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.

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Audi Sport drops a sub-4.0sec-to-60mph bomb into Porsche Cayman territory
  • First Drive
    9 December 2016
    Plug-in-hybrid 3 Series shows the benefit of BMW's experience with the i3 and i8. Sophisticated, swift and broadly talented to drive – and sweet-handing, too
  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Italian brand emerges as a true luxury power with a large SUV
  • 2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    A smaller engine doesn't prevent the new Porsche Panamera Turbo being a ridiculously quick and capable sporting GT. We've driven it in the UK
  • 2016 Vauxhall Adam 1.0i Turbo Unlimited
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    The 1.0-litre turbo engine and Unlimited trim combine to make this the best Adam in the line-up