Hyundai’s i30 N has emerged as a surprisingly strong contender in the compact hot hatch segment. It’s only natural then that people want to see how it fares against more established players in this niche.
Autocar’s latest video should be right up their alley, as it pits the i30 N against Renault’s Megane RS on the track, the only place where modern hot hatches can be exploited to their full potential given their performance.
Before you go ahead and press play, there’s an important mention to make: the Hyundai in the video is a standard model with 250 PS (247 hp), while the Renault packs 280 PS (276 hp) plus the optional Cup chassis with limited slip differential. The base i30 N lacks both a stiffer suspension and an LSD, which come standard in the 275PS (271hp) Performance Package version.
Well, at least they feature similar transmissions, both packing six-speed manuals. On paper, the Megane RS should have the edge over the Korean competitor. but track battles aren’t fought on paper, are they?
So, without giving too much away, we’ll tell you that the i30 N exceeded the reviewers’ expectations. The French hot hatch had the edge over its Korean rival, which is hardly surprising given its power and hardware advantage. But does that make it the better car?
That depends on what you’re after in a hot hatch: cold, hard numbers or smiles per mile. Because if driving fun and sensations matter more to you, the verdict is far from a foregone conclusion.