What is it?
The new Hyundai i40 saloon, which has just arrived on sale in the UK, six months or so after the estate. Regular four-doors usually come to market before larger five-door estates, so Hyundai’s UK distributor is doing this back-to-front according to the received industry wisdom. From a styling perpective, though, it’s saved the best ‘till last – which makes a pleasant change.
This is a mid-spec diesel version, which is broadly level on performance and price with Autocar class favourites such as the Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec and Skoda Superb TDi 140 SE – so if you’re expecting it to cost you considerably less than an established European option, think again. The i40 is nonetheless well equipped, and as we’ll go on to explain, relies on very few allowances to measure up, even exceed, most relevant benchmarks.
What’s it like?
Armed with the optimal proportions of a traditional three-box body, the i40 is undeniably attractive. It’s not original; the debt that Hyundai’s designers owe to those of the original Mercedes CLS here is a big one. But Hyundai is just the last in a long list of car-makers to have ‘taken inspiration’ from that particular direction.