And you’ll be glad you’re driving the N model because long story short, the i30 N is simply hilarious fun to drive. Even if it weren’t a real car capable of taking you from A to B, it would pass perfectly as possibly the world’s greatest toy.
At times there is simply too much power for this car to handle, but it’s all the better for it. The front wheels will struggle to keep up with demand if you slam the peddle to the floor, through first, second and even third gear, but it doesn’t take long for the torque vectoring to get things under control.
Stick it in the racy N mode and the steering becomes wonderfully weighted and snappy, reacting to your inputs with consistency and accuracy. The car feels well poised through corners, you can throw it in and it will go with you. There’s no fuss unless you ask for it, at which point any slip is conveyed through the wheel in such a way that you always feel one step ahead.
The six-speed manual gearbox in the i30 N is an absolute godsend. It feels simple, with no unnecessary tech trying to mess with the shifts, and the result is a wonderfully slick experience. The inclusion of rev matching is an interesting one. The system works remarkably well on this car, and you can see how it might appeal to a driver looking for an easy entry into a higher-performance car, which the i30 N represents.
Of course, being a hot hatch, this car is ultimately tailored towards offering that stiffer, more direct feel. As a result, the ride is rough, but not quite on the same level as something like the Honda Civic Type R. The i30 N feels consistent, and the firmer setup is generally a welcome and enjoyable experience. As always with cars like this though, it does become tiresome after an hour or so on the road.