSport Megane, not even the brilliant Honda CTR come close to the i30N’s simplicity and submissiveness. It is smooth, completely dummy-proof and bursting with unadulterated hot hatch driving goodness.

It is as sedate as a FK8 Type R, not anywhere as plush but almost as comfortable. However when pushed, the i30N feels amplified, more accessible and very switched on with virgin like excitement, where the currently known kings of hot hatches seem predictable and jaded in comparison.

The i30N’s brilliant electric damping and chassis trickery keeps itself well planted at the limit but at the same time, loose and edgy. It can be super playful but communicative in an easy to understand body language, which when coupled with the firm and vocal P-Zero HN (Pirelli X Hyundai N) tyres, becomes self governing and can easily be contained even and especially for noobs.



Steering 7.5/10
The wheel is rake and reach adjustable, with just enough angle and range for most hands. Electric steering is noticeably light and easy to operate although feels somewhat disconnected from true road feedback but remains sharp and is very precise, certainly nothing like Han’s version of a Hyundai.

Multifunction steering has general toggle buttons, the cool Smurf pads for switching driving modes and activating N Mode. There’s even a dedicated button to permanently on or off Auto Rev Match, which may sound insignificant to most people but for those who care, it adds on to the depth Hyundai N went to create their version of the ultimate hot hatch, among other easter eggs layed by Albert Bier///Mann and team.



Transmission 8.5/10
One of best things about the i30N is its slick manual gearbox. It’s obvious Hyundai N has put in special effort to heighten the shift quality here. The regular Hyundai foot pedals may not look like much, but feels strategically positioned and are matched with good pedal travel and feedback, be it the clutch, brake or throttle pedals.

It easily destroys all hot hatch competition in shift quality, accuracy, enjoyment and ease of use, FK8 CTR included, Megane 4 RS for sure. Much thanks to Albert Biermann who came from BMW M, knows what makes a good manual car.

The ratios are noticeably long and matches well with its power band as it encourages one to wring it right till the red line.

Auto rev match feature is fool proof as usual, but in the i30N, there are 3 levels to choose how ferocious your blips are and can be easily and permanently turn on or off via dedicated rev match button.



Cockpit 7/10
Superb access, has electric seats which are a nice touch. Seating position is good, although would’ve been great if it could sit lower, passenger side is a touch higher for some reason.

A nice place to be in nevertheless, black interior, rooflining, sleek steering and crown jewel manual 6 speed knob improves the view further. Overall an airy experience but in terms of presentation or build, it is far from manual hot hatch cockpit leaders M4RS or FK8CTR

That may be so, the i30N easily beat them all in the basics, tools of the trade stuff. Such as the shift mechanism and foot pedals, it just feels more well tuned in the N car. Even shift quality is better in the first time effort i30N, all while being more effortless and less intimidating to drive than the rest.







Interior 6/10

If it weren’t for the touch screen display and USB port indicating present day amenities, the i30N could have come straight out of the late 90s. It’s not a bad thing, in fact, just like the very mechanical driving experience, the overall presentation feels like a remake of a past 16-bit Sega megahit.



Exterior 6.5/10
Subjective like Kimchi, the i30N really isn’t for everyone, especially in this Smurf-ish N Performance Blue-only option for Malaysian consumers. Looks wise, it probably won’t win many awards but as a hot hatch, it ticks the right boxes with its underdog appearance and unusual Korean X European touring car stance.



Tech 7/10
It would seem quite obvious by now the Hyundai N people have put more effort into the i30N’s function rather than form. This is true when you think about the all inclusive tech bits like adaptive suspension, electric LSD, not just rev match but even has a dedicated toggle button. Not forgetting collision avoidance braking for a hot hatch.

It may not get fancy, full digital instrument cluster but it makes up with a center console screen that works as it should, like no other hot hatch could. It resembles Real Racing 3 where every driving aspect is categorized and can be customized or saved, to be activated via N Mode.



Desirability 8/10
The i30N is a jack of all trades. It is especially desirable because it gets the basics right. It’s one of those rare specials that genuinely prioritize driving sensation over sensational numbers, lap counts rather than lap records.

Its 2L turbo 4 cyl engine feels capped but by no means timid. It feels like a bulletproof base with plenty of still untapped potential waiting to be unlocked. One that can only get better, with potential in tuning and even as a future cult car.

These rather hard HN P-Zero tyres on the i30N were developed specially by Pirelli for Hyundai N, which were intended to last longer for extended track day driving, as mentioned by Albert Biermann, the man behind the N word.

The i30N doesn’t just look and feel pre 2000 retro, it drives like one too. Albeit a lot more evolved and well put together. More than that, it oozes the very essence of manual transmission driving, very few car manufacturers get right even till this day.

Zerotohundred Rating
  1. Power 7/10
  2. Drive 7.5/10
  3. Handling 7.5/10
  4. Steering 7.5/10
  5. Transmission 8.5/10
  6. Cockpit 7.5/10
  7. Interior 6/10
  8. Exterior 6.5/10
  9. Tech 7/10
  10. Desirability 8/10
Total: 73/100
 
Last edited:

Tom

TIMETOATTACK
Helmet Clan

Tom

TIMETOATTACK
Helmet Clan
Jul 6, 2000
5,450
3,156
5,213
Kuala Lumpur
Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed reading my review of the i30N Performance,
There's also a new Zerotohundred Rating at the top which i'm experimenting with, how did you find the ratings and if the 10 aspects listed felt relevant to you.

I have a full youtube driving video review coming as well, which will better support the article so i hope you'll enjoy that too
 
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Izso

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Izso

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Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed reading my review of the i30N Performance,
There's also a new Zerotohundred Rating at the top which i'm experimenting with, how did you find the ratings and if the 10 aspects listed felt relevant to you.

I have a full youtube driving video review coming as well, which will better support the article so i hope you'll enjoy that too
I think it'd be good if you gave an idea what a 10 is though. Hahaha

Any price guide? I like this I30N over the 1 series
 
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Tom

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Tom

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I think it'd be good if you gave an idea what a 10 is though. Hahaha

Any price guide? I like this I30N over the 1 series
I don't have a 10 in mind but something like the F8 is a 9 for power. I haven't driven the new Turbo S so something like that might be a 9.5, or not. Not sure if there'd ever be a full 10/10

Price guide, well I'm the most savvy with prices personally, anyone here good with numbers, want to contribute?
 

6UE5t

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6UE5t

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I don't have a 10 in mind but something like the F8 is a 9 for power. I haven't driven the new Turbo S so something like that might be a 9.5, or not. Not sure if there'd ever be a full 10/10

Price guide, well I'm the most savvy with prices personally, anyone here good with numbers, want to contribute?
Power I think should be relative rating in its class. Cannot compare to higher end cars. So for example maybe ths A45S should already be a 10 coz no other car makes more power than that in the same class.
 

gunnerzz

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gunnerzz

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Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed reading my review of the i30N Performance,
There's also a new Zerotohundred Rating at the top which i'm experimenting with, how did you find the ratings and if the 10 aspects listed felt relevant to you.

I have a full youtube driving video review coming as well, which will better support the article so i hope you'll enjoy that too
Your writing skill....people would buy the car just after reading your article.

If u will continue to write lots of review then stick to the rating scale. However if u will review cars from different category, then seperate them according to category.
Would be nice to have such rating database.
 
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Tom

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Tom

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Power I think should be relative rating in its class. Cannot compare to higher end cars. So for example maybe ths A45S should already be a 10 coz no other car makes more power than that in the same class.
The hp rating or any rating for that matter in the review is based on the feel for what it is, not by hp value in class or by how much it cost. The A45S may get a 9.5 if it over delivers for example, or the A45S may get a 7 if it doesn't go like a 400hp hot hatch should
 
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6UE5t

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6UE5t

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The hp rating or any rating for that matter in the review is based on the feel for what it is, not by hp value in class or by how much it cost. The A45S may get a 9.5 if it over delivers for example, or the A45S may get a 7 if it doesn't go like a 400hp hot hatch should
Ic, fair enough. So that means this Hyundai doesn't feel as fast/powerful as it should based on your rating.
 
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Tom

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Ic, fair enough. So that means this Hyundai doesn't feel as fast/powerful as it should based on your rating.
well the feel was as described in the review so you can be the judge and 7/10 is still a positive figure
 

DNGFashion

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DNGFashion

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I don't have a 10 in mind but something like the F8 is a 9 for power. I haven't driven the new Turbo S so something like that might be a 9.5, or not. Not sure if there'd ever be a full 10/10

Price guide, well I'm the most savvy with prices personally, anyone here good with numbers, want to contribute?
maybe benchmark statement for full points 10 of each category.

thanks for the review though it gives me a sense of touch that it is better than FK8 type R and Megane RS :biggrin:
 

Tom

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Tom

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Your writing skill....people would buy the car just after reading your article.

If u will continue to write lots of review then stick to the rating scale. However if u will review cars from different category, then seperate them according to category.
Would be nice to have such rating database.
Yeah a rating system / list will be nice. I'm thinking 10 different aspects for a total of 100 points like the above, although I have yet to decide if Cockpit and Interior should merge, or if there are more important aspects I missed out

Anyone please feel free to chip in
 

Tom

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Tom

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maybe benchmark statement for full points 10 of each category.

thanks for the review though it gives me a sense of touch that it is better than FK8 type R and Megane RS :biggrin:
Interesting, benchmark statement like?
 

DNGFashion

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DNGFashion

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for example statement to get 10 marks in your rating system:
power: predictable and smooth delivery
transmission: good ratio and shift quality
and etc...

so that people will know that your full marks of each aspect is relatable, as mentioned by
Izso
 
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Izso

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Yeah a rating system / list will be nice. I'm thinking 10 different aspects for a total of 100 points like the above, although I have yet to decide if Cockpit and Interior should merge, or if there are more important aspects I missed out

Anyone please feel free to chip in
I think it'll be hard for us to chip in as literally everyone has different levels of acceptance. For me a 10 a new M3, 1 is a Perodua Myvi. Hahaha Better to give us your opinion so we can have some level of idea how to compare.
 
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@Tom

At first read, it feels you are too generous with the scoring. I guess we need to establish how your scoring works.

Is it the same scoring for ALL cars you review? If so a 7/10 power is ridiculously high for this car. As an example, a BMW 340i would come in at 7.5/10 and an A45S would be a 8/10 for power. And a C63S would be a 8.5/10 (the gap between the i30N & A45S is bigger versus the A45S vs the C63S) a Tesla Model S at 9/10? ... and a 911 Turbo S would be a 10/10? Then the new Tesla Roadster would be 11/10?

It would be utterly confusing if you have different scoring by car type/class. I think it should just be one ZTH scoring, and the cars are relative to each other. I think Doug Demuro's scoring makes more sense as it gives a sense of relativity to the audience.

So if the Kancil 660c is 1/10, the Axia 1000cc would be a 2/10..Myvi 1000cc would be 1.5/10.. a Myvi 1.5L would be 2.5/10, then this i30N would probably be around 5.5/10 - assuming a 330i is 5/10.

AND because this is called ZERO TO HUNDRED, I think scoring for each category should be based on ZERO TO HUNDRED, not ZERO TO TEN.
 

gunnerzz

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@Tom

At first read, it feels you are too generous with the scoring. I guess we need to establish how your scoring works.

Is it the same scoring for ALL cars you review? If so a 7/10 power is ridiculously high for this car. As an example, a BMW 340i would come in at 7.5/10 and an A45S would be a 8/10 for power. And a C63S would be a 8.5/10 (the gap between the i30N & A45S is bigger versus the A45S vs the C63S) a Tesla Model S at 9/10? ... and a 911 Turbo S would be a 10/10? Then the new Tesla Roadster would be 11/10?

It would be utterly confusing if you have different scoring by car type/class. I think it should just be one ZTH scoring, and the cars are relative to each other. I think Doug Demuro's scoring makes more sense as it gives a sense of relativity to the audience.

So if the Kancil 660c is 1/10, the Axia 1000cc would be a 2/10..Myvi 1000cc would be 1.5/10.. a Myvi 1.5L would be 2.5/10, then this i30N would probably be around 5.5/10 - assuming a 330i is 5/10.

AND because this is called ZERO TO HUNDRED, I think scoring for each category should be based on ZERO TO HUNDRED, not ZERO TO TEN.
Hmm..makes sense...
Have one one scoring system plus allow user/us to filter the scoring according to how we like. This way, no need to maintain too many category.

And...maybe should have a std test route to gauge some of the criteria in a non-bias manner.

Anyway, there are no accurate or exact way to rate a vehicle....at least to petrolhead. For layman like me, sufficient power or good delivery is considered powerful enough. What i mean by sufficient? The vehicle does not try to kill me everytime i operates it.
The again, this is ZTH like u said...Anything pedestrian or cant tailgate a Myvi will be rated 1.
 

6UE5t

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6UE5t

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Yeah a rating system / list will be nice. I'm thinking 10 different aspects for a total of 100 points like the above, although I have yet to decide if Cockpit and Interior should merge, or if there are more important aspects I missed out

Anyone please feel free to chip in
If you combine cockpit and interior (which is logical too) then you need another criteria to make it 10 to reach total 100 points. Not sure what else to add, maybe noise and insulation?
 

Tom

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Tom

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for example statement to get 10 marks in your rating system:
power: predictable and smooth delivery
transmission: good ratio and shift quality
and etc...

so that people will know that your full marks of each aspect is relatable, as mentioned by
Izso
As in to mention what's lacking which would have made it a 10 pointer?

Or you mean a 10 pointer example for each aspect that people can refer to?
 

Tom

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Tom

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Jul 6, 2000
5,450
3,156
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Kuala Lumpur
@Tom

At first read, it feels you are too generous with the scoring. I guess we need to establish how your scoring works.

Is it the same scoring for ALL cars you review? If so a 7/10 power is ridiculously high for this car. As an example, a BMW 340i would come in at 7.5/10 and an A45S would be a 8/10 for power. And a C63S would be a 8.5/10 (the gap between the i30N & A45S is bigger versus the A45S vs the C63S) a Tesla Model S at 9/10? ... and a 911 Turbo S would be a 10/10? Then the new Tesla Roadster would be 11/10?

It would be utterly confusing if you have different scoring by car type/class. I think it should just be one ZTH scoring, and the cars are relative to each other. I think Doug Demuro's scoring makes more sense as it gives a sense of relativity to the audience.

So if the Kancil 660c is 1/10, the Axia 1000cc would be a 2/10..Myvi 1000cc would be 1.5/10.. a Myvi 1.5L would be 2.5/10, then this i30N would probably be around 5.5/10 - assuming a 330i is 5/10.

AND because this is called ZERO TO HUNDRED, I think scoring for each category should be based on ZERO TO HUNDRED, not ZERO TO TEN.
I do not want to base in on power figures or displacement. That would be like playing Top Trumps or trading cards. Just about anyone can sort the numbers and figure what car goes where. I wouldn't even need to drive the cars then.

I want to rate how good a candidate is as a driver's car through its abilities, not rank them by biggest number.

It would be unfair to rank the 340i's power aspect lower than the A45 simply based on power value. It may make less power on paper than the A45S but we need to consider the power delivery, 6 cylinder vs 4 cylinder, etc etc.