As part of the Hyundai’s expansion into new markets, the i40 has been included to diversify the company’s stake into D-segment family saloons. But beyond targeting bigger sales, the i40 is also a symbol of stature and maturity for Hyundai. Gone are any preconceived notions from the Grandeurs, Sonatas, and the other big Hyundai vehicles. The design comes from a European team and was developed in Russelheim. So how does the Hyundai i40 fare not just in the D-segment market, but also in competing against the Passat, Insignia or Mondeo?
A team of talented designers was employed to give the Hyundai i40 a structure that would make it contemporary and attractive to a mass market. The i40 achieves this by establishing its own visual identity. At the same time, European tastes have been considered and each element is clearly targeted to such a market. The design range began with a five-door Tourrer, then a hatchback, estate, and four-door saloon followed to complete the range.
The i40’s interior has been designed to give families what they need for daily use but also at an affordable price. What results is a spacious car made of robust materials and more than enough practical standard equipment. Parents will have no problem living with the simplicity and comfort of the space. There’s more headroom and shoulder space in the i40’s front seats and Hyundai claims that it measures larger than the Ford Monteo. Ergonomics are flawless wherever you look. Drivers will have no problem in terms of reach and rake adjustments. The three positioned pedals and steering column are also convenient and practical to handle. The cabin also enjoys a rich ambience from the glossy black trim that surrounds the entertainment controls and the centre stack of the heater. Other ergonomically sound positions can be found in the main rotary menu controller and the shape of the dishes steering wheel.
The i40’s engine range includes the entry-level 1.7-litre diesel at 114bhp, a 1.6-litre petrol at 133bhp, to the top range 2.0-litre petrol found in the saloon. The low-powered diesel includes economy-enhancing technologies that fall under the Blue Drive banner of Hyundai. Other tools used to lower the engine emissions include the intelligent alternator, gearchange indicator, automatic radiator, and engine-starter generator. All engines are able to deliver decent fuel efficiency, decent grip, strong brakes, and good mechanical refinement.
Although the 1.7-litre diesel is able to be two seconds quicker than the entry-level in terms of acceleration, it comes at a Co2 penalty of 21g/km. The brake is decent for the most part but turns out to be poorer than expected as it ran on low-resistance Hankook Kinergy Eco tyres.
Overall the i40 delivers a decent and adequate driving experience. Light controls, precise handling, and easy-to-handle controls are general traits of the i40. But it’s when you demand more of the vehicle that its dynamism falls short. The ligh steering system is responsive as you go around town, but it will carry on unwanted weight as you increase the speed further.
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