Based on the feedback of our last update we decided to go out and test the number of questions that readers posed.
Our diesel Hyundai i40 has been going strong during its extended stay with us in Brisbane. There’s been a slight issue with the adaptive front lighting system (AFLS), which turn the headlights towards the direction of travel, sometimes not functioning (Hyundai tells us it’s a small software update that will fix this issue). It’s basically unnoticeable at the best of times.
We were asked to test the following areas of the i40.
Torque steer: Although the front-wheel drive nature and large size of the i40 practically guarantees slight torque steer, the traction and stability controls are very quick to intervene, meaning any potential torque steer is simply disregarded with a few flashes of the ESC light on the dashboard. If you turn all the controls off (not recommended), you can certainly feel torque steer out of corners but again, it’s only when pushed beyond the limits of everyday requirements that this becomes evident.
Steering feedback: As we mentioned before, the i40 is not exactly a BMW when it comes to steering feedback, but it’s also not as good as a Ford Mondeo. It’s generally light and can feel lifeless at times. Nonetheless, and this is important to know, the Missus prefers the light steering for ease of driving around shopping centre car parks and Suburbia. So it’s a negative and a positive depending on how you look at it. It would’ve been nice for the i40 to have Hyundai’s new flex-steer system which lets you chose between three different modes. Then it would’ve catered to both our needs.
Headlights: The High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps on our test car (i40 premium) offer excellent illumination at night. We haven’t tested the standard headlights offered on the other two variants.
Ease of entry: It’s fair to see that it may be a tad difficult for the elderly to enter and exit the i40. It sits low to the ground despite its large size and requires a fair bit of bending to climb aboard the rear seats. Thankfully the doors open wide, which makes the process easier.
Ride comfort: How does it deal with potholes and poor quality roads? Rather well. Good enough that you don’t have to actively avoid potholes or poorly surfaced roads. There’s none of that sudden cabin-shaking shudder you get from some European competitors. It’s on par with the best in class in this regard.
Internal lighting: Night-time entry and exit has never been an issue for us. The i40 lights up upon unlocking and provides ample interior (and exterior) lighting to find your way inside and turn it on. The headlights remain on for a certain period of time after you’ve locked or unlocked it, which makes getting in and out of the house easier if you’re the kind that fumbles to find the right key.
Visibility front and rear: As you can see from the photo above, the swooping roofline mixed in with the big A-pillar and a rather large mirror may at first appear to be blocking the vital right-hand side viewpoint for the driver but alas, it’s a non-issue. Given the placement of the A-pillar is rather forward of the seating position, we’ve yet to find any visibility problems when behind the wheel. Given the size of the thing, reversing can be a tad difficult without rear parking sensors or reversing camera, so they come highly recommended. As for rear passenger visibility, it’s actually one of the best wagons we’ve come across. It’s an open cabin (helped by the huge panoramic glass roof) that invites natural light and provides excellent visibility.
Dirt roads: We had a quick stint on a dirt road to see how the i40 would go and it’s pretty confined thanks to the stability control kicking in to stop any traction loss. It’s probably not tuned for this sort of driving (nor do we expect many buyers will ever subject it as such).
Overall we’ve been happy with our Hyundai i40 diesel. This month it managed 7.7L/100km average fuel consumption for mainly quick stints to the shops and back.