People aren’t buying as many mid-sized sedans as they used to, but ironically enough, there have never been more great options out there.
One of the underrated competitors is the Euro-styled Hyundai i40, which has received a mid-life update that brings a number of worthy drivetrain and suspension tweaks, and some welcome price cuts.
Always a sharp looker, the i40 Premium sedan seen here gets a bolder new grille and new headlights and daytime running lights.
There’s also been a small tweak under the sleek bonnet, with the now-standard 1.7-litre turbo-diesel engine under the bonnet getting small power and torque increases.
The changes inside are minimal, though Australia doesn’t get the same new navigation and digital audio system on its seven-inch screen as European versions.
This $42K Premium specification — almost $4000 cheaper than before — is well-equipped nevertheless, with a standard headroom-reducing (illustrate with hand gesture) panoramic roof, heated and electric leather seats and a Lane Keeping Assist Function, to name just a few features.
The layout is clear and logical — if a little conservative — and the plastics are generally soft-touch and upmarket. The electric park brake is nice as well.
Legroom is excellent, though falls short of Hyundai’s other mid-sized offering, the Sonata. Headroom is less strong, a result of that invasive sunroof.
The Series II version bring this new covered storage area in the armrest.
There’s also a boot big enough to house a few sets of golf clubs and a full-sized spare wheel is mounted underneath. We like the handy cargo net too, and the fact the rear seats flip-fold.
With the addition of the petrol-only Sonata, Hyundai has smartly decided to offer the Series II i40 sedan as a diesel-only offering. It remains a very refined and frugal unit, though its still no firebrand.
It sports a new seven-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic that cuts fuel consumption even further. Hyundai has done well to iron out the indecisiveness at low speeds that can affect this type of shifter.
The i40 has always been one of the more dynamic Hyundais. This one feels a little sharper at the front end and a little better at dispatching mid-corner bumps thanks to some suspension tweaks developed right here in Sydney.
The only dampener of what is a fine driving experience is the road noise coming from those tyres.
We’ve always liked the i40. The wagon remains the more practical pick, but the now diesel-only sedan is a nice premium counterpoint to its more spacious Sonata sibling.
This update is relatively minimal, but it’s now better value and more fuel-efficient than before. And it’s still a very sharp looker. Worth a look.