Hyundai i20 N 2022 review
Our Rating

5/5

Hyundai i20 N 2022 review

Hyundai’s latest hot hatch is here, but does it impress?

Introduction

Hyundai certainly sent shockwaves through the hot hatch world when the i30 N arrived on the scene in 2017 as its first proper performance model. Rivalling the Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf R, it was a true force to be reckoned with, and showed Hyundai’s sporty ‘N’ division needed to be taken seriously. 

Now the South Korean brand is expanding its portfolio of performance models with the new i20 N – the smaller sibling to the i30. Based on the regular supermini, which isn’t all that exciting, Hyundai has worked to add plenty of thrills. 

Alongside the wild styling inside and out – just look at that huge rear wing and big single-exit exhaust – Hyundai has fitted a new engine and also some beefier brakes, sports suspension and limited-slip differential. But does this all result in an exciting hot hatch capable of rivalling the Ford Fiesta ST? Let’s find out…

Performance

While Hyundai’s i30 N and Kona N use a 2.0-litre petrol engine, the smaller i20 N instead makes do with a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine. A six-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission option, with power delivered to the front wheels. 

Putting out 201bhp and 275Nm of torque, it’s no surprise that the figures closely align with the Fiesta ST, with 0-60mph taking 6.2 seconds and the i20 N capable of hitting a top speed of 142mph. 

The i20 N shouldn’t put a huge hole in your wallet either, with Hyundai claiming 40.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 158g/km. It’s worth noting you also get the firm’s excellent five-year, unlimited mileage warranty too.

Ride and handling

How a hot hatch drives is undoubtedly the most important attribute, and it does not disappoint. With the i20 having an extra cylinder than the Fiesta ST, it has a more old-school and authentic sound to it, which is certainly welcome. The engine – in true hot hatch style – thrives the more it’s revved, and though the power delivery might not be as instantaneous as the Ford, changing gear more often to unlock that performance only adds to the i20 N’s character.

Through the corners, the i20 N grips the tarmac remarkably well, giving confidence to gather higher speed, while the limited-slip differential is excellently tuned to maximise the car’s balance and handling ability. Though the sportier suspension is unsurprisingly quite firm, it remains compliant and would be very easy to live with on a day-to-day basis.

Interior

Hyundai has managed to inject some extra sportiness into the i20 N’s cabin with sportier seats and a performance steering wheel, while the brand’s trademark light blue colour is used subtly across the cabin. 

All versions also get a large touchscreen and digital dial display, giving it a modern feel, though some of the material quality isn’t great – we’d expect a slightly plusher feel than in the standard i20. On the plus side, the interior offers decent levels of spaciousness, with taller adults still able to sit in the rear, while the 352-litre boot is a great size, and is actually larger than the standard i20, because of that car’s hybrid elements eating into boot capacity.

Equipment

With this model sitting at the top end of the i20 line-up, Hyundai has kitted it out with plenty of features. For starters, 18-inch matte grey alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero sports tyres are included, along with heated sports seats, LED headlights and climate control. 

Other features include a heated steering wheel, reversing camera, keyless entry and automatic lights and wipers, while a 10.25-inch touchscreen and digital instrument cluster of the same size are also fitted.

Cost

Prices for the i20 N start from £25,250, which comfortably undercuts the Fiesta ST, which costs from £26,595 in ST-3 trim. Equipment levels are largely comparable across the two cars as well.

There are hardly any options available on the i20 N either. You can add pearl paint for £500, a black roof for £300 and a Bose sound system for £500, but that’s where the options list ends.

Verdict

It’s clear that the i30 N was no one-hit-wonder for Hyundai, as this South Korean manufacturer has produced yet another excellent hot hatch with the i20 N. Offering huge driving fun, it’s also comfortable and practical enough for everyday duties – a must with a car like this. 

Combined with generous equipment levels, affordable prices and sporty styling, there’s very little not to like about the Hyundai i20 N. 

Enquire on a new Hyundai I20 N

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