Can the new kid really challenge the hot hatch establishment?

Hyundai has to be applauded for creating the i30N, its first ever hot hatch, which is not only good for a first effort but genuinely good even when compared to offerings from automakers with much more experience in the segment. So, since they’re aiming for the top in this segment, it’s thoroughly justified to try out the i30N against the fastest front-wheel-drive hot hatch currently on sale, the Honda Civic Type R.

Is the 2019 Hyundai I30N Better than the 2019 Honda Civic Type R?

EVO pitted the two against one another on track, and from the very start, it was apparent the Hyundai was not as spritely as the Civic Type R, especially on paper. The i30N weighs some 90 pounds more than the Honda and also makes less power from its 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-pot - only 271 horsepower versus the Civic’s 306 horsepower. And, remember, this is the output of the Performance model; the regular i30N only puts out 247 horsepower.

The Honda has more torque too, 295 pound-feet, versus the Hyundai’s 279 pound-feet. And, you’d expect all of this to translate into the Civic being considerably faster than the i30 around a track which is exactly what happens.

The Hyundai I30N Is Awesome, But Is it Good Enough to Dethrone the 2019 Honda Civic Type R?
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Apparently, the Civic Type R is surprisingly good in wet conditions too, whereas the i30N seems to struggle for grip.

Reviewer and host Steve Sutcliffe is also keen to point out the fact that, while the i30N feels fine and fast out on the road, when you bring it to a track it struggles to put down times as good as you’d expect it could, plus it’s also not the greatest in wet conditions.

After the timed lap, the discrepancy between the two is pretty clear (there are several seconds) and, in this instance, the Civic Type R justifies its higher price and the use of all those crazy aero bits, but the i30N should not be discounted - it’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch, but definitely not the last. I’m pretty sure the Korean automaker will want to launch an even hotter model to really challenge the very best and quickest cars in this segment.

Further reading

2018 Hyundai i30 N Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.

2017 Honda Civic Type R Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Civic Type R.

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