26 June 2007

Eye for an i

Hyundai's Focus-rival promises better quality and plenty of kit

Hyundai i30

The Kia cee'd proved that although the Koreans might not know much about naming a car, they're certainly learning how to build one.

Slipstreaming the cee'd into the European market comes another Korean hatch, the Hyundai i30. 

Yes, it sounds like the answer to the question, 'How old are you, Tarzan?', but you'd better get used to it: Hyundai is planning to follow the i30 with an i10, i20, i40 and, yes, you guessed it, i60.

Aimed firmly at the Ford Focus, Renault Megane et al, the i30 promises a leap in quality over previous-generation Hyundais, as well as more Euro-friendly styling.

It looks pleasantly inoffensive, and there's plenty of kit on board, too. Standard spec includes aircon, alloy wheels, ESP and Hyundai's five-year, unlimited mileage warranty. Which is good, but not quite in the same league as the cee'd's seven-year bullet-proof guarantee.

There are three trims to pick from - Comfort, Style and Premium - and 1.4- and 1.6-litre petrol engines, as well as 1.6- and 2.0-litre turbodiesels.

With prices from the friendly side of 11 grand, the i30 could be a tempting little number when it arrives on these shores in September. Could it be better than the cee'd? We'll let you know as soon as we get our hands on one.

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