Can Hyundai’s New i30N Beat The VW Golf GTI In A Straight Line?

Once upon a time, Volkswagen was among the few automakers offering a proper compact hot hatch: the popular Golf GTI.

Eventually, other companies started chasing this sector, and we now have a multitude of hatchbacks with powerful engines and good driving dynamics to choose from.

One of the newcomers is the Hyundai i30 N. It’s the Korean brand’s first-ever hot hatch and it uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, with 250PS (246hp / 184kW) or 275PS (271hp / 202kW). It takes 6.4sec or 6.1sec, respectively, to sprint to 100km/h (62mph).

Watch Also: The VW Golf MK2 GTI Is Still Everything You Like In A Hot Hatch

On paper, it doesn’t sound that exciting, and surely it cannot beat the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI in a drag race, right? Now, we won’t spoil the following video by telling you which of the two is faster, but we will remind you that the German model is less powerful: 230PS (226hp / 167kW) as standard, and 245PS (241hp / 180kW) in the Performance Edition.

Its turbo-four helps it reach 100km/h (62mph) in 6.4 seconds and 6.2 seconds, respectively, when paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox. Opt for the 7-speed DSG that’s available with the Performance Edition and watch it go from rest to 100km/h (0-62mph) in the same 6.2sec as the stick shift variant. The entry-level Golf GTI can also be had with a 6-speed DSG, and it’s just as fast as the manual transmission version.

But enough technical specs and let’s see which one is faster, so this would be a good time to place your bets.


  • Puddingpopper

    thats depressing

    • Dr Strangefingger

      Naah… just reality.

    • Liam Paul


      • Puddingpopper

        I may have purchased the loser

  • Enter Ranting

    Very embarrassing for VW. Stick a fork in the monkey-gassers. They’re done.

    • Matt

      The GTI is down 45bhp on the range-topping i30 N ‘Performance’.

      VW group have other FWD hot hatch models (including other GTI’s) that would have made for a better comparison.

      And a GTI held the FWD Nurburgring record… how does that make VW ‘done’? Unless you just enjoy trolling.

      • Enter Ranting

        VW has been building low-quality, unreliable garbage for decades. The GTI I leased fell apart within six months: engine failure, electrical failure, transmission failure, plus plastic pieces falling off all over the place. They treat their customers like crap, and gas primates just for fun. Great company, Happy to have Hyundai eat their lunch.

        • Alter Ego

          Lol you had a bad experience so obviously VW has been making garbage cars for decades. We’ll just ignore CR and other groups findings that VW has average-above avg reliability.

          • Enter Ranting

            It’s no secret that VWs score poorly in reliability. Maybe they’ve moved up to “average” from the bottom where they were for years. How exciting for them. Still doesn’t excuse them from gassing monkeys with exhaust in a falsified experiment to prove how “clean” their diesels were.

          • Dr Strangefingger

            I agree. VW is trash to me. And by the way, those that I’ve known that owned VWs, experienced horrible build quality including interior pieces falling off. Just trash.

          • pcurve

            my favorite VW story is one from my old art teacher mr. patterson. One of the nicest men. He had a black Jetta. One day, a door fell off.

          • Milky

            No idea why you had such bad luck.

            I’ve had a 98 golf, 98 GTI, 14 gli, 13 Tiguan, and now a 16 golf r with zero problems out of warranty.
            I do my own maintenance, and life’s been good. Sorry you’ve had bad luck, but these cars aren’t Camrys.

            They require regular maintenance and checkups.

          • Enter Ranting

            It was a leased car, so I did all the scheduled maintenance. Then, I had to take the car in constantly for everything that broke on its own. The service departments at ALL of the dealerships I went to were terrible. Totally incompetent and unaccountable.

        • Six_Tymes

          you forgot to mention “diesel gate”, and their many years of value guide seal failures, oh and excessive piston slap.

        • pcurve

          wonder how they’re gonna afford offering 6year 72k warranty…

        • Vassilis

          A car is as reliable as its servicing. A leased car may have gone through hell. Your experience doesn’t say too much.

      • Alter Ego

        The guy is definitely being hyperbolic what what VAG hatch would’ve made for a better comparison? Not the Golf R or Seat Leon Cupra R that cost an extra 8-9K. The Skoda Octavia vRS makes the most sense has a similar price but the i30n is faster.

        • Matt

          I would have said the GTI Performance or Cupra R, but if you want to keep the costs the same then I understand that.

          I don’t think it’s quite fair though, Asian brands have always priced themselves cheaper than the European competition – which does give them an advantage in these particular comparisons. Meanwhile the other metrics when evaluating a car are ignored, such as build quality, refinement or engineering etc.

          I think the i30N is a great car, I just don’t like seeing these hyperbolic comments (as you say) calling the Golf ‘junk’ or similarly implying that Hyundai make the best cars in the world. Too much fanboi-ism going on.

          • Milky

            Right. So much hate but the golf is the #1 selling car in the world.

            The golf ev is also #1.

            Uneducated comments.

          • Bob

            Corolla is #1 then Ford F-series. Golf is #3. The irony is quite cringeworthy.

      • Six_Tymes

        I agree with what you are saying to a degree, this match up in my opinion is fair because they are both around the same price points. Other VW’s with more power cost a lot more, which is why i have always considered these all over priced cars. But thats my opinion.

        • Matt

          ‘Overpriced’ is relative. If you compare the quality of the Golf’s interior with that of the i30, which one would you expect to pay more for?

          • Bob

            Interior is just one metric to measure against though. Performance is another.

          • Matt

            Agreed, and both are only one part of the value equation.

          • Bob

            Agreed, and value is a very personal measure. We all value different things in cars.

  • Too bad they won’t be selling this in the US…

    • SteersUright

      Really? didnt know that. Thats ridiculous considering there’s only one game in own at the moment, the Gti. Yes, I know about the Focus ST. I think that car’s a piece of crap after having driven it and the Gti, back to back.

      • Jason Miller

        Veloster N will be the only one for now.

      • bd0007

        In liew of the i30N, we’re getting the Veloster N, but there may be a chance they we will get the i30 N fastback.

  • SteersUright

    Wow. Go Hyundai!!! On a roll lately!

  • pureworx

    Both look boring.. Remove the badges and cant tell which is vw and which Hyundai from behind.

    • Liam Paul

      It’s easy to tell which is the vw. It’s the one losing

  • Six_Tymes

    i’m surprised

  • Autoexperte

    Volkswagen is shit IMO

  • bd0007

    Hyundai, once again, is #1 in Auto Bild’s Quality Report (3rd time within a 7 yr span) and that includes the TUV service records.

    VW hasn’t even sniffed the #1 ranking (and that’s for a publication in Germany).

  • LeStori

    In the morning you would still wake up to a Hyundai in your bed…

  • ..i’d still take the Golf GTI

  • TheHake

    If only the i30 wasn’t the 2nd crappiest looking car on the raod, it might have been worth looking at. (Only the Fiat Tipo looks worse).

  • Vassilis

    Hardly surprising.

  • Bob
  • FoxJ30

    I know which car I’d rather go on a road trip in, and it ain’t the Hyundai.I owned the GTI mkV and I’ve rented the Golf mkVII, these are fantastic cars for driving in for hours, The GTI has never been about straight line speed – sure, it’s respectable, but frankly a V6 Camry will blow the doors off of it in a straight line. No, the point of a GTI is that it’s a car that can dart around town, go for hours on a freeway, carry a dresser or a bunch of friends, AND give you a few smiles on the backroads, all equally well. Very few cars have mastered this kind of balance.

  • Vassilis

    Yes. You can also lease a car which has been used by someone else previously. Anyway, to contradict your example, I have another VAG hot hatch with very similar hardware to the GTI’s. I’ve had it for 2,5 years, I’ve driven it very hard both on the road and the track and it has been absolutely faultless.

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