Hyundai i20N review
Hyundai is reaffirming its hot hatch credentials with this model. We had the i30N in late 2017, and now we have the i20N. Because hot crossovers are all the rage these days, expect a Kona N to arrive soon. The i20N, on the other hand, is intriguing since it marks Hyundai’s return to a hot hatch segment that other manufacturers have abandoned. Renault no longer makes a hot Clio, Mini no longer cares about driver involvement, and we’re left with mediocre options like the VW Polo GTI.
And then there’s the Ford Fiesta ST. This could explain why no one else is interested. No one makes a Porsche 911 competition for the same reason. The quick Fiesta is everything to everyone since it is so well-suited to what it does.
Hyundai has nailed the i20N, which comes as no surprise to us. The corporation has blatantly replicated the i30N’s firm-riding, direct-handling pattern. The car feels more put-together, complete, and well-rounded this time around, in a level that we’re not sure even the Fiesta ST can match. There’s a lot to appreciate here in terms of ownership potential.
What it isn’t is as entertaining to drive as the Fiesta. With its zingy engine and addicting chassis, that car remains the most enjoyable in its class. The i20N is a more serious hot hatch, a small car that thinks and performs bigger. The engine, which could be a little more lively, holds it back a little, but there’s a lot to like about the i20N overall. Not least because Hyundai has gone to the trouble of developing and producing a convincing car in a class that others have recently abandoned, probably against an internal tide that favours hybrid and electric vehicles.
Perhaps the N Performance division’s “show-’em” approach offered the extra concentration needed to make the i20N so convincing.
Don’t just take our word for it however, see what Tim Oldland has to say about the Hyundai i20N below.