Hyundai is pretty fresh in the whole “performance sub-brand” game, yet it is already offering no less than three sporty hatches prepped by its N division: the i30, Veloster and i30 Fastback.
It’s on sale in some global markets, except for North America, and combines the hot hatch feel of the i30 N with a different rear end design, which has opened up an extra 57 liters (2 cu-ft) of boot space, up to 436 liters (15.4 cu-ft). Thanks to the wide-opening tailgate, hauling large items won’t be a problem either.
The interior of the i30 Fastback N is almost identical to that of its hatchback sibling. There are some cheap plastics to complain about, but medium-sized passengers won’t struggle for head- or legroom on the rear bench. Moreover, the front seats are both comfortable and supportive, and the car comes nicely packed with most things drivers will ever need.
In Australia, it’s offered in two trim levels and as many optional packages, and uses the same 2.0-liter turbo four that produces 202 kW (271 hp / 275 PS) and 353 Nm (260 lb-ft) of torque, or 378 Nm (279 lb-ft) with overboost, as in other markets. It’s matched to a six-speed manual transmission that’s really sharp, but the range will be completed with a DCT ‘box a later this year.
CarTell came to appreciate the very precise steering, immense grip, better weight distribution and more comfortable ride compared to the i30 N five-door hatch – unless, of course, you select the ‘N’ driving mode, which stiffens up the suspension and makes everything more responsive, albeit at the expense of civility.
Thus, Hyundai actually puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the sporty compact cars on sale today by sending a very clear message that the i30 Fastback N is… come to think of it, we’ll let you find out by watching the video.