The Hyundai i40 sedan and wagon range has this week received its first significant update since it arrived here in October 2011.
One part of Hyundai’s mid-sized passenger car arsenal alongside the Sonata, the $32,490 — $43,990 (plus on-road costs) i40 line-up has been simplified through the removal of 50 per cent of the variants available, and is more affordably priced than before by between $1500 and $3600.
In order to further differentiate this German-designed model from the more US-centric $29,990 — $41,990 Sonata sedan, Hyundai has also whittled back the engine range on offer. The i40 sedan is now exclusively available with a CRDi diesel engine, so as not to cannibalise the petrol-only Sonata.
Said diesel engine, available in both i40 body-styles, has also been tweaked. It’s still a 1.7-litre turbocharged unit, but power is up 4kW to 104kW at 4000rpm, and torque has been increased by 20Nm to 340Nm between 1750 and 2500rpm.
Power from this engine is also sent to the front wheels via a brand new seven-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission in place of the old six-speed with torque converter, helping to pare back fuel economy from as little as 5.6 litres per 100km to 5.1L/100km on the combined-cycle.
The i40 Tourer wagon retains the option of a petrol engine, given there’s no Sonata wagon for it to compete with.
However, this engine is now a (3.0 per cent more efficient) 121kW/203Nm 2.0-litre GDi unit with 10kW/11Nm lower outputs than before, though Hyundai claims it been fettled to give more low-end torque and better initial punch. A six-speed auto (not a DCT) is standard.
Perhaps most interesting are the range of price cuts. The i40 1.7 CRDi sedan now retails for $33,090 in base Active specification (down $1500). An entry Mazda 6 Touring diesel sedan costs $40,840 by comparison. The i40 Premium 1.7 CRDi sedan is now $41,990 (down $3600).
The i40 Tourer, meantime, now costs $32,490 in Active 2.0 GDi petrol form (down $1500), making it the new range entry point. The entry petrol-powered Mazda 6 Sport wagon costs $33,840 by comparison. The i40 Tourer Premium 2.0 GDi costs $41,390 (down $3600).
Likewise, the i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi Active ($35,090) and Premium ($43,990) are down $1500 and $3600 respectively. The entry Mazda 6 Touring diesel wagon costs $41,780.
It appears that i40 Premium versions lose a few standard features, notably heated rear seats (still heated up front) and ventilated front seats.
In a bid to further simplify the i40 range, Hyundai has also axed the Elite specification level. In total, factoring in engines, body-styles and equipment, Hyundai has trimmed the range from 12 variations before to just six now (three Elite specs, three petrol-powered sedans all axed).
What else is new? A new electric-assisted power steering system, and a new version of suspension tuning calibrated by Hyundai Australia’s chassis engineers with re-jigged springs, dampers and stabiliser bars designed to sharpen steering feel and add bump compliance.
There’s also subtly revised styling encompassing a reshaped front bumper, a more aggressive grille with matte black and chrome bits, new headlights and LED daytime runners, new LED tail-lights and redesigned alloy wheels.
Inside, base Active variants lose the old dot matrix audio system in favour of a tiny, but still welcome, 4.3-inch touchscreen, digital iPod connectivity (was analogue) and better media ripping/storage. In the rear there’s a new flip-up cover on the flip-down centre armrest. All variants including the Active also pick up a reverse-view camera.
As before, the i40 sedan offers 505 litres of cargo space (with a full-sized spare wheel underneath the cargo floor), while the Tourer offers 506L with the rear seats occupied, expanding to 1672L. Braked towing capacity for all variants is 1500kg, as before.
All Hyundai models get a Lifetime capped-price service plan, five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, a sat-nav update plan, complimentary roadside assist for 12 months on new vehicles, a Roadside Support Plan for up to 10 years, and a 1500km complimentary first service.
Read our 2015 Hyundai i40 sedan and Tourer review here.
2015 Hyundai i40 pricing (plus on-road costs):
Hyundai i40 range specifications:
Key specifications above Active: