Hyundai i40 Tourer review
The Hyundai i40 Tourer offers maximum practicality, efficient engines and stylish looks
In the family car market, the Hyundai i40 Tourer needs to match the quality of rivals like the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia – the firm can no longer rely on its core principal of being value for money. With its swoopy styling and high-quality cabin, it certainly marks a step forward for the Korean brand, and those looking for maximum practicality won't be disappointed - the boot is huge and there's acres of space for passengers. Add a frugal but refined range of engines into the mix and the i40 is a strong contender.
Our choice: i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi Blue Drive Style
At last, we have a Hyundai that stands out from the crowd. The i40 Tourer's coupe-like roof line and abundance of creases in the bodywork make this a car buyers can be proud to be seen in - and the clever part is that it isn't at the expense of interior space. On the inside, the i40 is a revelation for the brand. No longer are the materials merely practical and hard-wearing, but there are some genuinely premium finishes to the surfaces, especially on top-spec Premium models.
Initially Hyundai's engineers were in two minds whether to opt for soft or firm suspension settings for the i40 – fortunately it went for the latter. The result is that it rides with real composure and soaks up the worst UK roads can throw at it. It's not as sharp to drive as the Mondeo or Insignia, but the long-distance refinement is an acceptable trade-off. The light steering and gearshift suit the car's relaxed demeanour, too. There's one diesel and two petrols engines, including a 133bhp 1.6 GDi and 174bhp 2.0 GDi on the petrol side, and a 1.7 CRDi with either 115bhp or 136bhp. The latter is our favourite, as it's smooth and hushed, with a healthy 325Nm of torque – although the smaller output unit is surprisingly punchy too.
As it's such a new car, the i40 is an unknown quantity when it comes to long-term reliability. Dig around and you will find the occasional scratchy plastic, but on the whole build quality is good. Hyundai has a reputation for selling robust cars, and the i40 is its best-quality product to date. Every i40 comes with nine airbags and an array of electronic controls to keep you on the straight and narrow, while a power tailgate and automatic parking system are optional. It received a five star Euro NCAP safety rating, with an impressive 92 per cent for Adult Occupant protection. The i40 Tourer comes with Hyundai's five-year unlimited-mileage warranty too, which could save you a packet in the long term.
If it's loading space you're looking for, look no further. The i40 Tourer boasts a capacity of 553 litres with the rear seats in place - more than the Ford Mondeo Estate, Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer and Mazda 6 Estate - and that climbs to 1,719 litres with the rear seats folded. The boot floor isn't completely flat though, so loading longer objects could prove tricky. Clever storage areas are everywhere, and include a sizeable glovebox and central storage box, as well as a sprinkling of cupholders and an extra compartment under the boot floor. Space in the rear is generous even for fully-grown adults, and the front seats have a wide range of adjustment, although they could be more supportive.
A Blue Drive pack, which adds stop-start and other fuel saving measures, is available on the Active and Style trim levels, but not Premium. That means with the 136bhp 1.7 CRDi engine the Premium model returns 134g/km and 61.4mpg, while a Blue Drive equivalent manages 119g/km and 62.8mpg - around 3mpg less than the less powerful Ford Mondeo Econetic. The petrols are less efficient, with the 1.6 GDi returning 47.1mpg combined and emitting 140g/km of C02. It's best to opt for the diesels over the petrols unless you're likely to do really low mileages. Top-spec cars get kit such as a panoramic sunroof, heated leather seats, 18-inch alloys and sat-nav, plus front and rear parking sensors. The classy high-definition display adds a premium feel, too.