The growth of South Korea’s most prominent car maker, Hyundai, has been considerable over the past few years – and over the next few it could be even more so. This new i40 will form part of Hyundai's expansion, now into D-segment family saloons.

Riding on a wave of interest ignited by various scrappage incentives and fuelled by a raft of consistently improved models, Hyundai doubled its UK market share in the three years since 2008.

By 2014 Hyundai is aiming for 100,000 sales a year in Britain and half a million across Europe. That could put it on a par with the likes of Toyota, BMW and Audi for volume.

You need look no further for a symbol of the maturity and stature of the Hyundai brand than the i40. Forget any memories of Sonatas, XGs, Grandeurs or other big Hyundais that have gone before; this car was designed by a team of Europeans, developed in Russelsheim and, on paper at least, would appear to meet or exceed every European class standard.

The i40 has all the makings of Hyundai’s first truly credible and competitive entrant in the family-orientated D-segment, and is available in both saloon and estate forms.

But should the makers of the Mondeo, Insignia, Passat and others really be concerned? Let's find out.

Top 5 Mid-size execs

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C4 Grand Picasso
    First Drive
    26 August 2016
    The Citroën Grand C4 Picasso gets tweaked styling, improved tech and new personalisation options to keep it ahead of rivals
  • Car review
    26 August 2016
    Wolfsburg celebrates the GTI’s 40th with its most extreme version yet
  • Kia Optima Sportwagon
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    New Kia estate looks the part, has good space and handles tidily, but its engine's flexibility and refinement let it down
  •  Kia Optima PHEV
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    Plug-in hybrid Optima is a practical, tax-efficient PHEV that undercuts rivals and fulfils its main remit well, but keen drivers need not apply
  • Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 Spyder
    First Drive
    24 August 2016
    Awful driving position aside, drop-top Huracán handles UK roads well. It's more dynamically rounded than its rangemates, but lacks rivals' handling bite