2022 Hyundai i30 Fastback 1.5 T-GDi N Line Review Car News

What is that?

The idea is simple: to create a more upscale and desirable coupe body shape from a hatchback. That’s what Hyundai set out to accomplish in 2018 with the launch of the i30 Fastback, a sleeker five-door liftback version of the i30 sedan that attempted to replicate the success Mercedes-Benz had in transforming an A-Class. in CLA.

As slick as it sounds and interesting as the proposition may be, the idea hasn’t really set the world on fire or sparked a whole host of imitations from rival companies (when they all start making their own, you know you’re really onto something…). Still, it remains a stylish option and a welcome niche in a sea of ​​similar family sedans.

The i30 Fastback was refreshed a little over a year ago and the range simplified at the same time. The car is available only in the sporty N Line version and with a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It is the latter that we test here.

What does it look like?

Too often, cars in this segment of the market with such a sporty look and such specification on paper are let down in how they drive. Not so with the i30 Fastback.

It feels more towards the Ford Focus end of the market for more involving dynamics, but not quite on the smooth level of the Blue Oval. Handling is crisp and predictable, and the car is ready to change direction and get you involved in driving on a more interesting stretch of B-road.

The stiffer N Line suspension makes the ride firm but never uncomfortable, with nearly all bumps and imperfections absorbed well by the chassis. Only very high frequency surfaces taken at much higher or very low speeds disturb the car and it still feels well attached.

The steering, however, lacks bite and feel, especially just off center, which spoils an otherwise pleasing dynamic setup.

The engine is also efficient. The turbocharged four-cylinder produces 158 hp and 187 lb-ft, which isn’t explosive by modern standards, but that’s all the car needs. Performance is delivered smoothly and the engine is also quiet and refined, with over 40 mpg on offer thanks to 48V mild-hybrid technology that both boosts economy and aids acceleration.

It’s not a good match for the dual-clutch automatic transmission, though. This is the weakest part of the whole dynamic package. It still feels half a step behind what the driver expects from the engine and is slow to shift and said shifts are quite cumbersome. We’d save £1200 and get the six-speed manual, which will probably match the rest of the chassis setup and performance levels much better, according to the i30 Fastback N Line’s cooking hatch brief.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-14 23:01:24

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