Hyundai's new 'budget' hatch priced higher than Ford Focus

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Hyundai has released pricing details for the brand new i30 family hatchback - but with a starting price of £14,495 it is undercut by a basic Ford Focus.

Does that mean that Hyundai is finally taking this 'we're quite premium now' thing seriously and started over-charging for its cars?

Not a bit of it. Yes, the range might start at £500 more than a Ford Focus 1.6 Studio, but the i30 is also awash with standard kit, and while the Focus tops out at over £24,000 (until the ST comes along), the Hyundai does at just under £21,000.

And anyway, who goes and buys a Hyundai or a Ford with a briefcase full of cash?

So, while the new Hyundai i30 will be a little more expensive than the outgoing model when it hits the shops on March 12, it will still represent something of a bargain.

Standard kit (on Classic models) includes voice activated Bluetooth, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, electric heated door mirrors and hill start assist. Bump up to Active trim and alloy wheels, cruise control, rear parking sensors and adaptive steering are added.

Top-level Style cars get bigger alloys, dual zone climate control, front parking sensors, cornering lights, rain sensing wipers and...lots else. Style Nav trim is self-explanatory.

Engines start at 1.4-litre capacity, with the diesel putting out 89bhp and the petrol 99. The 1.6-litre CRDi diesels, developing 108- and 126bhp, are both available with Blue Drive technology, which includes start-stop, the former emitting just 97g/km.

There are no more powerful engines than the 126bhp diesel, for now, although that does mean that every i30 is cheap to ru in terms of fuel, tax and insurance costs, and they all come with Hyundai's lovely five-year warranty.