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Hyundai i40

Our verdict on the diesel Hyundai i40 saloon - it looks great and is good to drive, too

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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The Hyundai i40 saloon is another excellent Hyundai – a family car that will give mainstream rivals such as the Volkswagen Passat and Peugeot 508 something to think about. Flagship Premium models are well equipped but expensive, so aim for the mid-range Style models for the best value – the 1.7-litre diesel is £20,995. Low emissions will make Blue Drive models a hit with company car drivers and Hyundai’s Five-Year Triple Care deal looks after private buyers, so it’s a car with something for everyone.

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We've already been impressed by the new Hyundai i40 Tourer estate – but will the saloon be as good? We tried the 1.7-litre diesel model in top-of-the range Premium trim, and the four-door makes a strong first impression.

The current fashion for sporty estates means that most family cars tend to look their best in their most practical form, but the i40 saloon bucks the trend.

 It looks every bit as good as the Tourer, and the shallow angle of the rear windscreen gives it a sleek, well proportioned profile.

Inside you get lots of top-quality trim, high-class switchgear and acres of space. Four or five adults will fit with ease, and the saloon body has done little to dent assenger space.

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The obvious difference is at the back, where you get a 525-litre boot instead of the 553-litre luggage area of the estate.

The opening is wide and the rear seatbacks fold forwards for extra practicality. This allows you to carry longer items, but they’ll have to be slender as the resulting hole through the bulkhead to the cabin is pretty small.

The interior and exterior of the i40 aren’t the only things we’ve praised about the estate, as it’s arguably the most convincing Hyundai yet from behind the wheel. And it will come as no surprise to learn the four-door is just as impressive.

Its 1.7-litre diesel engine can do 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds and return around 50mpg, while if you spend an extra £300 you’ll get the Blue Drive model, which adds stop-start to slash CO2 emissions to only 119g/km.

Take the plunge and chances are you won’t be disappointed, as the smooth riding and refined Hyundai is perfectly at home at motorway speeds.

And the positive manual gearbox, progressive brakes and tidy handling mean this is a car with few genuine weaknesses. There’s a bit too much body roll in tight corners and it doesn’t have the precise handling of the Ford Mondeo or reassuring grip of the Skoda Superb, but the Hyundai is very capable indeed.

Better still, even the more affordable Style trim includes touchscreen satellite navigation, a rear view parking camera and cruise control as standard.

We think the extra practicality of the Tourer makes it the best i40 option, but if you want a saloon, the latest addition to the line-up takes some beating. Impressed? You bet. 

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