We reviewed Hyundai’s i30N some while ago and loved it. It’s hot, and fast, and it is very handsome.
But, some don’t need to get to warp-10 3 seconds before they started the engine.
Other Hyundai stories:
They don’t need to go around corners like they’re on a crazy – mouse. What they want is a value-for-money car that can do the weekly shop safely.
They want to carry their family and friends in comfort so they look for practicality. Despite the infatuation buyers seem to have with SUVs, hatchbacks remain a popular choice.
Why is that?
First, the is a large rear door for getting your goodies in and out. Everything from dogs to doorhandles, from paint to parcels, wetsuits, buckets and other bits and bobs.
It shows you don’t need an SUV.
N Line is a new name for the mid-range SR model. Hyundai are using the halo effect created by the range topping i30N to give the rest of the i30s a touch of go-quick gravitas.
This manual N Line costs $26,490. Adding a 7 speed DCT dual clutch automatic costs a further 3 grand.
That $3,000 also includes safety features like blind spot monitoring, driver attention warning and lane keep assist. That uses the electric steering to keep you centred in the lane.
Its strange that the manual versions can’t get this as an option. Those features are available as a $1,750 option on the lower models, and come standard in the upper models. It’s an odd marketing choice.
For another $5,500, you can get an N Line Premium which comes only in a DCT.
Having said that, 90% of the cars sold in Australia are automatics of one kind or another.
What’s peculiar to N Line. Well, the old SR models got a bit of an N tweak.
There are a few cosmetic additions such as N Line exclusive front grille and bumper with a silver lower insert.
Also There are black bezel headlights and black exterior mirror caps, as well as N Line badging.
These wheels look the business. They are N Line exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels in Hyper Silver with machined highlights with Mechlin tyres.
Around the back, there is an N Line rear bumper with a diffuser design and a silver lower insert. Finally, there are N Line dual exhaust outlets and LED taillights.
Inside, there are N Line-exclusive leather accented front sports seats, steering wheel and gear knob, red highlights, and a contrasting black headlining.
The audio sounds good and comes with CarPlay/Android Auto. The really good one is reserved for the N Line Premium.
Premium also adds adds front parking sensors, LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, ‘solar control’ glass, seven-speaker premium audio, heated and ventilated front seats with 10-way power adjustment for the driver.
But it doesn’t stop there. You also get an auto-dimming rear vision mirror, a power outlet in the luggage area, and a subscription to Hyundai’s ‘Autolink Premium’ phone application. That application allows remote start, remote unlocking and remote monitoring of your car, from anywhere in the world.
Lots of car makers are doing that now. Each does their own thing because it is a way of “value adding” services for extra cost.
Although the Premium gets most of the really good stuff, this car still gets automatic wipers and lights, the ubiquitous cruise control, and Qi wireless charging.
Let’s get to the meat and potatoes. N Line has a punchy 1.6L petrol turbo with 150kw and 265Nm of torque.
Up front we have Macpherson struts, with Multi-link at the back. They have been tuned uniquely for Australian conditions.
But is it any good?
I30 has excellent road manners. 150kw was once considered a hot hatch. My old Sandman panel van had a 4.2L gas-guzzling V8. It sounded awesome but had a mere 125kw.
Steering is delightfully easy. The same goes for brakes. In fact that is i30’s strength, it is so normal.
Ride, even on 18” wheels is smooth but I really want to spend a few moments on manual transmission.
It is unbelievably easy to use. The throw is short and sweet and the clutch needs a mere wasp breath of pressure.
But, there is a drawback. Those nifty safety gadgets only come with the auto, so, and I can’t believe I am saying this, find the extra shekels for the automatic.
Because of the peculiar way Hyundai has packaged safety gadgets like Blind spot monitor, to the transmission, the DCT is the only choice.
I30 scored 5 ANCAP safety stars in 2017 and comes with autonomous emergency braking but again, the AEB only applies to DCT models.
I’m detecting a pattern.
I love the way i30 drives. The benchmark keeps going up year after year.
It is well equipped but as good as the manual is to drive, it just really isn’t in the mix as far as I’m concerned.
It misses out on too many of the safety goodies buyers want.
My feeling is that when you walk into a showroom, you’ll want the base model N Line model. What you’ll walk out with is the N Line Premium.
I rate this Hyundai i3 N Line manual at 7.5/10. For the first time ever, I’m issuing a second rating for the DCT N Line Premium of 9/10
|Engine||Transmission||Go||Active||N Line||Elite||N Line
|2.0 GDi||6 speed manual||$19,990||$21,090||–||–||–||–|
|6 speed auto||$22,290||$23,390||–||$27,790||–||$32,790|
|1.6 CRDi||6 speed manual||$22,490||$23,590||–||–||–||–|
|7 speed DCT||$24,990||$26,090||–||$30,490||–||$35,490|
|1.6T-GDi||6 speed manual||–||–||$26,490||–||–||–|
|7 speed DCT||–||–||$29,490||–||$34,990||–|
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