An i30, only more stylish: Hyundai i30 Fastback first drive

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The Hyundai i30 Fastback is a car that I’ve been curious to try, purely because it’s something a bit different from the norm. It’s essentially an i30 hatchback that has been turned in to a five door coupe. Not only is it wearing a different set of clothes, but it sits a bit lower than the hatch and the suspension has been set up to be a bit more dynamic.

Swings and roundabouts

The sleeker, longer body not only gives the i30 Fastback a more interesting look, but it also offers a larger boot. The hatch is able to offer 395 litres, which in itself is pretty impressive, but the Fastback is able to better this with 450 litres. Don’t forget you’ve got the Tourer, just in case that needs more space – 602 litres, in case you’re wondering. This is all jolly good, but the sweeping roofline has had a negative effect on rear headroom, which is tight to say the least. The legroom isn’t exactly stellar, either.

What about the rest of the interior?

Step in to the front and you’ll find an interior that feels well put together. Ok, it’s not the last word in excitement but it looks smart enough, plus it’s functional and tasteful. There’s a good amount of soft touch materials, there’s not too many buttons, and the buttons that are there have a nice amount of damping to them. Ok, there are a few cheap looking plastics here and there, but it’s priced accordingly. The model tested here is the Premium model, which sits in the middle of the range, and is priced from £22,110.

There’s a decent amount of kit on offer; including 8″ touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth, navigation, smartphone connectivity, dual zone climate control, LED headlights, 18″ alloy, heated front seats as well as seats trimmed in cloth and faux leather. That’s not all though, as the Premium also offers keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection, cross traffic alert, plus more. You also get a five year warranty as well, for better peace of mind.

In regards to other trim levels, SE Nav is the base model, which starts from £20,310. The SE Nav is able to offer kit including 17″ alloy wheels, air conditioning, rear parking sensors, wireless phone charging, 7″ touchscreen with DAB radio, Bluetooth, smartphone connectivity, and of course, navigation.

Premium SE is the range-topping model, which starts from £23,410. On top of the features offered by the Premium trim level, Premium SE adds a panoramic roof, heated steering wheel, and, and that’s about it to be fair. So on that basis, I’d recommend that the Premium is your best bet.

How does it drive?

Pretty well, to be honest. Compared to the hatchback, the Fastback is a tad lower, plus the suspension has been stiffened up as well, to make it more dynamic. It’s not an out-and-out performance car – you’ll have to wait for the N version for that – but it’s still pretty capable in the corners. Yes, there is a bit of understeer, and you can feel the car’s weight through the corners, but the grip is of a good standard. The steering could be a bit faster, though.

Hyundai i30 Fastback

Underneath the bonnet lies a 1.4 litre turbocharged four cylinder petrol engine, which produces 138bhp with 242Nm of torque. It makes decent progress, although the 7-speed auto in which it’s attached to was a bit slow to respond at times. This can be improved by slipping the car in to Sport mode, but you’ve always got the flappy paddles in case you would rather do the changes yourself.

Hyundai i30 Fastback

One thing I’ll say about the Sport mode, is that it was holding on to the revs a little too long for my liking, and it seemed to not quite know when to change up. 62mph is dealt with in 9.5 seconds and the top speed is 126mph, so it offers respectable performance. Of course there’s the N version to look forward to, in case you seek more power.

Hyundai i30 Fastback

Thanks to large alloys, the ride does have a firm edge to it, but the chassis is able to do enough to protect you from most bumps as it offers a decent amount of damping. Refinement is pretty good, and it’s a civilised environment in which to be in. It’s a decent cruiser and I reckon you could cover many miles in this car with no real complaints. I do have a complaint about rear visibility though; it’s not fantastic as the rear window is slim as a result of the coupé design.

What about other engines?

There’s not the largest of choice when it comes to engines, and if you’re craving a diesel you’ll need to look elsewhere. Other than the 1.4 litre petrol, you can have a 1.0 litre turbocharged three cylinder petrol, which is able to offer 118bhp. Having experienced this engine in a Kia Stonic I’ve recently tested, I can report it’s a nippy engine, but the Fastback is a bit heavier, therefore the 1.4 litre may be the better bet for you.

Hyundai i30 Fastback

The reason for this is because the Stonic weighs around 1,200kg, whereas the Fastback is a rather portly 1,820kg in its lightest configuration. If you do opt for the 1.0 litre, however, it’ll be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox whereas the 1.4 litre petrol can either be had with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DCT automatic.

Is is frugal?

As mentioned above, there’s no diesel option, so it’s not as frugal as it could be. Then again, there’s still a fair amount of uncertainty about said fuel. The 1.0 litre is your best bet if you’re looking to be thrifty as it offers 54.3mpg on a combined run, although it’s not a million miles ahead of the 1.4 litre. Coupled with the manual gearbox, the 1.4 litre offers 51.4mpg on combined run whereas the DCT offers a slightly improved 52.3mpg.

The 1.0 litre emits 120g/km of CO2 emissions, meaning you’ll pay £165 for the first year of VED, whereas the 1.4 litre emits 129g/km for the manual and 125g/km for the DCT. This means you’ll pay £165 for the first year of VED for both. It’s worth noting that fuel economy and CO2 emissions are a little lower/higher if you opt for bigger alloys.

Is the i30 Fastback worth having?

If you’re looking for an i30, but you want something a little different, then definitely. To me, it’s a more interesting car than the hatchback to look, plus it offers a bit more dynamism and boot space. Yes, the looks do mean it’s not quite as spacious in the rear, but if you are happy to make that compromise you’ll have a four door coupe that won’t cost you Merc or Audi money. It seems like a decent base for the N version as well, so I look forward to having a spin in that when the time is right.

Hyundai i30 Fastback

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