The Hyundai i30 Fastback is the latest and quirkiest variant in the Korean firm’s value for money i30 range.
The i30 Fastback at €24,995 is a grand dearer than the estate and a good deal more than the entry hatchback (from €20,245) but it represents the smartest and most business like body form. Longer than the hatch by 115mm, the Fastback is well equipped with just the one specification grade and one engine available in Ireland. The petrol powered Fastback is handsome machine with its slightly tweaked grille and flowing lines.
There is no denying the Fastback’s appealing shape. The influence of European designers is seen in the car’s clean lines. The roof line is lightly lower than the hatch and the Fastback features smart 17 inch alloys that help its proportions. A slightly stiffer suspension set up means the Fastback has a good stance and sits a little closer to the road. MacPherson struts feature up front and at the rear there is a multi link set up.
Inside the cabin the 8 inch touch screen with handy analogue side buttons sits high on the black plastic dash. Sat Nav is standard and overall connectivity is good with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus the ability to set up connect your phone as a Wifi hotspot. A reversing camera is standard too. Other noticeable standard features include: lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, cruise control and limiter and autonomous emergency braking. The boot or should I say hatchback boot at 450 litres is bigger than the hatchback’s 395 litres but shallow. The rear seats split 60/40. So the Fastback at 25 grand is good to go without the need to hit an options list.
Under the bonnet I’d love to say there is the i30N’s 275hp 2 litre but in reality you will find a perfectly acceptable turbocharged three cylinder 1 litre T-GDI with 120hp/171nm. The gearbox is a six speed manual. Top speed is 188km/h and 0-100km/h takes 11.5 seconds. The pint sized Euro 6 engine falls into tax band A4 (€200 annual road tax). Average fuel consumption is quoted by Hyundai at 5.2L/100km (54.3mpg).
On the road the Fastback has few vices. Its goes where you point it and stops confidently. While driving I never felt inspired to take the long or twisty way home. The driving experience is competent and the engine lively enough. The only drawback to the car’s sleek shape is the poor visibility through the rear view mirror. Despite the mirror being slightly adjustable for height, the rear window offers views mainly of car grilles. The side mirrors are good and there field of vision is acceptable.
The i30 Fastback fills a gap in the market for those who don’t want an SUV yet want a smart looking business machine. I see the Fastback as a stepping stone to say an Audi A3 saloon (from €29,360) for the young executive or downsizing professional who appreciates value for money. Rivals worth comparing with include the new Honda Civic saloon and Mazda3 saloon.