N is for Nani

Firstly, I know you’ll be wondering what the word ‘nani’ means. Well, Nani is the Japanese word for ‘what’ and that is the first word that came to my mind when I heard about and when I first laid eyes upon the bonkers Hyundai i30 N. But as I learnt, the i30 N is bonkers and I mean that in the nicest possible way!

First Impressions

What were the boffins at Hyundai thinking when they said let us take our sane family hatchback, shove a 2L turbo engine in the front, stick it on 19 inch wheels and decorate it with lots of red bits. Well, whatever they were thinking has worked out very well because this is a proper hot hatch.

The normal i30 isn’t something that draws the eye while on the road but adding the N badge makes all the difference let me tell you! We counted at least 15 N badges scattered all over the car so you never forget that you’re not driving an ordinary i30 but then again, you won’t.

Aggressive on the Outside

Gone are the days when hot hatches were discrete pocket rocket sleepers. The modern hot hatch has to look the part as well as drive the part. In the looks department, the i30 N certainly excels. It’s been lowered, it’s sitting on huge 19 inch wheels that hide big red brake calipers, it’s got a plethora of N badges everywhere and the sports exhaust makes a right raucous! It looks absolutely mad on the outside and that’s what I love about this car.

The Interior Lacks the ‘N’ Factor

While the exterior is a feast of colour and other sporty additions, the interior is a complete contrast to that. The dashboard is just full of black plastic and there’s lots of hard plastics around, I know this is an i30 but it’s a $55,000 one! The dials are racy which is cool and it’s got sporty semi leather seats with side bolsters. There’s a fair few N badges around the interior as well but my favourite part has to be that manual gear stick. Make no mistake, this is a proper petrolhead’s hot hatch.

The Verdict

All said and done, the i30 N is an excellent hot hatch. It’s no slouch, it’s got plenty of power and sublime handling that has the ability to please even the keenest of drivers. This is a Hyundai unlike any other and I’ve got to say I’m really looking forward to what else the ‘N’ range offers.

The Hyundai i30 N gets a 8/10 from me. It’s an excellent first attempt at a hot hatch from Hyundai but it’s let down by it’s poor cabin quality.

Thanks for reading! Make sure you share this article and leave a comment 🙂 Words and Pictures by Matthew D’souza

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