Kia got the Stinger but Hyundai got the i30N so who’s the winner in this family feud? Neither, they both did well in the race for pace with the Stinger appealing to a completely different audience to the i30N.

Having driven both, I’d gladly have either.

The twin turbo, rear wheel drive, V6 Stinger is a GT style ‘sedan’ … fast and composed over longer distances while the four cylinder, twin-scroll turbo, front wheel drive i30N is a point and squirt hot hatch that’s track ready out of the box.

It had to happen because Hyundai head-hunted a BMW ‘M’ engineer to run its N performance department so just make sure you enunciate N as opposed to M when talking about the Hyundai hotrod.

The N has a few front drive competitors including VW’s Golf GTi and the Honda Civic Type R.

It falls somewhere between the two of these cars in terms of outright capability and feel and is super competitively priced and equipped at $39,990.

Everyone asks is it as good as the Golf GTi and I’d have to say straight up that the N is at least the Golf’s equal, possibly a tad sharper maybe not as polished.

I have asked Hyundai for a demo car to take to an MX-5 Club track day for some serious fast driving so if it happens, the exercise will be really interesting.. Wish I could get hold of a Golf GTi at the same time…

Exterior

Honestly, despite the body kit with functional aerodynamics I reckon the N is a bit reserved in appearance. It has a ‘stance’ and is different enough from garden variety i30s but not enough to scream what’s under the skin.

The car’s shape is handsome and the front is ‘assertive’’ but the whole plot looks a bit ‘nice’ where I would prefer something a touch nasty.

It’s a five door hatch in some funky colours with a wedge shape side profile and truncated rear end. Big 19-inch wheels carry grippy Pirelli P-Zeros with huge multi piston disc brakes peeking out from behind.

The test car was a striking pale lilac colour which mightn’t sound all that appealing but really stands out in a crowd.

2018 Hyundai i30N rear