There aren’t many manufacturers that can say they have a sedan that blends functionality, comfort and performance in one neat little package. Hyundai can, and that’s one of the reasons we love the 2022 i30 Sedan N Premium, and its dual clutch transmission (DCT).
European rivals such as the BMW 320i M Sport and the Audi A3, which are not configured for performance, start at $64,900 and $49,600 respectively, excluding on-road costs. They’re geared for luxury and comfort, but compromise performance.
Choose the BMW M3 or Audi’s S3 or RS3 and you’ll get the performance, as well as taking on a significant price jump. Look closer to its Korean origins and the 2022 Subaru WRX (in its tS form), becomes a challenger, of sorts.
While it does offer all-wheel drive, which the Hyundai doesn’t, it comes with a Sports Lineartronic gearbox, which is just a fancy way of saying “improved CVT”. The i30 Sedan N though, delivers comfort and performance, and the price is tasty too.
It looks absolutely mental in the flesh, sounds crazy at revs, and has the performance chops to boot, thanks to its 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, outputting 206kW of power and 393Nm of torque, to the front wheels.
Mated to an 8-speed DCT, this drivetrain setup is what dreams are made of. It’s the same setup you’ll find in the i30 N Hatch, and both sound and drive better than the manual counterpart (in this author’s opinion).
You will however find that horrible fuel economy and axle-tramping in lower gears is a common flaw, when pushed all the time. Hyundai claims 8.2-litres/100km but we mostly saw anywhere between 10-litres to 14-litres/100km.
That said, this is a very easy car to use as a daily, particularly when in the less sporty drive modes, like Comfort and Normal, where the i30 Sedan N becomes tame, almost subdued. It rolls over bumps reasonably well, but does feel a tad stiffer than the hatch.
On a spirited drive, the N buttons on the steering wheel come into play, offering pre-set angry beast modes, as well as custom choices that let you control engine and transmission mapping, and damper settings.
Take the 2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N on a long, winding road in the middle of nowhere, and let it loose, and you’ll forget about all your cares and responsibilities. The car’s dynamics come to life in these almost track-focused modes. They’re way too much fun.
Releasing the throttle past 4,000rpm and letting overrun take over, you’ll be treated to pops, cracks and burbles, left, right and centre. The i30 N will long for more, upshifts will have that signature crackle, while downshifts will be accompanied by more pops and bangs.
Handling is a bit more refined compared to other front-wheel drive cars too. The steering is light and can also be adjusted in the settings. Under throttle, the front end stays glued to the road with little to no-understeer, thanks to an adjustable locking differential.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres on 19-inch alloys play their part as well. Inside, the interior has been updated, with a 10.25-inch infotainment system offering multiple screens and digital gauges. There’s satellite navigation, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The instrument cluster is completely digital too, and the dials change depending on your drive mode. There’s a Bose sound system, offering sharp, crisp audio, a wireless phone charging pad and ambient lighting. Ours came with the optional sunroof too.
Some of the interior plastics feel a bit cheap, regardless of how shiny or nice they look though. The leather seats sit lower for that sporty feel and have enough bolster to hold you in during hard cornering.
Both front row seats are also heated and ventilated, with a heated steering wheel offering an array of buttons, including two N buttons, and an NGS button for maximising engine and transmission performance for 20 seconds. That’s perfect for speedy overtakes.
Safety tech includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep and lane departure assist, tyre pressure monitoring, blind spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert, to name but a few.
There are also three top-tether anchor points and two ISOFIX points on the outboard second row seats for those planning to use the i30 Sedan N for lugging their family around. A useful 464-litre boot offers plenty of space for a pram or stroller.
Sporting a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, the 2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N Premium is priced from $54,666 drive away. It’s available in Cyber Grey, Fiery Red, Fluid Metal, Intense Blue, Performance Blue (as tested), Phantom Black and Polar White.
If a family-friendly sedan with a racetrack bent is what you’re looking for, this thing is hard to go past. Don’t judge it until you’ve driven it, because Hyundai have engineered it brilliantly, and the driving experience is unparalleled for the price.
Our 2022 Hyundai i30 Sedan N Premium was supplied by Hyundai Australia. To find out more, contact your local Hyundai dealer. Pictures courtesy of Brakefast Media.