2021 Hyundai i30 N Line Manual Hatch Review
Price & Specs7
Interior & Practicality8
Performance & Economy8
Ride & Handling9
Running Costs & Warranty8.5
What we like:
  • Wireless Smartphone mirroring
  • Handling abilities
  • Fantastic Performance
What we don't like:
  • Thirsty engine
  • There could be more soft touch materials in the cabin
  • Service intervals could be better
8.1DiscoverAuto Rating

The Hyundai i30 is the brand’s mid-sized hatch, a car which has served Australians for 14-years now. Now in its third generation, the i30 has gained some new variants including the full fat i30 N Performance, i30 Sedan and also the model which we are testing here. The 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line hatchback, considered a warm hatch, replaces the previous i30 SR in the range. Now commanding a premium in the segment, we tested the i30 N Line hatch to see if it’s deserving of your money or if you should look elsewhere.

The mid-sized hatch segment has been dwindling in Australia in the last few years with many consumers moving into SUVs like the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3 or Hyundai Tucson. This obsession with sitting up high and having more available space means the i30 no longer sells in the numbers it used to. Rivalling the 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line hatch is the Mazda 3 G25 hatch, Toyota Corolla ZR hatch, Ford Focus ST-Line, Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Scala and the Kia Cerato.

Price & Specs: 7/10

The 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line equipped with the standard manual transmission is $29,420 plus on-road costs but adding the automatic transmission adds $2,000 to the price ($31,420 plus on-road costs). The N Line variant of the i30 sits in the middle of the Hyundai i30 hatch range between the Active and Elite variants.

The i30 N Line hatch comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7.0-inch part-digital drivers display, wireless smartphone charging, a six-speaker sound system, alloy sports pedals, automatic LED headlights with rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry with push button start, leather upholstery with sports seats, cruise control, a sporty N Line steering wheel and heated and auto-folding exterior mirrors all as standard. There is quite a lot of standard kit included with the 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line hatch.

As far as safety tech is concerned, the i30 N Line hatch is equipped with tyre pressure monitoring, automatic high beam, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection and forward collision alert, a hill holder, driver attention detection, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, rear parking sensors with a rear view camera, an alarm and seven airbags. Auto versions also come with adaptive cruise control – though not the manual, sadly. Plus, no i30 N Line hatch is equipped with front parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert or auto rear braking.

Taking a look at price point competitors is difficult as just one option is offered with the manual tested here: the $30,190 (+ORC) Mazda3 G25 Evolve, which features blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear AEB, satellite navigation, digital radio, an electric driver’s seat with memory, eight speakers over the Hyundai’s six, a heads up display, speed sign recognition and adaptive cruise control over the i30 – a lot of equipment for just $770 extra. The Hyundai has an alarm, LED daytime running lights and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto over the Mazda, but that’s not enough to swing the value equation in the favour of the Hyundai.

Compared with the i30 N Line dual-clutch auto ($31,420 +ORC), the $32,695 Toyota Corolla ZR hatch adds rear AEB, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front parking sensors, satellite navigation, front and rear LED fog lights, digital radio, a JBL eight-speaker sound system over the i30’s six non-branded unit, speed sign recognition, a heads-up display, an electric driver’s seat, heated front seats, ambient lighting and adaptive cruise control to the i30’s standard equipment list.

2021 Hyundai i30 N Line manual

The addition of an electric driver’s seat, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and satellite navigation to the i30 N Line certainly wouldn’t go amiss – as it stands though, the entry level i30 remains the best value in the range.

Above the i30 N Line sits the 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line Premium, which is priced at $34,220 ($36,220 for the auto) plus on-road costs. The N Line Premium adds a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with wired (yes, not wireless) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a seven-speaker Infinity sound system, a panoramic glass sunroof, a sunglasses holder, a sliding centre console, satellite navigation with live traffic alerts, digital radio, a cloth headlining, front parking sensors, an electric driver’s seat, heated and cooled front seats, a luggage net for the boot and an auto dimming rear view mirror. More equipment yes, but for an extra $5,000.

The only standard colour that is available with the i30 N Line is ‘Polar White’ with all other colours attracting an additional $495 charge. These colours include ‘Phantom Black’, ‘Intense Blue’, ‘Amazon Grey’, ‘Lava Orange’, ‘Fluid Metal’ and our test car’s ‘Fiery Red’.

Performance & Economy: 8/10

The sole engine offered with the 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line is the brand’s familiar 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It produces 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque, which shades the Mazda3’s outputs. It has a power to weight ratio of 109.8kW per tonne. Peak power is offered at 6,000rpm with peak torque being offered low down in the rev range from 1,500-4,500rpm.

The engine produces a fruity note and offers reasonably quick response. There is plenty of power on offer pretty much from idol and you never feel like the engine is lacking. Once putting your foot down there is very little turbo lag and a linear power band. The engine is a joy to operate and suits the nature of the i30 N Line perfectly. We would consider the i30 N Line a warm hatch but not a fully fledged hot hatch as that job is left to the i30 N.

2021 Hyundai i30 N-Line Sedan

The gearbox options for the i30 N Line are the standard six-speed manual transmission – which was equipped to our test car – or for a $2,000-optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The manual transmission has a short and smooth throw between gears, but the clutch takes a bit to get used to – but once you’re familiar with it it is a joy to use. The manual transmission if definitely the transmission of choice for the N Line as the dual-clutch auto can be ditzy in its operation.

The Mazda 3 G25 Evolve has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 139kW of power and 252Nm of torque – down by 11kW and 13Nm on the i30. It also lacks turbocharging against the i30, which makes it feel more sluggish. The Mazda also has the choice of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed torque converter automatic. The Corolla ZR has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder that produces 125kW of power and 200Nm of torque, down 25kW and 65Nm on the i30. The Corolla ZR only comes with the one transmission: a CVT automatic. Of these cars, the Hyundai i30 N Line is definitely the most performance oriented and fun drivetrain.

The claimed average fuel consumption for the 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line fitted with the manual transmission is 7.5L/100km, although we achieved an average fuel consumption of 7.8L/100km. Comparing this to the claimed average of the Mazda 3 G25 Evolve which is 6.3L/100km and the Toyota Corolla ZR which is 6.0L/100km and it’s obvious that the Hyundai is the most thirsty. But it’s also the quickest and most fun.

Ride & Handling: 9/10

Like most other Hyundai products, the 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line hatch has Australian-tuned suspension, which means that the suspension is optimised for our subpar roads and our tastes. Being an N Line model means that sports suspension is standard and while this does provide a slightly firmer ride than the normal i30, it is not uncomfortable. The ride is compliant and composed when going over pot holes or speed humps. For a sporty model, the i30 N Line rides very well.

The handling characteristics of the i30 N Line are superb. The standard fit Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres do a fantastic job of maintaining grip and keeping the i30 N Line from losing traction. The sports suspension also does a good job of making sure the i30 corners flat and making the i30 N Line feel fun and eager to corner. By comparison, the Mazda3 is set up more for comfort, while the Corolla ZR is softer in its ride but almost as keen to tackle corners.

The active safety systems on the 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line, like every other Hyundai, work well working behind the scenes making the driving experience a safer one. The only gripe we have is the lane departure warning system which can be a little over sensitive at times. Apart from this little annoyance, everything else works very well.

Interior & Practicality: 8.0/10

The interior of the 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line is one of the sportiest cabins in the segment. There are sports style seats, red accents everywhere including red seatbelts and a chunky steering wheel that is great to hold. We also quite like the sporty N Line gearknob, though the use twice of ‘PRNDS’ next to it and on top of it is surely a design mistake.

2021 Hyundai i30 N Line manual

The quality of the materials used in the cabin of the i30 N Line are not amazing, however. Even the softer materials (which also feature on the rear door tops, which is a class-exclusive feature) aren’t that soft to touch, and the hard plastic on the lower dashboard is disappointing as well. The quality of the leather on the steering wheel, gear knob and seats is very good, though. There is also a plethora of storage in the i30’s cabin. There is a cubby in front of the gear knob where the wireless charger is, some reasonable cupholders behind the gearbox, a decent glove box, centre console storage, generous door bins and a spot next to the cup holders that is the perfect size to store a phone or the car’s keys.

Hyundais 8.0-inch touchscreen is very easy to use and the menus are easy to navigate. There are shortcut keys either side of the screen to go between different menus and the screen itself has good resolution. The wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also a great addition to the i30 and it works well. Pairing your phone to the system is easy and Apple CarPlay looks great on the 8.0-inch screen. But as far as functionality is concerned, that’s it – there’s no digital radio and no satellite navigation.

The rear seats of the 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line are quite spacious for the class with good head-, shoulder- and leg room for even taller passengers. There are also air vents and a centre armrest with cup holders. Unfortunately there are no form of any rear charging ports in the back seat but unlike the Mazda3, the window line is at a good height so you don’t feel claustrophobic.

The boot of the i30 N Line can carry 395-litres of cargo space with the seats in place – 100L more than the Madza3 hatchback and 82L bigger than the Corolla. It is worth noting however that the new Skoda Scala can carry a whopping 467-litres of cargo space, which is best in class. The i30 N Line’s boot does feature a hook and a 12V socket, though not the dual-level floor of some other i30 models for a flat floor when the seats are folded.

Service & Warranty: 8.5/10

The 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line comes with the brand’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty, which is on par with what is offered with the Mazda 3 and the Toyota Corolla. The i30 comes with 12 months of roadside assist, which is extended at every scheduled service for a further 12 months for up to five years – the Mazda 3 comes with five years worth of roadside assist from purchase and the Toyota Corolla does not come with any form of roadside assist.

The Hyundai i30 N Line requires servicing every 12-months or 10,000km, which are the same subpar intervals as the Mazda3. The cost of servicing the i30 N Line over the span of five-years or 50,000km is $1,495 ($299 each). In comparison, the Mazda3 costs $1,700 over the same time and distance. But the Toyota Corolla costs $1,025 over the same period and its longer 15,000km intervals make it even more affordable to run.

2021 Hyundai i30 N Line manual

2021 Hyundai i30 N Line hatch DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.1/10

The 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line is a dynamic, performance-oriented warm hatch that is the most powerful hatch in it class. Yes, the Mazda 3 G25 Evolve is better value on paper, but it doesn’t feature the performance of the Hyundai or its handling capabilities. We would like to see some additions made to the Hyundai’s standard equipment – or the N Line replaced with the N Line Premium – but for the moment, we think the i30 N Line is one of the top choices in the mid-sized hatch segment.

It’s cheap to service, the interior is spacious and practical and the boot is healthy in its segment – so what isn’t there to love with the i30 N Line? Well, it isn’t what you’d call fuel efficient and the interior could have earned a more premium feeling with the car’s mid-life update but these are small niggles for what is a brilliant car that should be on your shortlist.

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