Hyundai i40 Tourer estate (2011-2019)
“The Hyundai i40 Tourer is a medium-sized estate car aimed at families and company-car drivers, with neat styling and low running costs”
- Spacious cabin with lots of kit
- Cheap to run
- Low prices
- Love-or-loathe-it styling
- Rivals are more fun to drive
- Lacks badge appeal of competitors
While the models above, as well as the Volkswagen Passat come immediately to mind when you think about large estate cars, the Hyundai and its Kia Optima Sportswagon are easily overlooked, but in fact have a great deal to offer family buyers and company car users alike.
For one thing, the Hyundai is a pretty sharp looking machine, with swooping lines in place of the rectilinear, boxy look that characterised estate cars of old. Although there's a Hyundai i40 saloon available too, you can see that the estate isn't simply an extension of that model – it was clearly designed to be an estate from the outset. The only thing that many may see as lacking is an upwardly-mobile image.
They’re not quite class-leading figures, but the smart bodywork also holds a sizeable 553-litre boot that can be opened up to 1,719 litres by folding down the rear seats. There are some handy touches like compartments under the boot floor for hiding valuables or keeping muddy boots, while a retractable boot cover keeps your luggage out of the sun.
One area where the Hyundai could lose customers is its engine range, not necessarily because the 1.7-litre diesel is bad, but because it’s the only choice. You can pick either a 114 or 139bhp version with a manual or automatic gearbox, but this is still a narrower spread than most rivals. It’s hardly a surprise these engines are suited to company-car drivers, though, with emissions from 110 to 123g/km of CO2 resulting in Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) liabilities from 27 to 29%.
Take to the road and the i40 Tourer can’t match the polished driving experience of the Volkswagen Passat, but if you simply want a comfortable and relaxing cruiser, it does well. Light steering, decent refinement and relatively soft suspension mean you can spend hours behind the wheel without fuss.
Four trim levels are available, called S, SE Nav, SE Nav Business and Premium, with even the S getting alloy wheels, a drive mode selector, Bluetooth and air-conditioning, along with silver roof rails. SE Nav adds some LED front fog lights, handy front and rear parking sensors, touchscreen sat nav, a rear-view camera and even a heated steering wheel, while Business brings electric part-leather seats with ventilation and keyless entry. Luxury features like heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, powered tailgate and a ‘supervision’ instrument cluster set the Premium trim apart.
Our pick is the SE Nav with a manual gearbox and the 139bhp version of the 1.7-litre engine, which feels much more sprightly than the entry-level engine, with minimal impact on running costs.
Regardless of which you go for, Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty may be a big part of your decision, being one of the most generous available. Safety should also be assured by a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, with an impressive 92% in the adult occupant category.
And it's these facts that really sum up what the i40 Tourer offers. It's a good looking, no-nonsense package that's easy to own if not terribly exciting. As a comfortable workhorse, the Hyundai makes a lot of sense, but if you yearn for driving fun, you'll want to look elsewhere.