The i40’s mechanical make-up conforms to the class norms. Hyundai offers two different four-cylinder engines that are mounted transversely under the bonnet and drive the front wheels.
Power outputs range from 114bhp for an entry-level 1.7-litre diesel, through to the range-topping 140bhp version of the same engine. That low-power diesel also comes with economy-enhancing technologies that Hyundai gathers together under its ‘Blue Drive’ banner.
An automatic engine starter-generator, intelligent alternator, low-resistance tyres, a gearchange indicator and an automatic radiator blank all combine to lower its emissions to just 110g/km and boost fuel economy to 65.7mpg on the combined cycle.
That makes this Hyundai one of the most frugal family cars you can buy at the moment. From a car manufacturer that, until quite recently, had very little experience in producing diesel engines at all, that’s quite some achievement.
Few will hope for more than average outright performance from a big diesel semi-estate like the i40. Good mechanical refinement, good fuel efficiency, reasonable accelerator response, decent grip and a strong and progressive set of brakes will surely satisfy most expectations – and in most of those areas the i40 does that.
Perhaps most impressive is how quiet its 1.7-litre common-rail diesel engine is during typical use. When we originally road tested the i40 at Mira, our test car seemed far more hushed than other diesels in the class, and that’s confirmed by our noise meter readings; the last generation 2.0 TDI Skoda Superb was 8dB noisier at idle.