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 Family saloons

  • The Ford Mondeo is a well developed all-rounder that shines with its handling and finish

    Ford Mondeo 2007-2014

    1
  • 15 million VW Passats have been sold in 100 countries since its launch in 1973

    Volkswagen Passat

    2
  • New Mazda 6 largely carries over the styling of the striking Takeri concept that previewed it

    Mazda 6

    3
  • Skoda Octavia
    The Octavia name dates back to 1959

    Skoda Octavia

    4
  • Hyundai i40
    Family-size Hyundai takes on the Mondeo, Superb and Insignia

    Hyundai i40

    5

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