Richard Curzon Reviews
I recently had the opportunity to drive both of these cars, for a week each, as a short-term rental agreement from that well known UK car hire company with US values…..
That got me thinking. If I was in the market to buy a brand new model of either of these, which one would I choose, and why?
First up was the Ford Focus Zetec, retailing from an eye-watering £19,635.00 at a Ford dealer near you. My initial impressions were very favourable – lovely looking car, great drive, and a very comfortable ride. And to be completely fair, those impressions lasted the entire week I drove it. This is a really nice, really comfortable car that’s a great drive – with the added bonus that it is genuinely really, really good on fuel economy.
Moving round the country I swapped to the significantly less pricey Hyundai I30 (starting from a mere £16,995 – nearly £3k less than the Focus) for the second week of my travels – a little regretfully actually, as I’d enjoyed the Ford Focus Zetec very much.
The regret was short lived. The Hyundai I30 is a significantly better driving experience than the Zetec, and I genuinely did not expect to be saying that after a very enjoyable week in the Focus. Where the I30 outstrips its rival is in the cornering – it’s smoother, faster, better – and in fact overall it does handle and drive better in all conditions. (My elderly father would like me to point out here that the I30’s seats are significantly more comfortable too – I can’t say I really noticed too much difference, but he was adamant that whole second week that the passenger seat experience was a considerable improvement!).
When you run through the manufacturer’s specs for both cars, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference between the two models. So I’d say the real differences are the ride, drive and price: and the Hyundai I30 is the clear winner in all of those categories, making this a very one-sided competition in the end.
So for what it’s worth, my very humble opinion is that the Hyundai I30 is one of the better ways to spend the best part of £17k out there. Of course I, like so many of us, now have to wonder where I’m going to raise that initial seventeen thousand from to be able to afford this great little car….best go and buy myself a lottery ticket I guess!
~ The cars mentioned in this article were Driven by and Written about by Richard Curzon ~