Hyundai Australia has revised the entry-level end of the Hyundai i45 range with the introduction of a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a $2600 price reduction.

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The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will be available only in the base model Active trim, with prices starting at $26,990 for the six-speed manual and $28,590 for the six-speed automatic (excluding on-road costs).

The lower starting price makes the i45 one of the most affordable vehicles to buy in the medium segment.

The 2.4 Active manual has been discontinued, with the 2.4-litre engine to be offered only with the six-speed automatic, but still in all the three specification levels (Active, Elite, Premium).

The 2.0 MPI engine produces 121kW of power (at 6200rpm) and 198Nm of torque (at 4600rpm). Combined cycle fuel consumption is 7.9 litres/100km for the manual and 7.6 litres/100km for the auto.

The 2.4-litre GDI petrol engine is unchanged, with 148kW (at 6300rpm), 250Nm (4250rpm) and a combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.0 litres/100km for the manual and 7.9 litres/100km for the auto.

The 2.0-litre model has smaller brakes than the 2.4 – front: 280mm vs 300mm, rear: 262mm vs 284mm – and is around 30kg lighter.

The 2.0’s manual transmission has a slightly shorter final drive ratio, while the auto is unchanged.

Towing capacity is the same for both engines and transmissions at 1300kg braked and 650kg unbraked.

Hyundai Australia’s Ben Hershman wouldn’t be drawn on predicted sales percentages for the 2.0-litre compared with the 2.4-litre, but said the smaller engine and its lower price was sure to widen the appeal of the model for Australian consumers.

The i45 currently makes up 7.8 percent of the sub-$60K medium segment. So far this year, it trails the Toyota Camry, Ford Mondeo, Mazda6, Subaru Liberty and Honda Accord Euro in the segment, although in April it peaked at number two behind the Camry.

2011 Hyundai i45 manufacturer’s list prices:

  • 2.0 Active six-speed manual – $26,990
  • 2.0 Active six-speed automatic – $28,590
  • 2.4 Active six-speed automatic – $31,090
  • 2.4 Elite six-speed automatic – $34,990
  • 2.4 Premium six-speed automatic – $37,490