It’s one of many almost forgotten cars in an almost forgotten segment. Medium passenger cars are being outsold dramatically by small cars and all forms of SUV’s. We’re casting many of them out into the wasteland but are we making a mistake?
This is the Hyundai i40 and if you take a closer look, it will give you a lot to think about.
The Hyundai i40 hit the Australian market 2011 and received its first major update mid last year.
Hyundai call their design language fluidic sculpture two – its predecessor fluidic sculpture one was there to make a statement and create instant recognition for the brand – now it’s been toned down a little.
The focal points are the large grille and the angled headlights – this is the premium spec and has LED headlights, indicators, daytime running lights and LED fog lamps – something the entry-level active spec misses out on.
The sweeping line along the side of the Tourer and the gently sloping roof-line give it a bit of attitude. It’s just 3 cm longer than the sedan, and 30cm longer than the i30 Tourer.
Which brings us to the boot, and another interesting difference between the smaller i30 wagon and this one. You actually get less space in the boot with the rear seats up – 506 – which is still impressive and beats many compact SUV’s - versus 528 in the i30, but when you fold the seats down there’s a whopping 1672L of space.
The Tourer also gets a nifty sliding cargo barrier and an electric tailgate.
There is a decent amount of room in the second row. This is a family friendly car – particularly if you have children or teenagers – though the amount of space is below class-toppers like the Hyundai Sonata and Ford Mondeo.
The front seats are firm but comfortable, and there are now front and rear parking sensors along with a rear-view camera and auto parking.
The i40 Tourer wagon retains the option of a petrol engine, given there’s no Sonata wagon for it to compete with.
There’s a brand new seven-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission in place of the old six-speed with torque converter.
The engine is pretty punchy - a little noisy but not unpleasantly so, the transmission is generally well behaved and quite smooth and the steering is light but accurately tuned.
There doesn’t seem much difference between Normal, Eco and Sport drive modes.
As with all dual-clutch transmissions, you trade quicker shifts for the odd moment of initial hesitation in urban confines.
The Hyundai i40 Premium Tourer diesel costs $43,990 before on-road costs, you’ll get a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty with a lifetime capped price servicing plan with servicing due every 12 months or 15,000 km.
It’s a too often overlooked option, great cargo space, room for the family or a few surfboards on weekends.
The i40 Tourer Premium also looks sharp, has everything you need, and if you take it for a drive you might just be surprised at how much you enjoy it.