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Expert Rating

Hyundai i20 N

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Expert Rating

Summary


The Hyundai i20N is a pacy hot hatch based on the normal i20 hatchback, and the entry level model in Hyundai’s N subdivision of performance cars.

With the ‘N’ being a nod to the German Nürburgring circuit, the Hyundai i20 N is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine which produces 201hp, 46hp less than the next model up in the N range, the Hyundai i30 N. Other than the engine, the i20 N is far more agile than the regular i20 models, with notable improvements made to the chassis, suspension, brakes and steering.

Fitted with its own specifically designed turbocharger and intercooler system, the i20 N is almost half a second faster in a 0-62mph drag race (6.2 seconds) than its close rivals, the Ford Fiesta ST and the Volkswagen Polo GTI.

This impressive pace has not gone unoticed. “This is a car of serious talent”, The Telegraph explains, “one with immense pace, a beautifully poised and precise chassis, and a nose that just won’t quit.”

“It’s a great alternative to the Ford Fiesta ST and much more entertaining than the dynamically dull Volkswagen Polo GTI”, What Car? writes. “You can drive it aggressively and it won’t bite, and when you’re precise, its calm, neutral balance works with you to generate pace.”

The engine performance, body control and handling of this supermini, along with its long warranty, relatively cheap running costs, and good levels of standard equipment have made the Hyundai i20 N a real highlight for the motoring media, although a number of reviews conclude that it isn’t as ‘playful’ as the Fiesta ST while cornering.

Reviewers have also found cause for concern when using the i20 N’s ‘sluggish’ infotainment, as well as its so-so ride comfort, with some of its hot hatch rivals being more comfortable to drive on a day-to-day basis.

As of November 2021, the Hyundai i20 N holds an impressive Expert Rating of 85%, based on 14 reviews published by the UK media. This rating is just 1% shy of the 86% scored by the class leader and key rival, the Ford Fiesta ST.

i20 N highlights

  • Pure hot hatch performance
  • Sharp handling and body control
  • Good levels of standard equipment
  • Excellent driving position
  • Suitable for track days and day-to-day driving

i20 N lowlights

  • Rather rigid ride comfort
  • Infortainment lags behind rivals
  • Cheap interior trim in places
  • Key rival Fiesta ST is cheaper
  • Sport driving mode makes the steering heavy

Key specifications


Body style: Small three-door hot hatch
Engines: petrol
Price: From £24,995 on-road

Launched: Autumn 2021
Last updated: N/A
Replacement due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

+

Auto Trader

+

Autocar

+

Car

+

Carbuyer

+

Carwow

+

Evo

+

Honest John

+

Parkers

+

The Sun

+

The Sunday Times

+

The Telegraph

+

Top Gear

+

What Car?

+

Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

No safety rating

As of November 2021, the Hyundai i20 range has not been crash tested by Euro NCAP. If and when it is put through its paces by Euro NCAP, we will publish the results here.

The i20 N has a number of high-calibre safety features as standard, including automatic emergency braking, lane assistance, traffic-sign recognition and e-Call emergency response.

Eco rating


Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

No eco rating

The Hyundai i20 N has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Hyundai i20 N has received

2021

  • Auto Express Awards – Best Hot Hatch
  • Carbuyer Awards – Best Hot Hatchback
  • Scottish Car of the Year Awards – Best Hot Hatch
  • Top Gear Awards – Car of the Year + Best Performance Car
  • Top Gear Speed Week – Competiton Champion

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Hyundai i20 N, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Ford Fiesta ST | Hyundai i30 N | Mini Cooper S | Mini hatch John Cooper Works | Suzuki Swift Sport | Toyota GR Yaris | Volkswagen Polo GTI | Volkswagen Up GTI

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites

Hyundai i20 NSingled out at the Ford Fiesta ST's closest rival to date, the Hyundai i20 N is a very talented small hot hatch that is serious fun to drive.