Wednesday, 8 February 2012

REVIEW - Hyundai i40 Tourer Premium

This month saw me test the new Hyundai i40, in its estate form. With the family car market being a tough one, any new entrants wishing to make a serious mark have to offer something special. The i40 does just this; it oozes quality throughout. It scored 41/50 which is extremely impressive. To see how this score was reached, read on...

Looks - 9/10

What a wonderful piece of styling. The i40 Tourer is a very pretty car. There are sweeping lines and the car looks sleek and compact. My favourite angle on this car is the one stretching from the front wheel arch right to the tail light. From the rear the i40 manages to avoid looking like a hearse, as some estate cars do. The Premium model sits on 18-inch alloy wheels and fit in well to the design. The daytime-running lights are also in a fluid shape and add a touch of elegance to the exterior appearance. Inside the cabin there are more brilliant things to look at. With lavishings of leather everywhere coupled with aluminium-effect and piano black trim, the interior looks and feels just as good as the outside. There is also a panoramic sunroof stretching from front to back, which makes the cabin light and airy when not covered by the electrically-operated blinds.

Handling/Performance - 8/10

My test car was fitted with the 1.7-litre CRDi 136PS diesel engine, coupled to the automatic gearbox. On paper the 0-62mph time of 12 seconds gives an impression of lacking power. This isn't the case however. The engine has ample torque and always feels like it can 'get up and go'. The ride was extremely comfortable even with the low profile tyres fitted to the 18-inch alloys. The steering is nicely weighted and the driving position is adjustable to suit personal taste. The seats themselves were very comfortable for long journeys partly down to the electronically adjustable lumbar support. The automatic box also has shift paddles behind the steering wheel, which were useful to try and exert some sort of control over gear changes when driving on twistier A-roads.

Economy - 7/10

One of the reasons I have never been the greatest lover of automatic gearboxes is the effect they have on fuel consumption. The automatic gearbox will allow 47.1 mpg on a combined cycle, which is not unreasonable for a car of this size. The problem is that it is overshadowed by the manual, which will do 55.4 mpg. In its standard form, emissions are 134 g/km. This puts it in VED band E at a cost of £115 for 12 months. The automatic? Well that puts out 159 g/km and band G will cost you £165. Thank you very much says the Government. The reason the score is a 7 is that there is another version of the same engine, which puts out a mere 119 g/km CO2, called the 'Blue Drive'. This is very impressive for a 1.7-litre and means that your road tax would only cost £30 for 12 months. And the power lost in a bid to gain extra green credentials and fewer carbon dioxides? None!

Practicality - 10/10

The i40 Tourer offers everything that could be reasonably expected. The boot is vast, with a capacity of 553-litres(1,719-litres) with the rear seats up(down) which is plenty. There is a load cover and cargo net included as standard fitments which can easily be removed. There are little compartments out of view to store valuables, and a spare wheel is still present. Bonus points for the boot space alone. In the cabin there is plenty of space, and I do not doubt that 5 adults could occupy it without sitting on top of each other. The Premium model has heated front seats as standard, and parking sensors front and rear, coupled to a reversing camera. This makes manouvering easy, as does the ample visibility from the mirrors. The Premium also has keyless entry and a push-start button, meaning the key need never leave your pocket.

Fun - 7/10

Whilst the i40 is loaded with many gadgets and features, there's just a slight lack of fun. In truth, this being a family estate car, fun is slightly less relevant. There was plenty to keep you busy behind the wheel, with excellent connectivity in the form of direct iPod control and built-in bluetooth. The paddle shifts were fun on an A-road blast, but still not more preferable than a manual. The fun factor in a drive is hard to achieve with a big heavy estate car, but the i40 Tourer certainly has a good go.

Concluding Remarks

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the i40 Tourer. Hyundai has come a long way in recent years and offer a serious competitor to the Mondeo and 3-Series that are popular family saloon cars. Both would be far outclassed by the i40's list of standard equipment, and with prices for the premium starting at £23,395 OTR, by its price too. For a brochure or to arrange a test drive, go to or visit your local Hyundai dealership.

Total Score - 41/50

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