Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Much improved from previous version 
  • Simple and easy-to-use controls
  • Slick infotainment system

Compared with its predecessor, this i30’s interior has really moved on. The i30 benefits from a heavily reworked cabin and we’re particularly impressed by how quiet it is at motorway speeds – especially when fitted with a petrol engine. All of the parts of the cabin you regularly touch have a quality feel, and now the i30 doesn’t feel any worse than its rivals in this respect. In fact, some of the ageing models in the class will fall behind here as the i30’s cabin is a very pleasant place in which to while away the miles.

Hyundai’s latest infotainment system works well, with intuitive menus and a noticeably quicker processor, which means it re-routes the sat-nav rapidly if you stray off course and is very effective if you need to make a diversion. It’s also well-placed on top of the dashboard, meaning you don’t have to stretch very far at all to quickly make changes to the sat-nav, for example.

It’s also very easy to find a comfortable driving position, thanks to plenty of adjustment in both the steering wheel and the seats, while visibility is good thanks to pillars that aren’t too chunky. 

Inside the i30 N

There are a few notable changes inside the Hyundai i30 N hot hatch - namely the extra buttons on the wheel. One of these turns the rev-matching system (to enbale smoother gearchanges when going down the ratios to maintain balance) on and off for the gearbox, while the other two control the car's drive modes. On the left you can select between Eco, Normal and Sport, while the right button cycles between N and N Custom performance modes.

Comfort

  • Quiet and refined interior
  • Comfortable seats and good ride
  • Should the Golf be worried?

The Hyundai i30 is a comfortable car on all roads. The front seats are good, with enough adjustability and bolstering to keep you feeling secure when cornering. It’s clear Hyundai has done a lot of work on making the cabin a quiet, peaceful place and it’s paid off in spades – it’s remarkably quiet with the petrol engines.

The diesel’s clatter does intrude, but not as markedly as on some other cars in the class. In the main, it’s every bit as refined as a Volkswagen motor. The ride quality is excellent on various road surfaces, if a fraction firmer than the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf, but overall it strikes an impressive balance as it’s composed in corners yet comfortable for when you’re just cruising.

Sporty i30 N remains comfortable

Even the hot i30 N is a comfortable daily cruiser. The sports seats on both N models provide excellent comfort on longer journeys.

Pick one of the non-performance drive modes and the adaptive suspension absorbs bumps well, while the standard i30 N rides slightly better thanks to the smaller 18-inch wheels - the Performance model comes with 19-inch items instead.

You’ll have to endure a fair level of road noise on both versions on the motorway, but the exhaust on the standard model isn’t switchable. This means you can’t permanently set it to the louder setting, unlike the Performance model, but that does mean it’s far less intrusive when you just want to drive around gently. While it’s less childish for everyday use, it still provides all the pops and bangs under spirited driving when the exhaust has warmed up.

You can see how the Hyundai i30 N stacked up against the Peugeot 308 GTi here after living with them.