The Hyundai i40 feels like a seriously good car and could be a real contender at the top of the large family car segment in 2012.
In the Metal: 4/5
In the metal the Hyundai looks and feels like a massive car. It's handsome too. Though not as stylised as the Kia Optima, which is coming next year, the i40 is proof that Hyundai’s styling is set to become more adventurous. Hyundai's designers have managed to blend the considerable load space at the rear seamlessly into the rest of the car.
While the i40 isn’t quite at Skoda Superb levels in terms of dimensions there is generous space front and rear and the luggage capacity of 553 litres is impressive - and this can expand out to 1,719 litres with the rear seats folded. The car hides its bulk quite well. The interior is a nice place to be too, with generous equipment and Volkswagen-like blue lighting throughout.
We haven’’t seen the saloon in the metal yet, but having seen photos we know that it is a little more generic than this Tourer model, so this is the one we would choose, especially given that the price is so good at the moment.
Driving it: 4/5
The Hyundai i40 has a 1.7-litre 114hp turbodiesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with stop-start. Emissions are particularly low at 113g/km, but this doesn’t mean that the car feels in anyway slow. The 0-100km/h sprint takes 12.9 seconds, which isn't great, but there is plenty of torque and the 260Nm comes in early at just 1,250Nm.
We spent a few hours in the car and mostly drove it around town. It coped well with some poor road surfaces. When we did get out of town then the handling proved to be good, with little body roll.
What you get for your Money: 4/5
There are two grades in the Hyundai i40 and these are Comfort and Executive. Comfort models have steel wheels and hubcaps, but it does get air conditioning, nine airbags, a leather steering wheel and Bluetooth for phone and music.
A premium of €1,500 gets you the Executive model though and this is where the smart money is at, because you get alloys, climate control, rear reversing camera, cruise control and pretty much everything else you could think of aside from leather upholstery. Given the level of equipment on the Executive model it would seem daft not to choose this version.
Hyundai's i40 saloon arrives in Ireland in Novemeber and this will most likely make up the main volume. Hyundai is predicting 1,000 i40s in a full year of sales. Until the saloon arrives, buyers can buy the Tourer model for the same price as the saloon. It is also worth noting Hyundai's 5-Year Triple Care Warranty which comes with the new car. which includes 5-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, 5-Year Health Check and 5-Year Road Side Assistance.
Hyundai's i40 is further proof, not that it was needed, that the Korean company is now a serious contender in the marketplace and the i40 is good enough to compete at the top of the sales charts with the likes of the Toyota Avensis and Ford Mondeo.