The Hyundai i40 Estate marks a step in a new direction for the Korean firm. Until now it has concentrated on small cars, but the sharp looking i40 has the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat in its sights.
The big Hyundai i40 Tourer is a sharp-looking estate car, with a bold grille, creases along the sides and a neat tailgate. Families will be impressed by its practicality. The boot will hold 533 litres with the seats up and a decent 1,719 litres with them down. The car also gets underfloor cubbies and a retractable luggage screen. As ever, the big draw for many buyers is the value for money on offer, and there's a wealth of standard kit included – the i40 puts more expensive rivals to shame here.
The 175bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine is virtually inaudible at low revs, but doesn’t offer the in-gear acceleration of the diesels. It does deliver decent speed, though – sprinting from 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds. Although the i40 can’t match the Ford Mondeo for driving dynamics, it corners tidily and body roll is well controlled. It's a comfortable and relaxing cruiser.
On the motorway, the i40's comfortable ride means progress is smooth. The driving position affords a decent view of the road ahead, and there's lots of space front and rear. The lower-powered petrol needs to be worked hard when carrying big loads, though, which makes more noise in the cabin, but the diesels re both hushed and smooth, and wind and road noise are kept to a minimum. Optional heated seats are good for cold mornings.
Hyundai boasts an enviable reliability record, and the i40 should only really visit the garage for regular maintenance. Any problems that do occur should be fixed quickly and cheaply, and a five-year, unlimited- mileage warranty is standard. Safety is also first-rate – the i40 has adaptive lighting, nine airbags, including a standard knee airbag, and lane-keeping assistance.
A cavernous 533-litre boot (1,719 with the seats folded down) is close the class best, and should be enough for most needs. You also get underfloor cubbies, adjustable luggage restraints and a power tailgate. And because of the long wheelbase, passenger space isn’t compromised. There's generous amounts of room, both up front and in the rear.
Value for money
Hyundai prides itself on offering superb value for money. High-spec i40 models come with an array of gadgets, including cruise control, sat-nav, xenon lights and heated seats – all at a price that undercuts most rivals, but even entry-level cars come with automatic headlights, electric windows, air-conditioning and alloy wheels.
Diesel engines are clean and efficient, so running costs are low. The most frugal is the entry-level diesel, which emits only 113g/km and returns an impressive 65.7mpg, thanks to BlueDrive technology (which includes a stop-start system) and eco tyres meaning super-low road tax. As with all new Hyundais, the i40 comes with a five-year, unlimited- mileage warranty, which mean total peace of mind.