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FAST THINKING (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Hyundai's i30 Fastback has brought a sense of style to the family hatchback segment. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the improved model.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 69
With this i30 Fastback, Hyundai has taken the 'five-door coupe' design concept championed by executive models like Audi's A5 Sportback and BMW's 4 Series Gran Coupe and brought it within the reach of family customers. Aside from the sleeker styling, the car shares all the attributes of the third generation i30 Focus-sized family hatch - which is no bad thing. Let's check out the revised version of this car.
Backgroundword count: 91
Take a look at this car. Now imagine it without the badges. Be honest, would you really guess at it being a Hyundai? Thought not. The i30 Fastback has the look and feel of a German premium brand model, yet it can be yours for not much more than you'd pay for an ordinary Focus-sized i30 hatch. Sounds tempting doesn't it? Hyundai says that this variant underlines its brand policy in 'making premium design accessible to everyone'. It's likely to be another step in the company's march towards full automotive credibility.
Driving Experienceword count: 299
Engine-wise, i30 Fastback customers get their pick of the better petrol powerplants from the standard petrol range. That means a choice between two T-GDI units, a 120PS 1.0-litre variant and a new 160PS 1.5-litre unit. Both come mated to either 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch auto transmission. And both now incorporate the brand's latest 48-volt Mild Hybrid technology. That manual gearbox is all-new - Hyundai calls it 'iMT' or 'iMT Intelligent Manual Transmission'. iMT decouples the engine from the transmission after the driver releases the accelerator. This allows the car to enter into two possible levels of coasting depending on the conditions. With the first level, the engine is idling. With the second level, the engine is additionally temporarily turned off to save even more fuel. Go for the auto gearbox and the car will offer you two drive modes: 'normal' and 'sport'. In 'sport' mode, you get a different shift pattern that holds gears longer before shifting, plus the steering provides a sporty feel and the throttle response is adapted. In the 1.0-litre model, 62mph from rest takes 11.5s en route to 117mph. The 1.5-litre variant improves those figures to around 9s and around 130mph. If performance is paramount, you'll want to consider the top i30 N Fastback variant, which uses a 275PS version of the 2.0-litre T-GDi turbo unit from the i30 N hot hatch. Ride quality is one of this Fastback model's strongest suits. That's down to sophisticated multi-link rear suspension helped by a rigid body fashioned from High Strength Steel. Refinement is also pretty exemplary, thanks to things like anti-vibration engine mounts, hollow driveshafts, smoothly-profiled door handles and double-layered door seals. Hyundai says it's put lots of work into ride and handling too, developing this car in Europe at venues like the famous Nurburgring Nordschliefe.
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Category: Compact Family Cars
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