THE Hyundai i30 Fastback brings a sporty twist to the South Korean car maker's popular compact family hatchback, aimed at buyers who like a little more style.
The five-door coupe treatment sees the Fastback sit closer to the road than the model from which it is derived as well as getting a sleek, raking roofline, reworked nose, ducktail spoiler and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The result is an attractive looking car with a dynamic profile and stance that offers more youthful focus and appeal than its i30 relatives.
Unlike many other motors that are given a coupe makeover, though, the i30 Fastback still retains a good deal of practicality.
The boot, at 450 litres, although not such a convenient shape and with a fairly high load lip to lift things over, is actually bigger than that in the hatchback, which has 395 litres of space.
And while the swooping roofline means that six-footers will feel cramped in the rear seats on anything more than short trips, those, like me, of more average height should have enough head and leg room to travel comfortably.
The fact that this is a five-door coupe also means that there is none of the scrambling to get into the back seats which is necessary with alternatives that have stuck to the more traditional two or three door format.
Given its slightly more niche target audience and its sportier aspirations the Fastback is, understandably, only available in the N Line spec we drove or the fully-fledged, high-performance N variant.
The latter is powered by a 2.0-litre, 280ps petrol engine, boasts a top speed of 155mph and 0-62 sprint time of less than six seconds and is really one for the boy racers and track day enthusiasts.
Our N Line car, however, offers similarly muscular design cues and more than enough pace for most while the lowered suspension is also tuned to enhance the car's dynamic capabilities.
Power comes from a mild hybrid system, which is exclusive to N Line versions in the United Kingdom, and incorporates a 1.5 litre, 160ps petrol engine mated to a 48-volt electric motor with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmissions.
With the automatic that we drove it will get the i30 Fastback from 0-62mph in a decent 8.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph and deliver up to 47 miles per gallon on average.
A drive mode selector offers eco, normal and sport settings and in either of the latter two this car has the potential to put a smile on the driver's face.
The body is well controlled through bends and handling proves nimble and agile, with sharp throttle responses and fast, accurate steering.
The pay off for this is a pretty firm ride which will clatter over some more serious imperfections in the road service but manages to stay on the right side of comfortable for the most part.
Interior styling reflects the sporty character and feel of the i30 Fastback, with sports front seats carrying N Line branding and stylish contrast stitching details, although you have to settle for cloth rather than even faux leather, as well as a black roof liner, a leather sports steering wheel and an N-style gear shift knob.
An intuitive and user-friendly 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment interface dominates the dashboard, incorporating navigation, digital radio, a rearview camera and Bluetooth as well as Apple and Android smartphone connectivity.
Other kit includes dual-zone climate control, rear privacy glass, front and rear armrests, keyless entry and ignition, while cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and a lane departure warning system with lane keep assist help take care of safety.