2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N (car review)

If you don’t know what Hyundai’s N division does, simply think of them as the wizards of performance. So impressive is the magic they’ve worked with the i30 Sedan, that we had to break up the review into this road-based one, and a separate track version.

For the uninitiated, the i30 has a relatively long history in Australia and can be had in hatch and sedan versions. Variants range from economical transport, right through to the range-topping performance model we’re testing here.

Previously known here in its sedan form as the Elantra (a moniker some will remember), it bears little resemblance to the hatchback, with styling that can be polarising. Its best attribute is the front end, thanks to its low, wide, menacing stance.

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Slot-like LED headlights stack atop an angry chin spoiler, which means the latter requires attention when tackling driveways or speed humps to ensure it doesn’t contact terra firma. The side profile is dominated by a pronounced line.

2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N
2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N

It extends from the trailing edge of the front wheel arches, right through to the rear quarter panels. In weaker moments it had us channelling Subaru Vortex vibes. Dark 19-inch forged alloy wheels are shod in impressive Michelin Pilot Sport 4S liquorice strips.

The combination struggles to hide large ‘N’ emblazoned red brake callipers. At the rear, you’ll find an aggressive jut from the upper edge of the boot lid, which sits under a large-for-these-days spoiler.

Further down sits a diffuser and rally-car-esque centre triangular fog light. Combined with the trademark N Performance Blue paint, the black and red details around the bodywork really pop and create quite an aggressive visual.

If you prefer to blend into traffic, there are six other colours to choose from, but we think this is the pick. Interior styling follows similar principles, with plenty of ‘N’ badging and angular lines.

2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N
2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N

It’s a nice place to be, but we would’ve liked to see fewer hard plastics. They were a blight on an otherwise well put together and comfortable cabin. The 10-way electric adjustable leather covered front seats offer increased bolstering.

You’ll also find heating and ventilation, as well as memory functions for the driver. It’s spacious in the first row, although the optional sunroof makes head room a little claustrophobic at times.

Thankfully, the driving position is good, with enough downward seat adjustment to feel like you’re sitting in the chassis. A well-sized leather wrapped steering wheel feels nice in the hand, housing all manner of controls, from volume to gearbox paddles.

It’s here you’ll find an N Grin Shift button in the DCT variant, which provides an extra 9kW for up to 20 seconds. Vehicle controls are accessed via button ware for things like the dual zone air conditioning and complement a 10.25-inch screen atop the centre stack.

2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N

Not only was the output clear and vibrant, but the systems were intuitive and easy to navigate. It was here that everything from stereo to the various motorsport functions were made available.

Front row occupants gain access to a wireless charger and one USB-C port to keep devices topped up. The passenger has what can only be described as a grab handle on the centre console to hold onto as well, hinting at the performance intentions of the N-fettled sedan.

Wireless and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available to supplement digital and normal radio through an 8-speaker Bose sound system. The rear row is adequate for adults, but not without consequences for the front row.

Getting in necessitates care for taller bodies, where a head could catch the opening. Nevertheless, our sub-adult family members were happy back there, with their own air conditioning vents and charging via two USB-C ports.

Inside the 2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N

A touch of a button (or wave of the foot) reveals 474-litres of boot space, with a good opening and low floor. Just make sure you pull the lid up all the way, or you might contact your own head.

Behind the rear seats you will also find a bright red metal cross brace, which adds a claimed 29 per cent rigidity to the body. That alone will need to be considered when stowing more fragile items.

But for these few downsides, the buyer that ticks the N box is likely more focused on driving experience, and thankfully this little sedan has that in spades. Propulsion comes from a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels.

Some 206kW and 392Nm are delivered by an 8-speed dual clutch transmission, which is a delight to use. In Normal mode, it’s smooth and refined, even off the mark. When asked of, the driveline responds with impressive urge.

front seats
Inside the 2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N

And with the distinct whistle of a single scroll turbocharger, the DCT banging through gears, and the bi-modal exhaust, it’s not short on drama either.  The latter is adjustable from leaving-home-at-6am quiet, through to look-at-me crackle and pop.

Performance oriented vehicles can tend to ride a little rough, an expected compromise that comes with firmer damping and increase rigidity. While that’s the case here too, Comfort mode irons out most of the bumps, holding an impressively flat and composed demeanour.

The entire driving experience can go from demure slinking-around-town to late night twisty-mountain-conqueror in the blink of an eye, such is the combination of seat position, that stiff and crisp chassis, beautifully weighted (and geared) steering and that driveline.

The massive brake callipers also come into their own with more than adequate bite for on-road duties. As good as they are, thankfully those brakes are not the last line of defence should things come unstuck.

rear seats
Inside the 2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N

For as much fun as the i30 Sedan N is, it’s also loaded with the full gamut of safety gear. Everything from eight airbags to blind spot assistance, driver attention warning, forward collision assist, rear cross traffic alert and emergency stop assist features.

All that’s really left is the entry fee. The only option available here is the sunroof, and with it included, the driveaway price comes in at $58,872. Its competition starts at the Golf GTI as a minimum, and it’s about the same price wise, without the optional sunroof.

That said, you simply won’t get the capability and visceral nature of the driving experience that the i30 Sedan N possesses with the VW. Yes, we’re aware that’s a big call, and no, we’re not changing our mind.

You’ll get a nicer cabin in the Golf, but that’s not what this car is about. If you enjoy driving, and are looking for a dynamic package that can give you brain time up a twisty road early in the morning, or a tonne of fun on a racetrack, test drive the i30 Sedan N.

Inside the 2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N

To find out more, visit the Hyundai Australia website, or talk to your local dealership. If you’re keen on one, and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Our test vehicle was provided by Hyundai Australia for independent review purposes.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - sublime chassis; track ready; adaptability between road and race duties.
Cons - boot springs need to be firmer; hard plastics in cabin; exterior design is a judgement call.
Kalen Ziflian
Kalen Ziflian
A lifelong motoring enthusiast, Kalen has a passion for anything with wheels and a motor. His passion lies in collectible Japanese performance vehicles but he’s been known to enjoy off-roading touring and camping across Australia.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> sublime chassis; track ready; adaptability between road and race duties.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> boot springs need to be firmer; hard plastics in cabin; exterior design is a judgement call.2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N (car review)