The world of hatchbacks is brimming with options which means that potential buyers have many models to choose from. You can buy premium hatchbacks that come with state-of-the-art technology, luxury features, and even 400hp+ engines that can rival the likes of older supercars. However, most people aren’t interested in those types of hatchbacks as they are both expensive and uncomfortable.
The best blend of benefits and drawbacks that can typically be found in the family hatchback segment were cars such as the Hyundai i30 and the Ford Focus rule to the rooster. The Hyundai i30 was first introduced back in 2007 and has since spawned four different generations. The latest i30 model was introduced in 2020 and it offers a huge upgrade over the previous model.
The Ford Focus is one of the longest-lasting hatchbacks in this segment as it was first revealed back in 1998 and has since been in continuous production. After 5 different generations, the Focus has seen lots of changes and is now closer to the premium segment than it ever was.
In this article, we will compare these two hatchbacks and tell you which one you should buy. So, Hyundai i30 vs Ford Focus – Which is better?
The Hyundai i30 comes with a lower starting price than the Ford Focus, but higher-end i30 models such as the i30 N cost more than top-spec Focus models. You can choose between two different engines, the smaller one being the 1.0L 3-cylinder 120hp engine or the larger 1.5L 4-cylinder engine with 160hp. All i30 models are FWD, a manual gearbox comes as standard while an automatic is an option.
Design-wise, the i30 looks really modern and many people mistake it to be a premium model. The interior of the i30 is also really well appointed, but lower-specified models do look a lot worse. The Hyundai i30 N looks much more purposeful inside and out, especially if you specify it with brighter colors and contrasting trims.
The reliability of the Hyundai i30 is really good as is the case with most modern Hyundai models. The driving experience is fairly ordinary with all i30 models except for the i30 N which does feel a lot more dynamic. Practicality is on par with most cars from this segment which means that you can fit four adults into the i30 without any issues.
The starting price of the Ford Focus tends to be slightly higher than with the i30, but the i30 N is by far the most expensive model. When it comes to engine choices, the Focus is one of the best cars in its segment because it comes with 2 gasoline engines and even a diesel engine. The smaller 1.0L 3-cylinder gasoline engine offers between 100hp, 125hp, or 150hp.
The largest 2.3L 4-cylinder found in the performance Focus ST model offers 280hp and is the most powerful Focus you can get these days. Design-wise, the new Ford Focus ST comes with LED headlights and a much sharper face which does resemble the i30 a little bit. The interior is also really modern with all the necessary amenities to keep you entertained on a long journey.
As far as reliability is concerned, the Ford Focus manages to be relatively free of serious faults, but it isn’t as good as the i30. Practicality is really good because Ford is known for great interior space management. The trunk space is also more than enough for most people which means that it can be used for family weekend getaways.
FWD is standard with the Focus, and since the Focus RS is no longer in production, you can’t buy an AWD Focus. A manual gearbox comes as standard while an automatic is an option.
Verdict – The Ford Focus is better
First of all, we need to address the fact that both of these hatchbacks are really good at what they do which means that no matter which one you go for, you are not going to make a mistake. However, the Ford Focus wins this contest because it gets more engines to choose from, all of which are surprisingly punchy and sophisticated.
The Focus can still be had with a diesel engine which is a really good addition for those who tend to do lots of highway miles. Interior space is slightly more accommodating with the Focus, but the i30 does offer 3 extra liters of trunk space.
The way the Focus drives is potentially the biggest differentiating factor between these two models because the chassis on the Focus is really dialed up. The Focus suffers from less road noise, especially at highway speeds which does make it feel a bit more comfortable. Finally, we also need to mention that the Focus offers a more intuitive and modern infotainment system.
On the other hand, the i30s cabin is a bit less modern, but the i30 takes it when it comes to reliability.
Is the Hyundai i30 more efficient than the Ford Focus?
When it comes to efficiency, the i30 does manage to beat the Ford Focus which doesn’t come as too big of a surprise since the i30 comes with smaller and less powerful engines. You can expect to get up to 45MPG max with the i30 while the Focus struggles to touch 40MPG.
However, we do need to mention that the Focus also comes with a diesel engine which is the most efficient engine of them all as it manages to offer up to 57MPG.
Is the Hyundai i30 safer than the Ford Focus?
Safety-wise, both of these hatchbacks are Euro NCAP 5-star rated cars which means that there are no worries here. The Focus beats the i30 when it comes to safety assistance systems, pedestrian safety, and child occupant safety while the i30 is better when it comes to adult occupant safety.
Both are available with a plethora of advanced safety features, most of which are part of expensive optional packages.
Is the Hyundai i30 N better than the Ford Focus ST?
The DCT gearbox in the i30 N manages to make the i30 like a more modern and capable hatchback which does make it around half a second faster in a 0-60mph sprint. However, the i30 does come with 10hp less which means that it can’t match the Focus on the top end.
To be frank, both of these hatchbacks are amazing, but the i30 N simply feels like a more dedicated performance version because the Ford Focus RS used to be the top-spec Focus model.