Not hot, not vanilla. Just right.
Move over Mercedes-Benz, BMW. You think you guys were the only ones able to get away with performance sub-marques that ‘leak’ into your every-day range and offer all the flash without the bang to match? Hyundai’s clearly realised thee’s money to be made in aping the performance-like space because they’ve already ‘diluted’ their brand-spanking-new N performance sub-division with this, the i30 N-Line.
The i30 N-Line is clearly inspired by the well-received and critically-acclaimed i30N, though its role is more to bridge the gap between the manic i30N and the more pedestrian mass models. As a result there are tweaks under the skin but the engine, a 1.4-litre 103kW mill in Europe, hasn’t been given a looking-over.
There are new bumpers on either end which bear more than a passing resemblance to the ones found on the i30N proper, though red elements have been swapped out for silver ones, and the twin tailpipes are now grouped together and sit on the right side of the rear bumper. There are also just 18-inch alloys here instead of 19s, but the design of them again look a lot like those on the i30N, just light on the gloss-black inserts.
At least Hyundai hasn’t just put a bodykit on it and called it sporty (we’re looking at you, Honda HR-V RS). The Hyundai i30 N-Line gains a unique suspension tune, as well as a sharpened engine response and braking reaction (which uses 16-inch brake discs as opposed to 15s), all of which promises to offer “extra spice” in proceedings. You can colour us grateful.
Inside, you’ll find a steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather, as well as a gear lever with the same material. Standard seats are, uh, standard, but can be optioned up to sports seats that are (you guessed it) near-identical to the ones in the i30N. It even comes with N-branding which, to be fair, is one of the main reasons why some would consider the i30 N-Line at all.
While Hyundai Australia has yet to confirm (or deny) the possibility of an i30 N-Line locally, considering that the changes are easy to integrate into the production line, it’s more than likely that we’ll see this on our shores at some point. It’ll offer a great stepping stone for those who may find the i30 a bit bland and the i30N a bit mental, which to be fair, is the whole point of the N-Line cars. We can only wonder what’s next in line in the Hyundai lineup to receive the N-Line treatment…