Driving

Hyundai i30 Fastback review

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Hyundai i30 Fastback
Review continues below...
14 Feb 2018 17:26 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 14:04

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Ironically, despite the name, the i30 Fastback isn’t all that fast. With just 118bhp, Hyundai’s entry-level turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol (we have yet to drive the more powerful 1.4-litre petrol) needs to be worked surprisingly hard before you start to make meaningful progress. Maximum shove is claimed to arrive at just 1500rpm but, in reality, you’ll be making full use of the 6,500rpm rev range for overtakes and the odd uphill slog.

It’s not like this compact motor trades power for economy, either. A Volkswagen Golf or Skoda Octavia fitted with their respective 1.0-litre TSI engines are more economical, fall into a lower tax bracket and are around a second quicker to 62mph; this might be a little embarrassing if you’re expecting your so-called ‘sports coupé’ to be quick.

But at least it thrills in the corners, right?

Well, if we’re honest, the i30 Fastback’s handling balance is very similar to the standard i30’s. The chassis may sit 5mm lower than the hatchback version and the suspension may have been stiffened to tighten up what was previously a soft package, but there’s still a fair amount of roll through the corners and the front end is all too willing to push wide if you try to carry speed through a quick bend.

Instead, this is a car that feels at its best while cruising. The ride is perfectly agreeable, if a little firmer than in the hatch, and all the control weights –steering, brakes and accelerator – are well matched and deliver a predictable and natural rate of response, even if there is little in the way of feel.

So, in short, the i30 Fastback is a well-rounded cruiser, if not particularly exciting. Indeed, for maximum thrills, we’ll just have to wait for the N version that's already in the pipeline.

 

Hyundai i30 Fastback
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There are 13 trims available for the i30 hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
S
Entry-level S models come with 15in alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a DAB radio, USB connection, Bluetooth, a multi-function steering wheel, automatic emergency braking, lane departure co...View trim
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SE
SE trim adds 16in alloy wheels, front foglights, a 5.0in colour touchscreen, rear parking sensors with camera and a leather steering wheel to S trim...View trim
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£17,834
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OUR PICK
SE Nav
SE Nav adds an integrated sat-nav and takes the screen size to 8.0in, as well as bringing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We don’t see the need to spend any more money than this...View trim
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£18,548
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Go SE
This limited-edition trim is based on SE Nav, but adds bigger alloys, dual-zone climate control and some bespoke styling upgrades. Not a bad deal given the relatively small price premium...View trim
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£18,706
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SE Nav
SE Nav adds an integrated sat-nav and takes the screen size to 8.0in, as well as bringing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We don’t see the need to spend any more money than this...View trim
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£19,012
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N Line
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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£19,775
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Premium
Premium trim brings 17in alloy wheels, climate control, an electronic parking brake, electric seats in artificial leather, heated front seats and front and rear parking sensors, as well as addition...View trim
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£20,681
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Premium
Premium trim brings 17in alloy wheels, climate control, an electronic parking brake, electric seats in artificial leather, heated front seats and front and rear parking sensors, as well as addition...View trim
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£20,953
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N Line+
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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£21,630
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Premium SE
Range-topping Premium SE trim rounds things off with a panoramic sunroof, real leather seats and a heated steering wheel. We’d stick to the cheaper SE Nav trim...View trim
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£21,887
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Premium SE
Range-topping Premium SE trim rounds things off with a panoramic sunroof, real leather seats and a heated steering wheel. We’d stick to the cheaper SE Nav trim...View trim
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£22,159
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N
Even the entry-level i30N hot hatch offers more toys than its rivals, including 18in alloy wheels, adaptive dampers, LED headlights, sports seats, red brake calipers, automatic lights and wipers, p...View trim
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N Performance
Move up to the Performance model and, as well as the limited-slip differential, 19in wheels, sticky tyres and sports exhaust that make the Performance model go quicker and sound better, you add lux...View trim
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