Hot Hyundai i20 N on sale now for £24,995

Hyundai's latest hot supermini looks to rival the acclaimed Ford Fiesta ST

  • Range-topping i20 N has sporty styling and performance to match
  • 201bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine; 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds
  • Direct competition for the Ford Fiesta ST

The new Hyundai i20 N is now on sale with a starting price of £24,995. Its most direct rival is the Ford Fiesta ST, which is priced almost identically in the equivalent five-door, ST-3 form at £24,980. 

2021 Hyundai i20 N prices and specs

To tempt buyers away from the Fiesta ST, our current Best Hot Hatchback award-winner, the Hyundai i20 N is similarly priced and has 201bhp from a 1.6-litre petrol engine, putting it slightly ahead of the Ford’s 197bhp. 

Prices for the Hyundai start at £24,995, so it actually costs around £2,500 more than a Fiesta ST in entry-level ST-2 trim. The level of standard equipment on the i20 N, however, means it’s more comparable with the Fiesta ST in top-spec ST-3 form, which is just £15 cheaper.

The i20 N comes with an impressive level of equipment. Launch control, a rev-matching function, cruise control with speed limiter, a rear-view camera with parking sensors. automatic LED headlights, heated seats and automatic climate control are included as standard.

Engine and performance

While the standard Hyundai i20 hatchback features a sensible mild-hybrid 1.0-litre engine, the i20 N gets a 1.6-litre turbo petrol producing 201bhp. A six-speed manual gearbox is the only one available and has been upgraded to cope with the extra power. Just like the i20 rally car, the i20 N weighs just 1,190kg. Acceleration from 0-62mph is achieved in 6.7 seconds and the car will go on to a top speed of 143mph.

A mechanical limited-slip differential is fitted to help the i20 N in corners, while bigger brakes, new springs and dampers and a stiffer suspension setup should all help to make the car fun to drive. Five driving modes are available - Normal, Eco, Sport, N and N Custom - and these adjust throttle response, engine noise and steering weight. N Custom allows you to configure the individual settings to your liking.

Styling

The i20 N certainly doesn’t shrink into the background, with rally-inspired styling touches and a smattering of red accents. At the front, LED headlights sit above deep air vents and a sharp front bumper. The tall rear spoiler sits above the rear windscreen, and there’s a large exhaust, extra air vents and a new diffuser.

Inside, the Hyundai i20 N gets its pair of screens lifted wholesale from the standard i20 hatchback, one for the infotainment and one that replaces analogue dials in front of the driver. For the N model, Hyundai has given the screens unique graphics, while the interior also gets sportier seats and a special steering wheel with exclusive ‘N’ buttons.

Alongside the Fiesta ST, the i20 N also rivals the Volkswagen Polo GTI and MINI Cooper S. It’s joining a contracting part of the market; the Polo GTI won’t be replaced at the end of its lifespan and we’re not expecting a Cupra Ibiza or Renaultsport Clio either. The shortening list of rivals isn’t down to demand but because many manufacturers are struggling to meet stringent emissions targets, so some of their high-performance models need to be withdrawn. However, because Hyundai already makes plenty of low-emission cars, it has the ability to create a quicker version of the i20, and we’re led to believe that Peugeot could introduce an electric GTi version of the Peugeot 208 too.

The Korean brand is working on another N model; a fast Hyundai Kona N is also in the works. This’ll also use the 2.0-litre petrol engine from the i30 N, and will feature many of the same styling upgrades.

Read more about the new Hyundai i20 hatchback here.

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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