Hyundai i30 N Fastback

Hyundai i30 N Fastback: Being in the fortunate position of regularly driving many different cars means you can often tell what a car will be like even before you get behind the wheel. How it will perform, is it for car lovers or those who merely need transport.

Occasionally though you get a car that fools you. A variant of a standard model normally so geared to being mere transport that you find yourself genuinely amazed at a standard car transformed into something truly great. The fact I’m talking about a Hyundai might well surprise many, but trust me this one’s a gem!

Manufacturers of Hyundai’s stature normally satisfy themselves with a few styling changes and splashes of vivid colour to grace a new sporting version of a standard model. Well the Korean company went big with their ‘N’ line up and recruited an expert to their ranks, in the form of previous BMW M Sport chief, Albert Biermann. You have to drive the i30N less than a mile to know the gamble has paid off handsomely.

In Fastback form the i30N shuns everything about its very competent, but rather ordinary standard stablemates for a car that offers more fun per miles than anything I’ve driven in sometime. Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that develops just over 270 hp,  drives the front wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox, has launch control, electronic limited slip differential, rev matching and five drive modes. It ably demonstrates that the i30N means business.

The benchmark 62 mph is reached in a whisker over 6 seconds and a top speed of 155mph is available, but it’s not outright performance, terrific though it is, that makes this car such fun. You can quite literally throw it into corners and its grip inspires confidence, lift off and any unwanted wiggles can soon be brought back under control. It also sounds wonderful without being overly intrusive and having people check your baseball cap isn’t on the wrong way.

It’s very practical with space for four and their luggage, thanks to those drive modes it rides comfortably enough to take your Mum out on a Sunday as well as being able to take to the track, and has lots of toys to make the daily commute interesting. It might not be up there with the premium badge brigade, and at €34,069 (£30,310) it isn’t cheap, but it’s so worth it!

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Hyundai I30 N Fastback
  • Engine: 2.0-Litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged petrol
  • Gears: 6-speed manual
  • Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 6.1 seconds/Maximum Speed 249 kmh (155mph)
  • Economy: 8.3 l/100km (34.0 mpg) WLTP
  • Emissions: 188 g/km WLTP

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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