The new Hyundai i30 FastBack is the bigger version of the standard i30 model. It’s essentially a Coupe that drives well, but it isn’t as performative as it looks.
Indeed, speed and driving fun isn’t at the heart of what it’s all about. Instead, this is a family car that just happens to be a bit sexier than usual. It’s practical, comfortable and affordable. Significantly, it has a much bigger boot than the i30 Hatchback.
Hyundai started making cars in 1967 and since then they have grown into one a car manufacturer that produces cars for over 193 countries and employs over 75,000 people. In our brief history of Hyundai we look at how they made it to where they are.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Hyundai i30 FastBack review.
Overview of the Hyundai i30 FastBack
On the Road
It’s going to come as something of a disappointment to some buyers that this Coupe version of the i30 is only marginally more fun to drive than the hatchback variant. Despite its sporty looks, Hyundai never intended to create an out and out sports car here, and the FastBack is more competent than entertaining.
That said, Hyundai have updated its handling, and it’s very well mannered on the road. The steering is a tad too heavy at times, but it is at least consistent. Moreover, placing the car where you want it is simple enough.
There are a few key differences between this car and the standard i30 Hatchback. For one thing, the FastBack sits 30mm lower. For another, its suspension has been tweaked, with the result being that it’s more agile in bends. It also leans less than its sibling.
Overall then, the FastBack isn’t what you’d call an engrossing car to drive, and in many respects, it reminds us of the i30 Hatchback.
In terms of its engines, there are just two petrols to choose from for now, with a diesel engine expected by the end of 2018.
A 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol unit kicks things off. It develops 120bhp, has a 0-62 time of 11.5 seconds, and is our top pick. It delivers its power in a predictable manner and has plenty of punch to keep up on the motorway.
Next up is a 1.4-litre T-DGi petrol engine that produces 140bhp. If you pair it up with the automatic gearbox it can get you from a standstill to 62mph in 9.5 seconds. Stick with the manual ‘box, and you can cover the 0-62 sprint in 9.2 seconds. The automatic is more responsive than it is with the i30 Hatchback, but it lacks the character of the smaller petrol engine.
Hyundai i30 FastBack Interior, Design and Build
There’s barely anything that separates its cabin from the i30 Hatchback. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although the car’s exterior does suggest that the FastBack will be sportier inside.
Still, what you get is a stylish interior that’s well built, and which looks like it will stand the test of time.
It’s also modern, with all models coming with an 8” infotainment screen that’s compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. That said, the multimedia system is a bit slow to respond at times, and this can be a real pain.
Comfort is very satisfying if you stick to the smaller alloys, but its ride is badly affected by the 18” alloys.
Is the Hyundai i30 FastBack practical? A swooping roofline doesn’t limit headroom as much as you might expect. Legroom is just the same as it is in the Hatchback variant, and four adults will be comfortable enough.
Storage solutions are good, all models come with a height adjustable steering wheel and a ski hatch, and the boot measures 450-litres. That’s significantly bigger than the i30 Hatchback’s 395-litre boot.
Does Hyundai make reliable cars? Find out more by reading our honest assessment of the manufacturer.
Equipment and Safety of the Hyundai i30 FastBack
Standard kit is good across the range. Entry-level models come with LED daytime running lights, electric all-round windows, 17” alloys, front fog lamps, a leather steering wheel, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, wireless phone charging and an 8” touchscreen complete with sat-nav.
The Premium model adds twin zone climate control, heated front seats, tinted rear windows and cloth and fake leather upholstery.
Rounding off the range is the Premium SE model. It adds a heated steering wheel, real leather upholstery and a panoramic sunroof.
In terms of how safe the car is, the FastBack as of yet has no safety rating. Its sibling, the i30 Hatchback, however, enjoys a 5-star safety rating.
Standard safety kit includes autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assistance, hill-start assistance and lane departure warning. If you want the likes of blind spot detection and front and rear parking seats, you’ll need to upgrade to the Premium model.
Costs of the Hyundai i30 FastBack
Prices for the new car start out from just over £20,305 and rise to £25,155. For more information on our lease deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, there’s no diesel engine available, but the good news is that the petrols are relatively efficient. A 1.0-litre T-GDi unit is the most frugal and can return as much as 54.3mpg if you stick to the 6-speed manual ‘box.
The 1.4-litre petrol engine, on the other hand, can manage as much as 52.3mpg on a good day. To get those numbers you have to pair it up with the seven-speed automatic box. Should you decide to mate it to the manual transmission instead you will return 49.6mpg at best.
Pros and Cons of the Hyundai i30 FastBack
The i30 pretty much has all that you need from a modern family car, including a big boot.
Its sporty looks are a huge part of its appeal
It’s not the most entertaining car in the world, but its driving experience is thoroughly enjoyable.
Not very sporty
It’s a sporty looking five-door Coupe, but it’s actually nowhere near as sporty as you might imagine.
Not suitable for all families
It’s a family car alright, but its striking looks won’t be to everyone’s tastes.
Hyundai i30 FastBack vs Kia Stinger vs Volkswagen Arteon
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Hyundai i30 FastBack review.
Hyundai i30 FastBack vs Kia Stinger
The new Kia Stinger is one of the best-named cars ever. It’s a four-door sports car that offers strong performance but which probably isn’t as practical as the i30.
On the road, however, the Stinger is a lot more exciting than the Hyundai and this is where it upstages its rivals. Its rear-wheel-drive layout ensures that it handles well, and performance is good. There’s plenty of grip in bends and – despite this car’s considerable size – it’s fairly agile.
Adaptive dampers are available as optional extras, but even without them, the car is pretty damn supple.
In terms of its engines, a 2.0-litre petrol engine powers the standard Stinger model. It develops 244bhp and can get you from rest to 62mph in 6.0 seconds flat.
The standard model is a lot faster than the FastBack, but there’s more – a bigger GT-S variant is backed by a massive twin turbo 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine that produces a walloping 365bhp. That’s enough to cover the 0-62 sprint in a matter of 4.8 seconds. A variety of driving modes are available, and the engine sounds magnificent in full flow.
Running costs? This is where the Kia can’t compete with the Hyundai, and its bigger engines aren’t cheap to run. The 2.0-litre petrol is good for returns of 35.8mpg at best, while the bigger 3.3-litre engine can manage 28.5mpg on a (very) good day.
Inside, the Stinger catches us a bit off guard. From the outside, this is a very exciting-looking sports car. The cabin, while modern and smart enough, is a bit bland.
It’s comfortable, the dials and buttons are logically arranged and easy to use, but buyers will be left scratching their heads at a lack of flair.
Still, you can’t argue with the quality on offer, and all models come with swanky leather seats.
Is the Kia Stinger practical? There’s a surprising amount of room in here. Legroom, in particular, is impressive, and four adults should have no problem getting comfortable. That said, a low roofline does limit headroom.
Eight-way power adjustable front seats make it easy for you to find the right driving position, while the boot measures 406-litres. That’s reasonable but it’s 45-litres smaller than the FastBack, which is the more practical car here. The Stinger, on the other hand, is the more outrageous choice.
Hyundai – £20,305 – £25,155
Kia – £31,995 – £40,495
Hyundai i30 FastBack vs Volkswagen Arteon
Like the i30 FastBack, the new Volkswagen Arteon is a solid all-rounder.
Also like its rival, the Arteon is competent instead of fun on the road. It’s sharp but it’s clear from the get-go that Volkswagen didn’t design this with driver appeal in mind. The steering is too numb and lacks feel.
On the other hand, the steering is nice and precise, and if you specify the optional adaptive dampers you can switch to Sport mode to enhance the way the car drives.
In terms of its engines, the entry-level petrol choice is a 1.5-litre turbo option that develops a modest 148bhp. It doesn’t weigh too much, however, and can get you from a standstill to 62mph in 8.9 seconds.
That means all Arteon models are faster than the FastBack. Next in line is a punchy 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that develops 188bhp, and which covers the 0-62 sprint in 7.7 seconds. There’s also a 280bhp variant of this engine available, which has a 0-62 time of 5.6 seconds. This model also gets four-wheel-drive as standard.
Running costs? The 1.5-litre petrol engine is able to return 54.3mpg economy while emitting 119g/km of CO2. This gives it a respectable BiK rating of 24%. The 188bhp variant of the 2.0-litre engine meanwhile, is good for 46.9mpg, while the 280bhp variant of the same engine can return 38.8mpg at best while emitting 164g/km of CO2.
Inside, VW have spent a lot of time – and money – on this cabin. The Arteon is a premium product; fit and finish is excellent, the quality of the materials used is high, and ride quality is very good.
However, it’s a shame that design-wise, VW haven’t strayed too far from the Passat’s blueprint. There are lots of similarities, although there are also enough differences to separate the two cars. The dashboard is clearly arranged and all models get a 9.2” infotainment system.
Is the Volkswagen Arteon practical? It’s bigger than the VW CC that it’s replaced, and being based on the Passat means that it was always going to be a large, roomy car.
That it is, and anyone who sits in here will have no trouble getting comfortable. Leg and shoulder is good, the steering wheel offers plenty of adjustability, and the car’s curvy roofline doesn’t limit headroom like you think it would.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 563-litres, which dwarves the FastBack.
Volkswagen – £32,535 – £40,305
Verdict of our 2018 Hyundai i30 Fastback Review
This is a stylish and also a very practical family car – but it’s also very niche. It drives a lot like the hatchback variant but its sportier looks set it apart.
And despite looking like a thrilling Coupe, this is actually a usable car that any family who wants to feel good on the road will love. The new Hyundai i30 Fastback won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but it won’t find it too hard to find itself an audience.