Third i30 bodystyle trades practicality for panache
- Best styling in i30 line-up
- Price jump not huge from hatch
- Good handling and comfort compromise
- Cheap to run and reliable
- Boot less practical than the i30 hatchback
- Hatch also has more rear headroom
- Very niche proposition
- Performance won’t set world alight
It has a footprint identical to the hatchback, but with a sloping roofline and extended boot it makes for a very different proposition.
There aren’t huge numbers of direct rivals, but the Skoda Octavia hatch is similar (albeit more practical and less interesting to look at), as is the vastly more expensive Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and the Mazda 3 Fastback, both of which have a saloon-style bootlid.
Hyundai isn’t expecting this car to sell in huge numbers relative to the more conventional hatchback, but we don’t think the £500 premium for the Fastback is too unreasonable considering most will buy this car with PCP finance – spread over 36 monthly payments it’s only another £14 a month for something far more unusual, that drives better too.
Fastback handles better than hatch
Thanks to a 25mm lower ride height, the Fastback’s body rolls less and its steering is more responsive. The net effect of this is more agile handling.
The engines on offer are petrol-only upon launch, but a 1.6-litre diesel is on the way later in 2018. However, the petrol engines do have comparatively low fuel costs, so unless you have a burning desire for a diesel car, we'd suggest it may not be worth waiting.
Our favourite engine so far is the 1.0-litre T-GDi, which only has three cylinders and 120hp but makes up for that with bags of character and a good spread of power along with claimed fuel economy around 50mpg.
Styling compromises handling
Its boot is bigger on paper than the hatch, but is hampered by a high loading lip and false floor, which means the actual load area is shallow underneath the parcel shelf.
Furthermore, rear seat passengers over 6ft tall will find their head touching the ceiling thanks to that sloping roofline.
Familiar Hyundai trim structure
The equipment on offer mirrors the i30 hatchback exactly, which means there’s a lot of kit here. Choose from SE Nav, Premium and Premium SE, with all versions getting myriad safety and driver-assistance systems. These allowed the Fastback to score five stars in Euro NCAP’s crash testing.
As you can see, the Fastback's cabin is identical to the hatchback's.
All Hyundais get a five-year warranty as standard alongside breakdown cover and annual healthchecks too, which adds valuable peace of mind for owners.
The Parkers Verdict
The Fastback isn’t designed to have widespread appeal, but we can see how some buyers will be attracted to something at this price that’s a little different to the vast array of hum-drum hatchbacks out there.
You do have to make a few sacrifices along the way, but they’re in no way game-changing as long as you like the i30 model in general.