Hyundai i40 Tourer 2015 facelift review
Practical Hyundai i40 gets an updated look and more economical engines
The changes made to the Hyundai i40 Tourer have strengthened the family car’s appeal. It’s more stylish than before, even cheaper to run, and still comes loaded with kit. The new DCT gearbox is a welcome addition, too, and while it fails to transform the practical load-lugger into a true driver’s car, customers looking for spacious, affordable and comfortable family transport won’t be let down.
Hyundai's engineers and designers have been busy tweaking the practical i40, with an updated design, more frugal diesel engines and a new dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Changes over the outgoing model include a more familiar i30-style black hexagonal grille, refreshed headlights and a sharper front bumper. There are new alloy wheel designs and a selection of new paint options too.
Interior quality is good, if a little shy of Volkswagen’s brilliant new Passat – but the controls are logically laid out and it gets all the equipment you could ever need. Practicality is unchanged from the old car, so there’s still plenty of space in the back, and the 553-litre boot is 47 litres bigger than the roomy Mazda 6. Total volume with the seats down eclipses the 6, too, boasting 1,719 litres versus the Mazda’s 1,648.
The 139bhp diesel we drove could never be described as quick, but overall refinement is impressive, and on the road, the new gearbox makes a massive difference, and feels so much smoother under hard acceleration. It can be a little slow to change down – and simply refuses to skip two cogs in quick succession – but be patient with the wheel-mounted paddles and it is much more rewarding.
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Volkswagen’s DSG is much better sorted, and the Ford Mondeo is still sharper to drive, but if you spend most your time on the motorway the i40’s comfort-orientated suspension will help make long journeys a pleasure rather than a chore.
Big changes have been made under the skin. All Hyundai i40 models are now badged BlueDrive, with considerable efficiency gains across the range. Hyundai quotes between three and ten g/km improvements on manual models, and – thanks to the introduction of a frugal dual-clutch gearbox – as much as 30g/km on the auto. Despite modest power increases (this 1.7-litre has 5bhp more), that means all i40s now fall below 130g/km – with even this most powerful diesel costing just £110 per year to tax.
However, this car is primarily aimed at business users – and their main concern will be a low Benefit-in-Kind tax bracket and class-leading fuel economy. This dual-clutch Tourer offers 23 per cent BiK, and will return 56.5mpg. A like-for-like Ford Mondeo will do 57.6mpg but will cost lower rate tax payers £26 more each year.
With around 5,000 i40 sales a year, the large majority – around 3,500 units – are of the versatile Tourer estate. Now available with a choice of just four specs, SE, SE Nav, SE Nav Business and Premium, bosses expect around 40 per cent of sales will be the well-specced mid-range SE Nav.
As with the i20, the i40 focuses highly on value for money. This SE Nav adds all the kit you could feasibly need, including Bluetooth, DAB, sat-nav and a parking camera, as well as dual-zone climate, cruise control and heated front seats. Manual cars get 16-inch alloys, while this new auto model upgrades to 17s.