First DriveFour-door Hyundai isn’t quite as sensible as estate, but has plenty to recommend it
First DriveThe Hyundai i40 is big, sleek, well-equipped and refined, but the 1.7 diesel occasionally struggles, and the steering sometimes feels odd
What is it?
Its sleek fastback style could easily house a hatchback, but this new version of the Hyundai i40 is actually a saloon and joins the Korean marque's handsome Tourer estate, released earlier this year.
What's it like?
Mechanically the car is identical, as is the engine line-up except that the 2.0 litre petrol won’t be offered with the four door. Like the estate this is a big car and as you’d hope, feels spacious inside. Rear room and seat support are good, and if you have the panoramic sunroof that’s standard on the Premium version tested here, it feels very airy too.
The best-selling powertrain will be the 1.7 CRDi manual with an output of 134bhp and 134g/km CO2 emissions, but if you order the lower-powered, 113bhp version of this engine with Blue Drive eco features (stop-start, intelligent alternator, low rolling-resistance tyres) that falls to a very impressive 113g/km, though every journey will probably provide plenty of time to muse on your money-saving.
Indeed, even with 134bhp the 1.7 diesel can struggle to get the i40 moving without plenty of revs and that’s unladen, but once motion has been achieved performance is entirely acceptable. The engine’s pretty quiet at a cruise, but oddly, seemed noisier at low speeds than the estate we’ve tested.
A roomy, well-finished interior and carefully arranged controls make this a pleasing long-distance machine, but on twisting roads its dynamics fall short of a Mondeo’s, odd steering feel, less outright grip and a certain tactile detachment marking it down. Some may find the high driving position off-putting too.
Should I buy one?
This stylish, well-equipped, pleasingly designed car makes quite a strong case for itself as comfortable, refined, roomy and practical family transport, that case all the stronger for a five year, unlimited mileage warranty that includes roadside assistance and free annual check-overs.
Hyundai i40 1.7 CRDi Premium saloon
Price: £23,395; Top speed: 125mph; 0-62mph: 10.3sec; Economy: 55.4mpg; Co2: 134g/km; Kerbweight: 2080kg; Engine: 4 cyls in-line, turbodiesel 1685cc; Power: 134bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 239lb at 2000-2500rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual