When Albert Biermann left BMW M to go work for Hyundai and Genesis, Bavarian enthusiasts were both disappointed and hopeful. Disappointed that he’d be taking his talents elsewhere but hopeful that some very cool, more affordable cars would be coming from Hyundai. Fortunately, their hopes have been met, for the most part, by very exciting cars at shockingly affordable prices. One such car is the Hyundai i30 N (we get the Veloster N in the ‘States) and it takes on BMW’s latest hot-hatch entry, the BMW 128ti, in this new Top Gear test.

As soon as I saw the TG headline, I audibly said “Ohh, that should be fun.” It’s a battle between Biermann’s previous employer and current one, with two very similar cars at similar price points. So which one is better?

Hyundai’s N Division has quite a few employees that used to work at BMW’s M Division. To say that Hyundai’s performance arm was inspired by BMW’s would be an understatement. I mean just look at the names. So it should come as no surprise that the Hyundai i30N is excellent to drive. Its steering is fantastic and its chassis is incredibly playful. No surprise considering the people behind it. The BMW 128ti, on the other hand, is more sensible, calmer, and more sophisticated. It’s still very good to drive but there’s a layer off cream in between its playfulness and the driver.

Both cars have similar specs and performance; they both use 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines with front-wheel drive. However, the Hyundai makes 276 bhp and 286 lb-ft of torque, while the Bimmer makes 261 bhp and 295 lb-ft. The BMW only gets an eight-speed automatic, while the Hyundai has the choice of either a six-speed manual or eight-speed dual-clutch auto. The Hyundai is quicker, too, getting from 0-62 mph in 5.9 seconds versus the Bimmer’s 6.1.

But which car is better to drive and own? It’s an incredibly interesting comparison and one that I enjoyed reading. Check it out.

[Source: Top Gear]