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The Hyundai i30 Fastback N is the more sophisticated coupé version of one of the most enjoyable hatchbacks. Here’s what you need to know, including the UK price, performance figures and what’s different.

At the time of writing this, I’m a couple of days away from driving the i3 Fastback N at the European launch (full review here). It’s taking place on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria and will include both road and track driving. Hell, there’s even a closed road, which is surprisingly unusual in this job.

Quite honestly, I’m hoping the i30 Fastback N will make me grin as much as the i30 N hatchback did back in November, 2017. And then again a month later when I had it for a week. Despite being a Hyundai and technically a competitor to the slightly warmer hatches, I ended up preferring it to much more powerful offerings. The Focus RS included.

I know you’re probably now thinking I’m a little crazy, but you should bear in mind I turned up to the initial launch of the i30 N at Cadwell Park in the latest Honda Civic Type R, which, without question, is the best hot-hatch on the market – providing you don’t have to look at it for too long.

So I’m genuinely excited to drive the Fastback variant because there are a total of zero hot five-door coupes on the market and that adds to the appeal for me. Mainly because saloons and estates are way less common these days, thanks to the rise of the SUV. But before I tell you whether it’s any good, let me first arm you with some facts.

1) It’s a fastback (duh)

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback at a track

Captain Obvious is here, yay. Okay, so the clue’s in the name but what does that actually mean? It means we have a coupé, the first five-door C-segment hot coupe actually. It’s longer and taller than the hatchback but the same width and has 55 litres more boot space.

2) It’s fast

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback

Okay, it’s not as fast as the hottest hot hatchback hotties. However, 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds for the more powerful i30 N Performance version feels plenty fast. That’s three-tenths faster than the non-Performance model (although the UK only gets the former). It will hit 155mph, too, which is enough to really upset the boys in blue.

3) There’s no need to worry about horsepower

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback

The i30 N hatchback only has 271bhp. Enough though, to make it incredibly fun to drive. The i30 Fastback N is powered by the same 2.0-litre T-GDI, which can spin the front wheels in first and second gear. Makes sense when 278lb/ft of torque is fed to them during the temporary overboost kicks or 259lb/ft the rest of the time.

4) More fun has been promised

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback 2.0-litre T-GDI engine bay

As with the Hyundai i30 N hatchback, you get a ride that favours handling and excitement over comfort. Not that it was ever too uncomfortable except in the super firm N driving mode, but then you could make a custom setup. Anyway, I digress.

Not content with helping make Hyundai sort of cool, ex BMW M man Albert Biermann has worked to make the i30 Fastback N even more playful yet also more of an all-rounder. So while it has the same McPherson front and multi-link rear suspension, it should be a more palatable riot.

5) The N Mode returns

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback interior and 8-inch touchscreen display

The Hyundai i30 Fastback N has five driving modes to help preserve your spine, just like the hatchback. Eco softens everything to help save fuel, Normal is more, erm, normal, and Sport makes things more, you’ve guessed it, sporty.

Those who dislike their spine can use N on roads although it’s really for the track, while N Custom lets you adjust things like that lovely exhaust noise, ride harshness and steering weight exactly how you like it. You can also enable or disable rev matching, in case you can or cannot heel and toe.

6) Practicality takes a hit (sort of)

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback front two-tone alloy wheels and red brake calipers

Remember I said you got 55 litres more boot space? Yeah, I kind of lied. In the N Performance guise you actually lose 14 litres to a rear stiffness bar. Overall shopping-potential drops from 1,351 litres to 1,337. Still more than the Mazda 3 Fastback, though, and more than the i30 N hatchback.

7) It shouldn’t bankrupt you

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback front end and LED headlights

It’s not easy driving the i30 N slowly and I get the feeling that will be the case here, but then it does have a lot of low-down torque that makes it capable of keeping up with traffic without getting too revvy and therefore thirsty. In fact, it is claimed to average 34mpg on a combined cycle.

CO2 emissions come in at 188g/km for the N Performance (WLTP) and a couple of grams less for the non-Performance i30 Fastback N so it will cost £800-odd to tax in the first year and then £140 thereafter. The price of fun, hey.

8) It cares about Android and iPhone

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback rear end and dual-exit exhaust system

Some cars have Android Auto. Some have Apple CarPlay. The Hyundai i30 Fastback N has both, which is nice, and you can see what both are up to through an 8-inch capacitive LCD touchscreen.

You also get some wireless charging for wireless charging of the QI variety (nothing to do with Stephen Fry), a USB port for charging the old cable-based way and navigation with a seven-year subscription to Live Services, which includes fuel prices and speed camera locations.

9) Safe in more ways than one

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback alloy wheel up close

I say safe because you get a forward collision avoidance system, driver attention warning, lane keeping assist, high beam assist and intelligent speed limit warning as standard. Plus six airbags, which may or may not be pillowy soft. Hopefully no one ever has to find out.

It could also be safe in terms of reliability, mainly because Hyundai has a decent track record in this area. The five-year warranty helps, especially as, rather unusually, it includes driving on track. Although, strangely enough, damage from getting friendly with a barrier isn’t covered.

10) The UK price

Hyundai i30 N Performance Fastback side profile

So how much is the Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance? £29,995, which is £500 more than the hatchback. Stay tuned for my video review and be sure to check out a car from Hyundai’s closest rival.

Hyundai i30 Fastback N: Key Specs

  • Engine: 2.0-litre ‘THETA’ four-cylinder T-GDi petrol
  • Horsepower: 271bhp (275PS) at 6,000rpm
  • Torque: 259lb/ft / 278lb/ft (378Nm) with overboost
  • 0-62mph: 6.1 seconds
  • Top speed: 155mph
  • Dimensions: 4,455mm (L), 1,795mm (W), 1,419mm (H)
  • Kerb weight: 1429-1501kg
  • Fuel economy: 34mpg (combined)
  • CO2 emissions: 188g/km (WLTP)
  • UK price: £29,995

About The Author

Editor-in-Chief

Ben Griffin is a motoring journalist and founder of the website and YouTube channel, A Tribe Called Cars. He is also a contributor at DriveTribe.

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