Over the last few years the Korean car manufacturers of Hyundai and Kia have been producing some excellent new cars.
For those who do not know, Hyundai actually own Kia but market their two brands completely, while sharing platforms and technologies.
We often don’t realise it but Hyundai are in the top 10 of the worlds largest car manufacturers.
I see the advance of the Koreans as being very much like what we saw with the arrival of Japanese car manufacturers to Europe many decades ago.
Hyundai are producing some really class winning cars.
They have style, panache, quality, reliability and to be honest an ingredient sadly lacking in many mainstream Japanese cars these days.................flair!
The latest cars I have tested from the Koreans surpass many of their Japanese rivals.
What is so interesting is that they have achieved this in such a very short time too.
This week I am testing the new Hyundai i30 Fastback.
The i30 hatch is a familiar sight on our roads as its a good seller here but the Fastback is a new take on the i30.
Essentially its the same car but with coupe-like lines in a 5 door Fastback design.
So has it any street cred?
In my opinion the i30 Fastback is one of the most stylish compact cars around. It looks great from any angle and has real flair in its design.
What’s it like inside?
The cabin is well laid out with clear instrumentation and a large 8 inch centrally mounted touch screen with excellent integrated connectivity.
Boasting Navigation, rear view camera, Cruise control, Apple Car Play and Android Auto functionality the new i30 Fastback is right up there with the latest in-car tech.
Apart from the usual electric windows, Bluetooth etc we now expect it also has, Voice Activation, Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and electrically folding exterior mirrors all as standard.
There is plenty of room inside and it seats four adults in absolute comfort and five at a squeeze.
The boot is a good size and there is a space saver spare wheel.
The materials feel of good quality and it all feels well screwed together.
What’s under the bonnet?
The i30 Fastback tested was powered by a 1.0 litre T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine, mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
It's a very nice power plant with a good sound and reasonable power despite its small capacity.
Over a week of mixed driving it burned just 5.8 litres of petrol per 100km and annual road tax is €200.
Will I enjoy driving it?
Designed, tested and built in Europe the i30 Fastback is well suited to European road conditions.
I found it rides and handles well, soaking up the bumps and undulations our country roads can throw at a car.
Overall its a refined motorway cruiser too though its here I noticed its only vice.
There is quite a bit of tyre roar on some surfaces at motorway speeds. Wind and engines noise are however well surpressed.
What’s the Verdict?
The new Hyundai i30 Fastback costs €24,995 and it gets my highest recommendation!
I love the styling, its roomy, practical and well kitted out, comes with a five year warranty and right now Hyundai have some great 182 Reg offers which will tempt you even further.