What is it?
Compared with the five-door hatch – itself revised for 2017 – the roofline is lowered by roughly an inch and tapers gently at the rear. Along with the elongated nose, complete with lower-set grille, it means the Fastback is 115mm longer than the hatch. The rear haunches are also more pronounced, with wrap-around rear lights, and there are two new wheel designs, of 17in and 18in.
Is all that enough to make duck-tailed i30 Fastback a thing of beauty? Perhaps, albeit in a slightly pokey fashion that leaves one in no doubt about the car’s hatchback origins.
Nevertheless, the big claim from Hyundai is that the Fastback ‘democratises advanced design’, tacitly referencing the swooping likes of Audi’s A5 Sportback and Kia Stinger, which cost rather a lot more. Hyundai also reckons itself to be the first brand to hit up the volume segment with a five-door coupé, conveniently forgetting about the existence of the Mazda 3 Fastback, which we rather like.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the changes go no deeper than the metalwork, but you’d be wrong. The chassis sits 5mm lower than before and the suspension has been stiffened a touch in line with the Fastback’s marginally more sporting bent. In the UK, the engine line-up will be petrol-only at first (and possibly ever), with a 1.0-litre turbo unit touting 118bhp and a similarly blown 1.4-litre engine offering a more wholesome 137bhp. A six-speed manual can be had with either powerplant, though the more powerful of the two is also offered with Hyundai’s seven-speed dual-clutcher.
Equipment is decently generous, with the base-spec SE Nav 1.0 T-GDi featuring an 8in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also wireless phone charging and a rear-view camera, though to indulge in the luxury of artificial leather seats you’ll need to upgrade to Premium spec, which adds LED headlights too. Top-of-the-line Premium SE cars get a panoramic sunroof.
It’s worth mentioning that safety equipment is equally generous, with lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist and autonomous emergency braking standard across the range. Premium-spec cars also get blind-spot warning.