Garry Fabian road tests and reviews the diesel Hyundai i40 Tourer.
Increasingly the quality and features of Hyundai have positioned the brand in a market segment that challenges the more expensive European makes, and the current series Hyundai i40 continues this progress.
All five doors open onto a grotto dark and cavernous interior, which is mainly black with a bit of satin trim. Even with the shade on the panorama roof withdrawn, the smoked glass from front to rear will never let the ambiance get much beyond a cocoon.
But, it is inviting: the steering wheel is thick and wrapped in leather, svelte seats are covered in soft hide, and materials look good while fitting together luxuriously.
Every fixture is solid, and real substance is communicated with every touch, push and pull. Nothing makes an unwelcome noise or squeak. With the front seat set for a tall driver, knees didn’t touch the seatbacks.
The cargo space comes with a cargo managing barrier (on all trims) and built-in areas behind the wheel wells – portioned off with plastic dividers – for small items.
Available in three trims, Active, Elite and Premium, even the base model comes with a ton of features: keyless entry, adaptive headlights, speed limiter, front and rear park assist, aux and USB inputs, Bluetooth, electronic parking brake, rear centre console cooling vents, paddle shifters and one-touch windows at all four seats.
The Premium version of the Hyundai i40 increases the package with other features, including Sat-Nav and a seven-inch screen, heated and cooled front seats, a glove box cooler, rain-sensing wipers, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, Smart Park Assist, dynamic HID lights and a power tailgate.
The good news is that the engine runs quietly and, tied to a six-speed automatic, it was unafraid to downshift and take advantage of its full torque load at 2,200 rpm.
The suspension is well tuned, and provides good handling, but the steering tends to be a little docile.
The Hyundai i40 is a pleasant car to drive, and its body lines are pleasing without being “stand-out” exotic. The overall package is good, and build quality is very good, the Korean product is well up with its more expensive European rivals in this class.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 1.7 litre turbo-diesel producing 100kW and 320Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Five years
Origin: South Korea
Price: Diesel from $36,590