Hyundai i40 2011 Review
As luck would have it, Hyundai Australia is able to source models designed for Europe and from Korea, meaning some doubling up in certain segments. Buyers stand to benefit with a rich selection, all with more improvements, features, safety and style.
Latest cab of the rank is the i40 Tourer, a medium size wagon designed in Germany and built in Korea. It's slightly smaller scale than i45 sedan but more handsome and thanks to local development, better mannered and a better drive.
The i40 Tourer is so good in this department as to rate the best ride/handling vehicle in the current local Hyundai lineup.
Three variants are offered; Active, Elite and Premium with ascending levels of specification. There are two engine choices - a new direct injection 2.0-litre petrol four cylinder and a new 1.7-litre turbodiesel. They are matched to a choice of six-speed transmissions in manual and auto. But manual is only available on the entry Active model.
Active petrol manual starts at $32,490 with diesel attracting a two grand premium and auto another two grand. Elite auto is $39,490 and Premium auto is $44,490 WHAT YOU GET All score alloy wheels, nine air bags, active safety systems and cornering lights. All have a five star crash rating.
Cornering brake control is standard as are LED front driving lights, air conditioning, remote central locking, a full size spare, electric parking brake and multi media connectivity with Bluetooth phone and audio. Upscale models get more with, get this, air conditioning to the seats featured on the top variants. Premium gains leather, premium audio, 18-inch alloys, button start, front and rear park sensors, panoramic sunroof and reversing camera.
All are well equipped.
Both engines are new to Hyundai and will flow into other models in some form or other. The diesel is good for 100kW/320/330Nm (auto/manual) and as little as 4.7-litres/100km. The petrol is good for 130kW/213Nm and as little as 6.8-litres/100km. The engines rate 3.5-5.0 in the government's Green Car ratings.
With 70 litres aboard, Hyundai reckons the diesel manual has a range of 1489km an astonishing distance for a car selling in the mid 30 grand price range. The six-speed auto is generic in Hyundai and Kia's lineup and offers paddle shift and sports mode right down to the entry model.
Coming out of Hyundai's German design studio, the swoopy looking i40 Tourer is one of the better looking wagons on the market right now. It follows through with a family Hyundai look to the front complete with a hexagonal grille and eagle eye headlights. The interior is modern, stylish and functional leaving many Japanese contenders in its wake.
We got to drive the Active turbodiesel auto and the Premium petrol and frankly, prefer the base model Active diesel though both are impressive. Hyundai has totally nailed the ride/handling in i40 which offers sporty but controlled handling, responsive stering and feels well tied down.
The diesel's luscious torque is a strong point over its petrol stablemate, plus the fact that it is super economical. It doesn't feel like a wagon when pushing hard on a winding, undulating road and scoots along smoothly and quietly on the highway.
The interior is comfortable providing luxurious rear seat room and comfy seats. The diesel is noisier than the petrol but only under hard acceleration.
Best in Hyundai's lineup. Eclipses many Japanese (and European) competitors at less money. Striking looks. Unbeatable warranty.
HYUNDAI i40 TOURER
Price: from $32,490 - $46,490
Warranty: 5 years/unlimited km
Thirst: 6.8-7.7L/100km, 91RON, CO2 159g/km; 4.7-6.0L/100km diesel CO2 124g/km
Safety equipment: 9 airbags, ESP, ABS, EBD, traction control, stability control
Crash rating: N/A
Engines: 2.0-litre 4-cyl petrol 130kW/213Nm; 1.7-litre turbodiesel 100kW/325Nm
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed auto with paddle-shifters, FWD
Body: 4-door sedan, 5 seats
Dimensions: Length 4770mm, width 1815mm, height 1470mm
Wheelbase: 2770mm, tracks front/rear 1591mm/1597mm
Tyres: 16x7.0; 17x7.5; 18x8
Spare: Full-size alloy.