It’s not all about SUVs and electricity, in Hyundai news. We almost forget that the compact i30 was restyled last year, adopting in the process new engines supported by micro-hybridization. Original alternative to European classics, especially in Fastback bodywork … almost alone in its niche. A discount mini-Panamera, do you like it?

Definitely, there would be a real Porsche tropism among the Koreans. After seeing false Macan tunes in the Kia Sportage, some have found Panamera inspiration in the contours of the Hyundai i30 Fastback. Why not, the coupe silhouette – 4 doors, the receding roofline and the chubby rear actually evoke the large Porsche sedan as a child’s drawing would. And in addition reduced (4.46 m long), and much less expensive, of course. Our model, only offered in this sporty N Line finish and fitted with a single engine (1.5 T-GDi 160 hp), asks for € 32,550. A real Panamera of the people, then! And this is not pejorative.

As a reminder, the i30 is still offered in three body variations. A compact classic, a SW station wagon and this Fastback which is more like a hatchback, like a Honda Civic. It is also its closest competitor, among general practitioners. The only one, in reality: to find an approaching silhouette, you have to look towards the Mercedes CLA and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé. The Korean is therefore the only representative of its niche on the European market. Small niche, moreover: sales are completely confidential.

Serious interior … preferably two

The restyling of the i30, all body styles included, is relatively light. Optical blocks and grille are the most notable elements. In addition, the diffuser, shields and large 18-inch rims are conspicuously inspired by the brutal i30 N (now banned from staying with us, due to a protective penalty … sorry, ecological). Guaranteed effect!

Hyundai i30 Fastback (2021) test: here is the people's Panamera

4.46 long: the i30 Fastback sits halfway between a classic compact and a top-class sedan.

Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.

It is possible to know the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle thanks to the auto Turbo rating of your Hyundai i30, the alternative to the Argus rating.

The atmosphere on board is less daring. We are far from the new Tucson! The evolution is limited to digital instrumentation and the new central screen interface, with more polished graphics. This integrates Carplay and Android Auto, as standard. At least the layout remains very conventional … and rational. Easy to learn, no need to navigate through various menus to access ventilation! Good old-fashioned physical controls are almost on the way to extinction. For the rest, we find the same qualities as before: materials of good quality but without particular luxury and rigorous assemblies. An i30 is austere and serious.

We quickly take our marks behind the wheel. The driving position is natural and the sports seats fitted as standard in N Line provide good support. A little steep, but not uncomfortable in the long run. The rear seats are unfortunately less welcoming. The legroom is just correct, and headroom, like access, is penalized by the cutout of the roof. Even for an adult of average height. Too bad, because the trunk does not lack space (450 l) and the tailgate has a very wide opening (except at the level of the threshold, high perched).

Hyundai i30 Fastback (2021) test: here is the people's Panamera

Despite the new instrumentation and the revamped central screen, the interior styling is starting to date. At least the ergonomics are easy to understand.

Painless hybridization

Two new engines appeared thanks to the redesign of the i30. The classic compact and the SW station wagon offer a 3-cylinder with 1.0 l displacement at the entry level., which is also found on the city car i20. With 120 hp, it announces suitable performance while containing its consumption (5.3 l / 100 km in mixed route) thanks to a system of micro-hybridization powered by a 48V network.

More robust, the 4-cylinder 1.5 l T-GDi (160 hp) in our test is only available in Fastback. This engine replaces the old 1.4 l 140 hp. Here too, light hybridization is part of the game, and the only transmission offered is provided by a 7-speed double-clutch gearbox. A choice that deliberately places the i30 Fastback at the top of the range.

Hyundai i30 Fastback (2021) test: here is the people's Panamera

The 1.5 T-GDI with micro-hybridization is the only engine offered in Fastback. The sobriety is interesting: approximately 7 l / 100 km readings, without particular effort.

The approval is there, in any case. The operation is rather fluid, the micro-hybridization is forgotten when necessary (the alternator-starter remains discreet in its interventions, in the management of Stop & Start), and the freewheeling phases at stabilized speed are transparent. . Unless you pay attention to it, we barely detect the restart of the thermal. The verdict at the pump is rather flattering: just over 7 l / 100 km readings, without showing great restraint.

That said, we will hardly take to whip this 4-cylinder. 8.8 s from 0 to 100 km / h, it’s quite honest in absolute terms, but its very round character and the management of the gearbox are more inclined to flow. What makes us regret that Hyundai has chosen to dress the i30 with such stiff suspensions, in N Line: the chassis is remarkably well maintained, the precise front axle and the liveliness invite to take care of its trajectories … But the excessive vibrations and the slightly too radical road feel denote in a compact with a relatively quiet engine. In an i30 N, we love it. There, we tire.

Hyundai i30 Fastback (2021) test: here is the people's Panamera

Very round, the 4-cylinder sounds in a pleasant and slightly rumbling tone. Chrono in hand, nothing very dynamic but the reminders are suitable and well helped by the DCT box.

Prices and equipment

The policy is simple, as is often the case with Hyundai: everything is standard on the upper finishes. Leather / Alcantara upholstery, heated electric seats, GPS, blind spot warning, lane keeping, induction charging, reversing camera are standard on our test model. This explains the tidy price of € 32,550. Good news, the CO2 penalty remains limited to 150 € (137 g / km). More modestly, the simple compact equipped with the 1.0 T-GDi starts at 24,300 € at the entry level Intuitive. It also already has a generous endowment: reversing camera, cruise control, Carplay / Android Auto interface as standard …

The prices of our test i30 are thus placed in the low average of the niche. On the competition side: an equivalent Volkswagen Golf 1.5 eTSI 150 hp R-Line, more expensive, asks for € 35,465. On the other hand, a Ford Focus ST Line X equipped with the 1.5 Ecoboost 155 hp, also well equipped, is displayed at € 31,000. The new Peugeot 308 has not yet unveiled its prices but should be closer to the Golf, going upmarket.

Hyundai i30 Fastback (2021) test: here is the people's Panamera

The volume is adequate (from 450 to 1,350 l), but the cutout of the shield forms a high perched threshold.

Technical characteristics Hyundai i30 Fastback (2021)

Model tested: BMW 220d Gran Coupé
Dimensions L x W x H 4.455 / 1.795 / 1.430 m
Wheelbase 2,650 m
Min / max trunk volume 450 / 1,351 l
Unloaded weight 1.497 kg
Engine displacement 4 cylinders in line gasoline, micro-hybridization 48V – 1.482 cm3
Engine power 160 hp at 5,500 rpm
Couple 253 Nm at 1,500 rpm
0 to 100 km / h 8.8 s
Max speed 210 km / h
Consumption announced 5.4 l / 100 km (WLTP mixed course)
CO2 rate (WLTP) 137 g / km
Malus 2020 150 euros
Price of the model tested 32,550 euros (i30 from 24,300 euros)