Hyundai i40

We give our verdict on Hyundai's attractive Mondeo rival - can it compete with Ford's evergreen Mondeo?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

While Hyundai has proved it can build great small motors, it has never made a decent big family car. Until now! The i40 is good to drive, handsome and has an excellent diesel unit. Its cabin isn’t quite as refined as some rivals’, but it is comfortable, spacious, and there’s no lack of standard equipment. We have no doubt this car will rattle the established class players.

While Hyundai has proved it can build great small motors, it has never made a decent big family car. Until now! The i40 is good to drive, handsome and has an excellent diesel unit.

Its cabin isn’t quite as refined as some rivals’, but it is comfortable, spacious, and there’s no lack of standard equipment. We have no doubt this car will rattle the established class players.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Hyundai i40 Tourer

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From squaring up to the VW Scirocco to muscling in on the Ford Mondeo – it’s fair to say that Hyundai has never really succeeded in the UK when it comes to large motors. Indeed, the old Sonata was largely ignored by family buyers.

But try ignoring the new i40! This is where Hyundai gets serious about the family car market – and the likes of Ford, VW, Vauxhall and Toyota should be very worried indeed. Arriving first as an estate, and later as a four-door saloon, the i40 is big, attractive (if a touch overstyled) and has the talent to win sales both from family and company car buyers.

The most popular version will be this: the estate, with Hyundai’s new 136bhp 1.7-litre diesel. It has an impressive 325Nm torque output and pulls strongly in any of its six gears – and claims a superb 62mpg on the combined cycle. The i40 is also good to drive. It’s not as sharp as the Mondeo, perhaps, but with Sports suspension, it boasts well weighted steering and excellent body control, as well as a comfortable ride.

The cabin isn’t quite up to Ford Mondeo or VW Passat standards, but it’s certainly not far off. It is very spacious and comfortable, too, while the 577-litre boot is bettered in the class only by the huge Passat.

Hyundai has always fitted its cars with plentiful standard kit. This means the i40 will get a host of great toys, including Audi-style LED daytime running lights, air-con, a system that automatically adjusts the heating when it detects your windscreen is fogging up, a leather steering wheel and reclining rear seats.

There are also nine airbags and an array of electronic controls to keep you on the straight and narrow. A power tailgate and automatic parking system will be optional.

Engines will also include a 113g/km version of the 1.7-litre oil-burner, plus a faster 160bhp unit, due later this year. Petrol customers will have the choice of 135bhp 1.6-litre or 177bhp 2.0-litre motors.

In short, this handsome car is spacious, comfortable, well equipped, and has a good engine and chassis. Ford should definitely be concerned!

Rival: Mondeo Estate In 139bhp 2.0-litre TDCi Edge trim, the Ford can hit 0-60mph in 9.8 seconds, although its 53.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km trail the Hyundai’s. It’s better to drive, but costs more.

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