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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Hyundai i30 Fastback

Overall verdict
Looks the business, decent to drive and relatively practical, but still likely to be a rare sight on UK roads


Looks ace, tidy handling, 1.5-litre engine is quiet and refined, reasonably practical


Ride's too stiff, hesitant automatic gearbox, compromised rear visibility, limited line-up


What is it?

A Hyundai i30 hatchback turned into a saloon-cum-coupe. A ‘hatchalooupe’ if you will, very much in the mould of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz CLA. Only the Hyundai is cheaper (naturally) and arguably better looking (wait, what?).

As is typical with cars like this, the i30 Fastback is a bit lower and longer than the hatchback on which it’s based (though the wheelbase is the same). The boot is actually marginally bigger than the hatchback’s (450 plays 395-litres, seats-up) and, perhaps surprisingly, adults sat in the back have sufficient headroom. So choosing the Fastback over the hatch isn’t to totally disregard practicality. It’s a decent bit of packaging.

The i30 Fastback is only offered in N-Line and fully-fledged N specs. The former gets aggressive front and rear bumpers, 18-inch alloy wheels and sports seats that make it look a whole lot like the latter. Which is a very good thing.

The N-Line gets a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol with 48-volt mild-hybrid tech and either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Our review of the superb i30N is hidden behind these blue words.

Also new for 2020 across the i30 range (hatch, Fastback, Tourer and N) is bolder styling (a bigger grille and new head/taillights), as well as Hyundai’s latest infotainment and active safety systems.

Tempted? The i30 Fastback costs around £750 more than the equivalent i30 hatchback, from a little over £25,000. The hatch, Hyundai’s answer to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, is of course available in more specs and with greener, less powerful engines starting at around £20,000.

The Fastback has relative rarity on its side, too, accounting for just 15 per cent of i30 sales (50 per cent hatch, 35 per cent Tourer).