Ranges from £
You cannot doubt the lovely looks of the Hyundai I40. Available as a saloon or tourer model, this is a car that won’t disappoint. You’ll get a fuel return of 65.7 mpg and can expect standard features that include voice controlled Bluetooth, MP3 connectivity, air conditioning, and LED running lights. Get in touch today for your Hyundai I40 contract hire or car leasing option.
The brand’s impressive i40 is a medium range Mondeo-sized challenger, offering plenty of space and equipment isn't anything new for the Korean company but the quality of finish and the maturity of the styling on offer, certainly is. Perhaps one of the things that impresses me most about this car is its refinement, an area Hyundai has thought long and hard about.
They’ve thrown everything at this issue: air-permeable carpet, sound-absorbing layers around the engine – even textile wheel arch liners. It’s all enough to make this a very quiet car indeed.
‘Fluidic sculpture’ sounds as if it should create an elegant result. Here, it has. Heavily influenced by Hyundai’s Frankfurt R&D centre, this is a design you’d never have seen from a Korean brand until a few years ago. The hexagonal front grille is shaped like a diamond, the headlights surrounding it modelled on those of a bird of prey and containing hook-shaped strips of LEDs that glow white in daylight. It’s neatly styled at the rear too, with a smart chrome strip between the lights and an integral spoiler above the rear window of this ‘Tourer’ version. It’s this estate that most UK customers will probably want rather than the alternative saloon variant, especially as Hyundai isn’t bothering to offer a five-door hatch.
Equal efforts have been expended upon the stylised interior with its neat graphics, faux aluminium detailing, classy high-definition display screen and nice design touches. There’s plenty of soft-touch plastic too, though that doesn’t extend to things like the door-pulls and the door skins. Only the shiny column stalks remain as a reminder of the cheap-feeling Hyundai interiors of old. Finding an ideal driving position is easy, my only comment being that it’s easy to bash your knuckles with downward gearchanges when these central cupholders are in use. At the rear, there’s comfortable space for two even with two six-footers up-front and room at a squash for three – pretty par for the course in this class: only a Mondeo offers more. Headroom’s good, even if you’re in one of the plushest models that have a huge panoramic glass sunroof fitted. It is though a pity that the thickness of the seat bases makes it difficult for rear seat passengers to slide their feet underneath.
Any estate car stands or falls by the amount of gear it can carry and the i40 Tourer passes that test without breaking sweat. With the rear seats in place, there's a cavernous 553 litres available. Drop the seats by simply pulling on the handle and pushing them forward and this will free 1719 litres to the car's head lining, though they don’t fold completely flat and the space available is a little narrow between the wheelarches. Still, you can specify an adjustable boot dividing system so you can stop small items from sliding around and compartmentalise the space properly. Somewhat unusually for a new car, the i40 manages a substantial carrying capacity while allowing space for a full-sized spare wheel. You’ll appreciate that if you’re ever stranded by the side of the road.
It’s taken a very long time for the South Korean motor industry to bring us a class-competitive conventional large family car. I think we can safely say that they’ve done that now. This i40 ruthlessly ticks all the boxes required for success in the medium range marketplace. It’s smart, spacious, frugal, well equipped and beautifully built. It is, in short, a very competitive car indeed.
If you’re basing your choice of car in this sector on sheer common sense, this i40 is a car you can’t ignore. New thinking, new possibilities – just as Hyundai promises.