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In-depth reviews

Hyundai i30 Fastback review

The i30 Fastback adds some coupe style to the Hyundai compact hatchback formula

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£19,856 to £28,801
  • Extra boot space
  • Competitive pricing
  • Good standard equipment
  • Unexciting to drive
  • Slow base models
  • Rear headroom suffers

The Hyundai i30 Fastback brings some diversity to the crowded compact hatchback market, and is likely to attract interest from anyone looking for something other than a standard five-door hatchback. Whether or not they will find the i30 Fastback attractive is a personal thing. Where it really delivers in its all-round competence; there is a broad and efficient engine range, a high level of standard equipment and good build quality, a sound driving experience and competitive pricing, all of which makes for a compelling case on paper. What might be lacking is the spark of driving excitement that comes with a Ford Focus, or the superior quality feel of a Volkswagen Golf that might persuade buyers to sign on the dotted line.

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The Hyundai i30 Fastback is the third model in the i30 range, and is for sale alongside the standard five-door i30 hatchback and i30 Tourer estate. It has the look of a coupe that aims to be a bit more stylish than the standard hatchback, but it also has additional space over the standard car.

It’s offered in SE Nav, Premium and Premium SE trims, while the range is topped by the rapid i30 Fastback N. These specs are the same as you’ll find in the standard i30 hatchback range, while the rest of the car’s running gear and technology is carried over, too.

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Only two engine options are available in the standard model, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol with 119bhp and a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol with 138bhp, both of which are turbocharged. No diesel engine options are available, and both models come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. A seven-speed dual clutch automatic is available on the 1.4-litre engine only.

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The i30 N Fastback uses the same mechanical make-up as the i30N hatchback, so it comes with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine offering 271bhp, and is matched to a six-speed manual transmission. A lower-output version of the i30N that is available in hatchback form, but it’s not available in the Fastback.

With a crowded compact hatchback market to contend with, the i30 Fastback offers something different to the norm. There’s no direct rival for it – the Mercedes A-Class Saloon is far more expensive – so the i30 Fastback has to rely on its unique looks to take sales from the main contenders in the compact hatchback segment such as the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra and the Kia Ceed. Kia also offers the Proceed model, which is closer to an estate car than a four-door coupe but combines a similar mix of a design-led exterior with boosted cabin space.

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