The success of the i30 N has made Hyundai a credible rival to some of the hot hatch market’s very best.
After the hatch was a storming success, the South Korean brand decided to take the same performance platform and add it to another version of the i30 – this time, the coupe-like Fastback.
This is Hyundai’s third N model, following on from the i30 N and Veloster N – with the latter not offered here in the UK – and both have proven very successful.
So can the N version of the i30 Fastback continue the great start Hyundai’s N division has had? We get behind the wheel and find out…
To match up with the hatch version, the Fastback N comes with the same 2.0-litre turbocharged, four-cylinder unit – developing 271bhp and 353Nm of torque. It sends that power to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, which offers a great change and is fitted with rev-matching tech to allow for smoother gear shifts.
With the combo, the Fastback N can go from 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 155mph. Power delivery is excellent, meaning you can make solid headway on motorways or twistier sections.
Ride & Handling
Following on from the resounding success of the i30 N, Hyundai has simply transferred what it did with the hatch into the Fastback – and it is one of the best handling front-wheel drive cars currently on sale. There is lots of grip on offer thanks to the Pirelli P-Zero tyres fitted to the 19-inch alloys, with the turn-in remaining very sharp. The Fastback N can still offer a bit of play when it’s really pushed – but it remains very stable most of the time.
However, there is a cost for such great performance, as the larger alloys and sportier suspension do mean that ride comfort is compromised. Rougher road surfaces can be transferred into the cabin and the performance elements can make cruising a bit more of a hassle than normal.See Available Hyundai i30 deals
Interior & Equipment
The cockpit is as you would expect from any Hyundai – all the features are well laid out and it is very simple in its composition. Harsher plastics are used, as well as some less premium feeling materials – but it isn’t unpleasant to be in at all. To add to the sporty feeling, Hyundai has fitted suede upholstery to the sports seats with red stitching – while red detailing is found throughout along with a leather sports steering wheel and additional N badging.
Due to the sloping roofline, rear headroom is compromised, but leg and shoulder room for rear passengers remains good. Compared to the standard Fastback, boot space has been reduced from 450 litres to 436 litres, as Hyundai has fitted a chassis stiffening bar behind the rear seats. That is still more than the hatch version of the i30 N, though.
As the base level of the i30 N wasn’t popular with British drivers, Hyundai only supplies one specification with the Fastback N. But with that you get all you might need, such as LED head and taillights, cruise control, keyless entry with start/stop and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity. All of the clever mechanical bits are also included, such as the limited slip differential, active exhaust system and drive mode selection.
As it only comes in one spec, the only thing customers can change is the colour. The starting price is £29,995, £500 more than the hatch version.
With the performance on offer, the 34mpg economy and 178g/km emissions aren’t too terrible.
It’s not difficult to say that the i30 Fastback N is a great car to drive and easily as good as the hatch version. It offers more practicality than the original i30 N and the coupe-like looks could be more to your taste than the alternative. It is slightly let down inside by some harder plastics and a fairly simple design, but you forget all of that when you plant your foot to the floor and rocket away from a standstill. But between this and the hatch, it’s all down to which one you prefer the looks of and whether you need the extra boot space.