The i30 N-Line sedan is one of the best handling small sedans you can buy.
2021 Hyundai i30 N-Line Review
Bowen's Report Card
2021 Hyundai i30 N-Line Sedan Review
- Fun to drive
- Looks great
- Nice to have a manual
- Front-wheel drive
- Fuel economy
- Lack of head room
A life-long mate of mine recently said, “Gee, it’s rare to find three pedals these days.” That’s very true indeed. Young folk seem to regard a manual as something from the Jurassic period. However, what about this; I’ve just spent two-weeks in the Hyundai i30 N-Line sedan, one that had a relic from the past smack bang in the middle console, a six-speed gear stick.
The 2021 Hyundai i30 Sedan N-Line scores a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol turbo. It produces a healthy 150kW at 6000rpm and 265Nm at 4500rpm. In this instance, drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual.
Alternatively, you can choose a seven-speed dual-clutch-transmission (DCT). I get that, especially if you spend hours in gridlock each week; not that much of that is happening right now thanks to COVID, but ultimately we can’t all shelter in place indefinitely, so I suspect it’s more for those keen for the odd bout of spirited driving. Given it’s also the base model, it makes for great value too.
Hyundai N-Line vehicles are a nod to its high-performance range. That includes the manic i30 hatch N, i30 N Fastback, Kona N and a full blown i30 sedan N later this year.
The N variant will have 206kW and 392Nm of torque via 2.0-litre turbo and eight-speed DCT. Essentially it will circumnavigate my LGA more briskly than the N-Line.
The N-Line version is like watered down pre-mix soft drink at a RSL Club. Some people just want moderate performance with a hint of the more track inspired versions.
This smallish sedan is so well sorted, Hyundai bother to tailor the suspension set-up for local conditions. It’s grippy through the corners, balanced and composed on most surfaces and promotes a very high level of trust right through to your fingertips.
I was surprised to note the 0 – 100km/h figure was 7.9 seconds for the manual. Still, that’s not as slowish as it seems, it’s the rolling acceleration that makes the car so fun. Given it has FWD I found it reluctant to explode out of a corner in second gear, without the traction control losing its mind. That’s where the N magical Corner Carving Differential (e-LSD and electronic Limited Slip Differential make sure the front-wheels creep more intelligently around corners.
In general, the i30 N-Line sedan is one of the best handling small sedans you can buy.
The base i30 N-line sedan comes equipped with Apple carPlay and Android Auto. The infotainment touchscreen is a tad small by 2021 standards at just eight inches. The N-Line Premium trim scores a larger 10.25-inch display. You also miss out on the eight speaker Bose sound system.
Behind the flat-bottomed steering wheel is a N themed instrument cluster, with big red dials and a small 4.2-inch screen that can show a digital speedo.
There’s also a wireless phone charging bay, that won’t fit some larger phones. Like an iPhone 12 Pro Max.
When I recommend a car to someone, I really push for them to focus on the hidden active safety features. These lists, like the one below, are getting longer by the day. You might not care too much about them, but they can be lifesaving.
Standard safety tech includes.
- Lane Keeping Assist – Line/Road-edge
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning
- Rear Occupant Alert
- Safe Exit Warning
- Blind-Spot Collision Warning
- Driver Attention Warning
- High Beam Assist
- Lane Following Assist
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, camera, and radar type, including:
- Car/Pedestrian/Cyclist detection
- City/Urban/Interurban operational speeds
- Junction Turning functionality
There are leathery materials and red stitching throughout the cabin, including the seats, door trim and on the gear stick. The front seats are manually adjustable; my wife hates that with a deep passion. Charging devices are looked after by two USB ports in the console and inside a centre storage box where a 12V outlet can be found as well.
The dual-zone air-conditioning is automatic. There’s also a couple of cup holders front and back, while the rear seats can be folded down in a 60:40 configuration, giving the small 474-litre boot some IKEA flat pack abilities.
Value For Money
The manual Hyundai i30 N-Line sedan is priced from $30,290 before on roads. The automatic adds $2,500. Fuel economy is rated at 7.5L/100km, the Bowen’s Garage average was 8.7L/100km.
Hyundai offer a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty. Servicing is every 12-months or 15,000km. You can pay up front for the trips to the dealer. Prepaid servicing is $807 for three years, $1116 for four and $1385 for five.
Bowen’s Report Card
The Hyundai i30 N-Line manual is a marvellous vehicle. It offers enticing looks, great standard safety systems and sporty handling that can still handle everyday use. It’s an 87 out of 100 from me.