The 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

Join the debate

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Lanehogger 1 November 2011

Re: Hyundai i40 1.7 CRDi Premium

Hyundai has come on leaps and bounds in the last 5 years with most of their cars being extremely competitive and dynamically able. However, like the i30 the i40 is going to have a much tougher task in a class where most punters are going for premium brands, shunning even Mondeos and Insignias.

With average dynamics, far from basic pricing and poor residuals, the i40 will struggle against Ford and Vauxhall, never mind 3-Series, C-Classes and A4s and it will take a lot to overcome punter's perception of the Hyundai brand in this class of car in the UK. It took Skoda nearly 20 years to reach where they are now, yet Hyundai is attemtping to change things over night.

jonfortwo 1 November 2011

Re: Hyundai i40 1.7 CRDi Premium

I suspect this car is on sale in the UK so that Hyundai can sell loads of new I30`s into the fleet market. By offering a full range of models the brand can appear on listings previously denied them.

I have to admit to being disappointed on seeing an I40 tourer on the road for the first time, just too big, flabby and fussy looking.

ronmcdonald 1 November 2011

Re: Hyundai i40 1.7 CRDi Premium

Looking at the car from behind I'd have thought it was a Lexus GS at first, certainly something from the Toyota stable. From the front I'd have guessed Peugeot and from the interior I'd have placed a bet on it being a Subaru. It seems to be a car that doesn't know what it want's to be.

As for it's position in the market place. The estate certainly has a number of natural competitors but what is the saloon up against? The majority of 4 dr saloons sold in UK are premium brands, can you see Hyundai taking business away from Audi or BMW? Perhaps it's aimed at the Jetta market? If that's the strategy I can't see too many of these being sold in the UK.