BRAND NEW HYUNDAI I30 FASTBACK
Hyundai’s first five-door coupe is one of the best to hit the market.
Another month, another new Hyundai. The Korean marque has lofty ambitions in becoming the best-selling Asian brand – and the latest addition to its line-up will be a valuable asset in turning that ambition into reality.
It’s the i30 Fastback: an all-new take on the highly regarded i30 Hatchback. Looks come first and foremost with the Fastback; it’s effectively a four-door coupe combining the practicality of a saloon car with the styling of a sportier model.
In keeping with Hyundai’s acclaimed Fluidic Design language found across the range, the Fastback retains the unmistakeable cascading grille first seen on the undeniably handsome Hatchback version. It’s been endowed with the same sleek, rather mean looking headlamps too. So viewed from the front, it’s business as usual – which is a winning formula.
But side-on, the roof slopes down towards the rear of the car, making the Fastback look more streamlined, more aerodynamic than the hatch version, and sportier than competitors like the Honda Civic. From behind, a new spoiler protrudes from the boot to add a touch of bling, complemented by sharp, newly designed taillights which make for an overall fresher, modernised look.
The Fastback is a compelling proposition when it comes to the driving experience too. It’s not just a hatch wrapped up in a sexier body; Hyundai has made two important changes to the set-up underneath too. It’s lower than its Hatchback cousin, sitting 5mm closer to the road, which makes for more responsive handling, while stiffer suspension ups the Fastback’s agility even further. The roofline is lower too – considerably lower, at 30mm – and wider rear wheel arches hunker the car down to the road. Irish buyers can choose between a six-speed manual and a seven-speed DCT option for 2018.
The engine makes a good compromise between fuel economy and performance; it’s a 1.0L petrol developing a relatively meaty 116bhp – not bad at all for an engine of this size – which is enough to take the Fastback to a top speed of 188kph with capability for combined fuel economy of 5.2L/100km.
Inside, the Fastback is as generously equipped as Hyundai buyers have come to expect from the brand in recent years. An 8” colour touchscreen, which is raised above the dash as if to be floating, comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, effectively controlling your entire smartphone from the centre console. There’s a free, seven-year subscription to TomTom LIVE services too, which gives drivers weather, traffic and speed camera updates in real time.
The Fastback also comes with Hyundai SmartSense, a cutting-edge safety system packed with new technology to prevent an impact more effectively than ever before. It’s seriously clever; it warns the driver of an imminent collision and, if the driver doesn’t respond, applies the brakes as heavily as needed to avoid objects in front or minimise potential damage.
It’ll keep you in your lane too; at speeds higher than 60km/h, the car knows when you’re staying over the lanes, gives you a warning and again, if you don’t respond, will take control for you and get you back into your lane.
In short: the Fastback is a tempting buy for drivers fond of Hyundai’s unflappable reliability, near-unbeatable warranty and high level of affordability. It’s priced at only €1000 above the Tourer version, yet it comes with more desirable looks and a more engaging driving experience.
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