Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • Petrol-only selection
  • Plus two gearbox options for one of them
  • Performance is adequate for most

Hyundai i30 Fastback engines and performance

Engine choice isn’t particularly comprehensive across the i30 Fastback range, with just two petrol engines available for the regular line-up. For higher-performance thrills, you’ll want to consider the i30 Fastback N. There’s a 1.0-litre T-GDi turbo bolted to a six-speed manual gearbox and a 1.4-litre T-GDi turbo with either the same manual ‘box or a seven-speed DCT twin-clutch automatic.

Hyundai i30 Fastback 1.0 T-GDi

Start-stop button

The entry point to the range, this engine’s 120hp and 171Nm of torque make for a 0-62mph time of 11.5 seconds and a top speed of 117mph.

It doesn’t feel like the poor relation though, with predictable power delivery and more than enough punch to overtake at motorway speeds – you’ll just need to change down a gear or two. It even sounds the most interesting because of its three-cylinder layout, but never becomes too raucous.

If you regularly carry passengers and luggage, it may begin to struggle at higher speeds and hills, but if it’s just you and a passenger most of the time, it’s well worth a look.

Hyundai i30 Fastback 1.4 T-GDi

Performance-focused i30 Fastback N aside, the quickest i30 Fastback is the 1.4-litre T-GDi. It produces 140hp and 242Nm of torque. In six-speed manual form it gets from 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds and will reach a 129mph top speed.

Interestingly, despite the glut of additional power and torque, on the move this version doesn’t feel an awful lot faster than the 1.0-litre. Peak torque kicks in at the same time (1500rpm) no matter which engine you choose, but it feels like you need to work both engines equally as hard to get a move on. Admittedly, once the 1.4 gets to around 6000rpm, it picks up speed fairly well.

The manual gearshift is worth noting, as it’s slick and pleasant to use – much like a Mazda gearbox in this sense.

Hyundai DCT gearbox

Opt for the seven-speed DCT automatic and it’s slightly slower at 9.5 seconds and 126mph, but that wouldn’t really be noticeable in everyday driving.

There isn’t too much of a delay when pulling away from a standstill like you find in many dual-clutch gearboxes, and you can control gearchanges using the paddles on the back of the steering wheel if you like. For most though, the car does a perfectly good job of this on its own.

  • This i30 sits lower than the regular hatchback
  • Has a sportier drive as a result
  • Nice balance of comfort and agility

Hyundai i30 Fastback handling

The i30 Fastback handles slightly better than the regular i30 hatch. It sits 30mm lower overall, with 25mm of that attributable to a drop in the suspension’s ride height.

This has the effect of making it feel livelier in bends, with less bodyroll than the hatchback and a more planted feel, meaning you can probably have a little more fun at the same time. Combine that with nicely-weighted steering (that’s variable in weight depending on the driving mode you’re in) and it’s actually more involving than you might expect it to be.

Overall the i30 Fastback is a predictable and well-balanced car to drive. It’s not as fun as a Ford Focus or a Mazda 3 but – like the Honda Civic – is more enjoyable than you might initially expect, which makes it rewarding.