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Road Test: Hyundai i30 N-Line

The i30 gets its first sports-styled trim level, and Alex Grant reckons there’s plenty to like.

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SECTOR Lower Medium   PRICE £21,255-£24,255   FUEL 48.7-49.6mpg   CO2 129-133g/km

Hyundai has some new-found brand equity to play with. Not only does the blistering i30 N offer a credible hot hatch – no mean feat, these days – but it’s the start of a wider range of performance-focused products. Including some half-way house models, like this one.

The N-Line bridges a gap between the most potent i30 and the rest of the range. So, while it looks the part with its 18-inch wheels, aggressive bodykit and those fantastic figure-hugging sports seats, it makes do with a more modest 138bhp, 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine to keep running costs down. It’s a niche that’s proved popular with rival products.

While it hasn’t had the level of re-engineering as the i30 N, this isn’t just a styling package. Instead, it’s making the most of its available power via re-tuned, sharper throttle responses, upgraded suspension, larger brakes and high-performance Michelin Pilot PS4 tyres. It’s good fun; brisk off the mark, with precise steering

and plenty of grip, yet also lacking the skittishness that can come from big wheels and ‘sporty’ suspension.

The N-Line offer is concise. This won’t be offered with the 136bhp diesel available in other markets, and there won’t be an estate version, which is disappointing. Keyless entry and a push-button start are standard, and so is the 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while built-in navigation comes in on

N-Line+, which also gets electrically-adjustable leather and suede seats and LED headlights. Both versions can be paired with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which ups the price but takes the car down one BiK band.

As an affordable taster session for Hyundai’s deservedly highly-praised first hot hatch, this half-way house stacks up rather well.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.