Hyundai i40 Estate
Can Hyundai's classy new estate blend comfort with value and take on the class best?
So is this the best car Hyundai has ever built? In terms of all-round ability, quality and looks, the answer is yes. Don’t forget, though, that it will be going head-to-head with one of the most complete cars in the business – the Ford Mondeo. Some of the i40’s dynamic shortcomings leave it trailing, but the trump card is its price. This top-spec model isn’t cheap, at £24,395, but it costs about £1,000 less than a comparable Mondeo, and is incredibly well equipped. With this ace up its sleeve, the i40 is a strong class contender that will be hard to ignore for private and fleet buyers alike.
It’s the machine that Hyundai bosses are calling the best they’ve ever made. But does the i40 estate live up to the hype?
The last time we drove a development model of the Tourer, in Issue 1,162, the Korean brand’s engineers were still deliberating over the suspension that would be used on the final version – with the choice of either a softer or stiffer set-up for comfort or handling respectively.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Hyundai i40 Tourer
From behind the wheel of the production i40, you can instantly tell they’ve picked the softer option, and it’s probably the right decision. The ride cushions the driver from the worst bumps in the road, and allows you to spend hours at the wheel in complete comfort.
The trade-off is that, in corners, the i40 is noticeably less dynamic than when it rode on the stiffer springs. The steering also feels somewhat inert, yet we think buyers will be willing to make the sacrifice for the added cruising ability, which is the equal of key rivals such as the VW Passat.
Tucked beneath the bonnet is a 1.7-litre CRDi diesel engine, with 134bhp. There’s 325Nm of torque, too, and the i40 pulls well in all six of its gears, allowing for a solid 0-62mph time of 10.6 seconds. On the move, it’s smooth and refined, and the powerplant can barely be heard at motorway speeds, making the estate a relaxed cruiser.
Opt for an eco-friendly Bluedrive model – available in entry-level Active and mid-range Style specs – and emissions are 119g/km, with combined fuel economy of 62.8mpg. Strangely, though, the range-topping Premium car doesn’t feature the Bluedrive tweaks, so has to make do with figures of 134g/km and 61.4mpg respectively.
It might miss out on stop-start kit, but the Premium is packed full of expensive equipment as standard. A panoramic sunroof, heated leather seats, 18-inch alloys and sat-nav, plus front and rear parking sensors, are all included, and the entry-level car is available from only £18,395.
The i40 Tourer’s interior is something of a revelation, too, and although there are some hard plastics on the doors and dash buttons, build quality is excellent. Even better, the classy high-definition display screen adds a premium feel.
A generous 577-litre boot and spacious rear cabin complete what is a very compelling package indeed.