Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Hyundai i30 2021 review: N Line sedan manual

The 2021 Hyundai i30 N Line is a sporty small sedan with plenty of zip, but is it a family vehicle?

The Hyundai i30 N Line sedan is a sporty small sedan that I can try to sum up in one word - fun! It looks fun, it feels fun to sit in, and it's even more fun to drive. 

There was a time when most families drove sedans (or maybe I'm showing my age), but as more and more of them switch to SUVs, I was very curious to test-drive this sedan with my family of four for a week.

ShowHide all sections

What does it look like?

At first glance I had some serious '80s sporty-sedan flashbacks, but look closer and the modern touches are very attention-grabbing. 

One woman crossing the road in front of me stared so hard at the front of the car I was worried I had something stuck under the grille! 

The N Line has sleek lines and cool sporty touches. The N Line has sleek lines and cool sporty touches.

This model i30 the N Line is the second but base in the range, and there is plenty to like.

It has sleek lines, and cool sporty touches like the wing tipped side mirrors. There are bevelled edges to the side panels, 18-inch alloy wheels with a spider web appearance, and the rear has an almost hatchback-like flip to the tailgate with shiny black accents.

The N Line wears 18-inch alloy wheels. The N Line wears 18-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the leather trimmed seats really snuggle you like a race car, in the seat and across your back and shoulders. The high-quality looking stitching on the door panels adds to the overall sporty appearance.

There is a non-slip pad for your phone under the main dashboard, it's not a wireless charger in this model but there are two USB charging ports just above it. 

Rear passengers get cupholders in the flip-down middle console. Rear passengers get cupholders in the flip-down middle console.

Cupholders in the middle, and bottle holders in the door are all simply designed and functional. There's a deep middle console box with a padded top adding to the comfort level.

How does it drive?

The i30 N Line manual is lots of fun. It has peppy acceleration, which really hits its straps in the higher gears - which I found well suited to suburban driving as it doesn't shoot off in first gear. The sporty steering wheel and gearshift do add to the sports car feeling.

The 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo produces 150kW/265Nm. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo produces 150kW/265Nm.

It is quiet from the inside, and handles corners really well, assisted by lane alerts and on-board tech assistance (see details below). The gears are simple to change, and parking is not difficult with good visibility and a decent quality rear camera.

How spacious is it?

The seats in the front and the back are very comfortable and spacious for a small sedan. While the headroom does shrink a little in the back seat, following the line of the roof, there's still enough room for most adults, and there are comfort features like cupholders in the flip-down middle console and directional air vents.

The seats in the front are very comfortable. The seats in the front are very comfortable.

I had two kids car seats in the back, which I found easy to install. There is the top tether attachment for a third kids seat, but the seats would need to be narrow to fit three across.

The headroom does shrink a little in the back seat. The headroom does shrink a little in the back seat.

The boot is larger than it looks from the outside - with a decent 474L of storage space. It reminded me of my dad packing up the family sedan when I was young, getting all the family's luggage in, but still finding room for his golf clubs.

Boot space is rated at 474 litres. Boot space is rated at 474 litres.

How easy is it to use every day?

With keyless entry and start, getting in and started isn't hard, although starting a manual with a button felt strange at first. 

As a family car with two small children I was grateful for the ample boot space, and the lower setting of a sedan makes it easy for the kids to get themselves out. 

The manual gearbox is well suited to the i30 N Line. The manual gearbox is well suited to the i30 N Line.

However my little one still needs help clipping into the child seat, which I find easier in a higher positioned car like an SUV, I did need to bend right down to get to her out (ouch, my back!).

On the plus side having a smaller car makes parking in the suburbs and city so much easier than a larger SUV, and getting in and out of car parks was a breeze.

How safe is it?

What’s the tech like?

The 8.0-inch touchscreen display is best used with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, connected wirelessly or using a cord. 

My wireless connection did drop out a lot, so I used the cord to make it easier. This means you can have sat nav and much of the functionality from your phone on the screen of the car, which is far superior to the on-board tech on this model.

The 8.0-inch multimedia system features Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The 8.0-inch multimedia system features Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The safety tech includes lane follow assist, forward collision avoidance assist and driver attention warning. It was helpful and not intrusive when driving.

How much does it cost to own?


The Wrap

To wrap up we enjoyed driving this car, it really was a lot of fun. The manual gearbox is well suited to the i30 N Line, I feel like that's how sporty cars are made to be driven. The interior design and flashy exterior are not only super-sporty, but comfortable and practical as well. As a family car I did miss the comfort features of a larger vehicle, but this balanced out with the ease of driving a more compact car in the city.

Likes

The fun-factor
Comfort of the front seat
Large boot on a small car

Dislikes

Bending down to do up kids car seats
No on-board sat nav
Limited storage in the front console

Scores

Kate:

3.5

The Kids:

3.5

$32,290

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.