It's been almost three months since we picked up our silver Hyundai i40 wagon. In that time the stylish Korean has been transformed into our main family car, taking care of all the daily drives and never missing a beat.
Despite being on sale for almost six months, our top of the range Hyundai i40 premium still turns heads wherever it goes. It's partially due to the modern edgy design but the bright Audi-like LED daytime running lights (DRLs) certainly play their part as well. It holds quite a lot of road presence when driven during the day.
After three months and over 5,000 km, we’re still to experience a hiccup, with the 1.7-litre diesel engine, six-speed automatic gearbox, interior trim and overall quality remaining as impressive as the day it arrived.
During the last few weeks the i40 was taken for a spirited drive around some mountainous roads to see how it behaves outside its comfort zone. Given it has been designed for European buyers, it’s noticeably superior in the ride and handling department than the slightly larger and American-focused Hyundai i45.
The diesel engine does tend to weigh the front down a little and that’s felt as you begin to explore its limits, but overall it’s more than comfortable to sprint from one corner to another without a hassle. The pickup provided by the diesel engine can lag at times but for everyday driving it’s not a real issue. Once you understand where in the rev-range the torque and power is delivered, it becomes easier to drive. It’s also worth noting that despite the rigorous and gruelling route it had to endure, there was little to no interior vibration from the console, doors or anything else. Which is a sign of how far the Korean giant has come since we first encountered the brand in the early 90s.
Our biggest criticism still remains the interior. In particular the centre console with its blue lighting, which we believe is not up to scratch for a top of the range medium car. We’ve heard rumours that Hyundai Australia will soon announce the addition of satellite navigation as standard equipment for the premium variant for the i40 and i45 (and perhaps other models as well), meaning the cabin ambience will be significantly improved by a touch-screen LCD unit.
Fuel economy for this month has risen noticeably compared to last months since our i40 has spent most of its time conducting short trips to the shops. Being a diesel, fuel economy benefits are best appreciated on the highway but at 9L/100km for the way it’s been driven (including our spirited drive up the mountain), is still very reasonable. Initially there was a bit of negotiation required to make the missus realise that there’s nothing wrong with driving a diesel family car. Thankfully the i40 spoke for it self and now she wonders why anyone would ever buy a petrol.
The missus says:
What a great turning circle for such a roomy car! We have graduated over here to a forward facing baby seat and have tried and tested an adult sitting comfortably in the back between the screaming infant and the singing 6 year old in his booster seat.
I love how easily I am able to manoeuvre the busy shopping centre car parks and am truly amazed at the tight turning circle this car offers.
The i40 so far is ticking all the boxes when it comes to comfort too especially in the Queensland summer. The air-conditioned seating system makes for instantly cool seats even when the car has been left out in the hot midday sun.
As far as fuel economy, I can count the number of times I've had to refuel in the past 3 months on one hand and the Hyundai i40 is certainly being driven. This may in part be due to the incredible fuel capacity of its tank (70L) but all things considered the fuel economy is certainly impressive. If I where to buy a car tomorrow it would have to be a diesel as the i40 has definitely converted me and sold me on the benefits of driving a diesel.