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Hyundai i40 Active 2012 review


INDIANS are adept at packing their expansive families within the confines of their small cars.

There seems to be no end to the variations on human sardines but for economical reasons, the preference of vehicles is a hatchback. Like a Hyundai i20 which is as popular in downtown Delhi as it is in central Sydney.

But if you have the big family, why not treat them to a bit of space? Like the i20 times two, the i40, which is as expansive as an Aussie wagon yet almost as cheap to run as a cramped hatchback.


Hyundai sells on value for money and the i40 doesn't disappoint. There's a big eight-model selection of petrol and diesel engines, manual and auto transmissions and tiers of features that will propel the wagon from $32,490 to $46,490.

The Active turbo-diesel with auto trans tested here costs $36,490 which i s $5500 cheaper than the base Commodore Sportwagon. Priceless is the massive five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty. Standard kit is excellent, including nine airbags, Bluetooth, electric park brake, trip computer and front-rear airconditioning.


Long and with a few bits of curved panel creases and a tapered glass profile, it looks European - it was designed there - and roomy. The shape returns a long cargo area and excellent rear leg and headroom, though the flowing lines impairs the dr iver's ability to judge its corners when parking.

The cabin is generally well executed and even criticism of the complex dash shape is diluted by its distinctive lines. Some switchgear is poorly placed - the vent's fan control is on the passenger side of the console - but the electric parkbrake makes some amends.


The big news is .. oh, there's no big news. The i40 gets Hyundai-Kia's strong little 1.7-litre oiler that bolts to a six-speed automatic with sequential shift. It hauls 1659 kg dry which is perhaps a big ask - and a reason why the tow rating is a low-ish 1800kg - so acceleration is leisurely until it hits strength around 2200rpm.

Hyundai doesn't disappoint with a comprehensive audio set-up and safety list.


Nine airbags, the full kit and kaboodle of electronic stuff - corner braking, stability and traction control, brake assist, brakeforce distribution and a hillholder - add to a five-star crash rating and a full-size spare wheel.


European designed i ndicates a lean towards a sporty drive. Nup. This may be penned in Germany but the Korean-built wagon is soft underfoot and made for comfort. And in that regard, it succeeds. It is a very good tourer and settles solid on the road - though the electric steering has no feel - and returns brilliant economy.

One traffic-rich city-suburban route over 120km returned a very low 6.7 L/100km. The diesel calls on all six cogs to maximise its narrow-band power delivery and even when pushed, the drivetrain is composed and fuss-free. It's only downfall in the city is its body shape that hides its corners and can make parking difficult.

Pricing guides

Based on 65 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

Active 1.7L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $6,290 – 10,990 2012 Hyundai I40 2012 Active Pricing and Specs
Elite 1.7L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $6,990 – 16,490 2012 Hyundai I40 2012 Elite Pricing and Specs
Premium 1.7L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $7,990 – 17,999 2012 Hyundai I40 2012 Premium Pricing and Specs
Active 1.7L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $7,635 – 15,990 2012 Hyundai I40 2012 Active Pricing and Specs
Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist


Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 7 car listings in the last 6 months

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