Hyundai’s N Performance is better than Toyota’s overpriced GR series. What do you think?
Toyota’s GR series is absolutely killing it at the moment. The GR Yaris became the talk of the town when it was released back in 2020, earning praise as a true rally car for the road. Now, the GR Corolla is making waves across all channels and receiving equally-high praise. It would seem that these Gazoo Racing Toyotas can do no wrong.
On the other hand, we have Hyundai’s N division – a lesser-known subbrand that is similar to Toyota’s GR series in the fact that both produce souped-up versions of these otherwise sensible cars.
Unfortunately, Hyundai’s N cars haven’t been able to garner the same kind of viral attention as the GR cars and that is a great tragedy. Now, fortunately, it looks like things could be changing as the latest Hyundai i20 N is getting rave reviews and conversation about current hot hatches is turned to this sleeper hit.
So why is Hyundai’s N division arguable better than Toyota’s GR series? Well, first of all, the N cars are less extortionate. Toyota is really trying to upsell their GR cars based on the reputation of rally racing pedigree but not everyone can be persuaded that a two-door hot hatch is worth £31,000 because Tommi Mäkinen touched it.
Sure, the GR Yaris may be tuned like an actual rally car but we need to ask ourselves, as enthusiasts, is that really what you want? Perhaps the ultra-wealthy can afford to own cars that are as close to Formula One cars as legally possible but there’s a name for those cars. Track cars. What good is an everyday hot hatch that is tuned to the absolute limit in order to feel like an actual rally car?
The GR Yaris is left as an overpowered, hard-to-control pocket rocket. It’s very cool to own one and brag to your friends about all the technical details of its tuning but as soon as it comes to putting foot to pedal, you’ll likely find such owners in a ditch at the side of a B road. It would seem more of these cars are being crashed than not.
Hyundai’s i20 N is just £6k more than the standard version, bringing the total to £25,250. The GR Yaris is £10k more than the standard Yaris. Hyundai’s little 4-door hatchback grants you extra space, extra doors and a fantastic design featuring a rear wing, diffuser and front splitter. Launch control, a fantastic sounding exhaust, more driving modes and settings you can shake a stick at and even built-in lap time counters for various race circuits. All of this can be enjoyed whilst riding on suspension that won’t give you back problems and a power delivery that is manageable.
But hey, some people like the ‘exclusivity’ of the GR brand, the allure of a rally pedigree and a price tag that makes the car seem like it’s worth more than it actually is. Let us know which you prefer, in the comments.
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