Hyundai i30 Fastback hatchback
"The talented Hyundai i30 gets the five-door coupe treatment"
- Great value
- Drives well
- Surprisingly practical
- Looks won’t suit all tastes
- Competent rather than fun
- Not as rounded as some rivals
The Hyundai i30 Fastback is a more rakish five-door coupe version of the i30 hatchback that squares up against the Mazda3 Fastback, as well as more conventional hatches like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. Intended to appeal to buyers looking for a stylish yet practical family car, it’s a remarkably complete package. Strong, economical petrol engines, quality construction, great standard equipment, a comfortable interior and relatively low pricing are all likely to appeal, along with its decent driving experience and impressive five-year unlimited-mileage warranty.
The i30 Fastback exists in a niche almost all of its own – it offers a body that’s similar in concept to both the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo and 4 Series Gran Coupe, albeit for a fraction of the price. Mazda is the only manufacturer to offer a similar recipe in the class at present; cars like the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3 saloon can be considered contenders but are considerably more expensive.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Sharing its two petrol engines with the i30 hatchback, the Fastback enjoys a similar combination of performance and economy. There’s no diesel option for now, so the most efficient of the current crop is the 118bhp 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol in SE Nav spec, which will return 54.3mpg on average when combine with the six-speed manual gearbox. The most efficient 138bhp 1.4-litre T-GDi returns 52.3mpg on average in the same trim, but fitted with Hyundai’s seven-speed DCT gearbox. The least efficient model is the same engine with a manual gearbox in Premium or Premium SE spec – 49.6mpg on average is claimed.
CO2 figures range from 120g/km for the manual 1.0 T-GDi models to 129g/km for the manual 1.4 T-GDi; these figures equate to a first-year tax payment (usually integrated into the on-the-road price) of £160, plus BiK ratings of 25% and 26% respectively.
The Hyundai i30 Fastback sits in insurance groups from 8-15. As with all Hyundai models, the i30 Fastback benefits from a five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, plus five years of roadside assistance and yearly health checks.
Engines, drive & performance
Just like its hatchback and Tourer counterparts, the i30 Fastback is a competent performer from behind the wheel. The 1.4-litre petrol engine in particular offers decent low-down power and is quiet, while the standard six-speed gearbox shifts smoothly. The Fastback has received some updates to improve handling and it shows – stiffer, lower suspension help make the car handle tidily. The car’s brakes are competent, too. The steering feels a little heavy and slow but it's consistent, and it makes the car easy to place on the road once you're used to it.
There's also an N Line trim level for anyone after a more involving driving experience, with firmer suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels and Michelin performance tyres.
The entry-level 118bhp 1.0-litre petrol model manages 0-62mph in 11.5 seconds and on to a 117mph top speed, while the 138bhp 1.4-litre model manages 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds (and a 129mph top speed) with a manual gearbox or 9.5 (and 126mph) with an automatic.
Interior & comfort
The Hyundai i30 Fastback’s interior is a great place to be, with all of its switchgear and major controls feeling just as precise as those in its main rivals. Overall quality is good and standard equipment is excellent – all cars get an eight-inch infotainment screen with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth with voice recognition and wireless phone charging, plus a rear parking assist system with a rear-view camera, 17-inch alloys, front foglights and a leather steering wheel.
Premium trim brings 18-inch alloys on 1.4-litre models, along with dual-zone climate control, privacy glass, part-faux-leather heated seats and a 4.2-inch display for the driver; step up to Premium SE and a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, LED headlights and a heated steering wheel add a final slice of luxury.
The 18-inch alloy wheels look good but they do sacrifice some ride quality for style. The trade-off doesn't make the car unbearably uncomfortable but you tend to notice poor road surfaces more easily and there's more roar from the tyres at high speeds. The sporty N Line trim also gets 18-inch wheels, along with a new bodykit and interior upgrades like sports seats, metal pedals and a sporty steering wheel.
Practicality & boot space
Despite appearances, the Hyundai i30 Fastback doesn’t compromise too much on interior space despite its swooping roofline. There’s as much legroom in the rear as you get in the hatchback model, while headroom is only marginally affected; a six-foot passenger can fit behind a six-foot driver with no issues, which is a remarkable feat of packaging. Interior storage is good, with decent-sized door bins and a central armrest cubby stand-out features. All models get a ski hatch, too.
The i30 Fastback has a 450-litre boot, which is significantly larger than the 395 litres found in the standard hatchback. The i30 Tourer still wins in the loadspace stakes with with its 602-litre load area, though. In comparison, the Mazda3 Fastback has a 419-litre boot, which although 55 litres more than the equivalent Mazda3 hatch is still some way off the i30 Fastback’s figure.
Reliability & safety
The Hyundai i30 Fastback is too new to have featured in in our 2018 Driver owner satisfaction survey, but other Hyundai models including the Tucson and i20 made it into the top 75, with strong scores for build quality and reliability. Hyundai itself finished 15th overall out of 26 manufacturers, ahead of big players like Ford in 16th, Vauxhall in 22nd and Renault in 24th.
Euro NCAP hasn't crash-tested the Hyundai i30 Fastback specifically, but it awarded the i30 hatchback its maximum five-star rating, with an 88% adult occupant rating and 84% child occupant rating. It’s likely that the Fastback will offer much the same level of protection.
There’s a good amount of standard safety kit, much of which is shared with the the i30 hatchback. All trim levels get lane departure and forward collision warning systems, along with lane-keep assistance, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and hill-start assistance. Premium and Premium SE models add blind-spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system.
Reliability is largely unconfirmed, but Hyundai’s strong reputation and five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty should bring extra peace of mind, as should the included five years of annual health checks.
Price, value for money & options
Hyundais have long been synonymous with great value, but nowadays their breadth of talent has lifted them out of the bargain basement and into direct competition with mainstream manufacturers. Prices for the i30 Fastback start at just over £20,000 – virtually the same price as the equivalent Mazda3 Fastback, but around £3,000 more than the cheapest i30 hatchback.
Standard equipment is excellent, with the only option being metallic or pearlescent paint, as most equipment variations are worked into the four trim levels.