World Encyclopedia of Cars
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And Hyundai management is hoping that this latest revitalised edition will push that figure even higher, thanks to a facelift that brings the i40 in line with Hyundai's latest design language. Hand-in-hand with the revisions, the entry price has risen by £495, with changes to the shape of the front and rear lights, a new front bumper and a prominent hexagonal grille. A new seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission is also offered for the first time on the 139bhp editions of the 1.7- litre CRDi engine.
Out go the Active and Style trim levels, and in their place there's new S, SE Nav and SE Nav Business editions, with the flagship Premium model topping the range. A choice of a pair of 1.7 CRDi engines in 114 and 139bhp power outputs, the latter unit producing 5bhp more than before, with CO2 emissions and fuel economy figures improved on every model.
One of the i40's biggest strengths is the sheer amount of space on offer, with limousinelike levels of rear legroom. Headroom is good, too, and the generous proportions are mirrored by the amount of loadspace on offer, with 553 litres with the seats in the upright position - outgunning the Ford Mondeo - and an enormous 1,719 litres with the chairs folded down. The space is deep, expansive and has the advantage of an underfloor storage tray. The interior design is stylish and shapely, and while the materials are soft and hard wearing, there's still a little way to go until it matches the surfaces in the latest Passat, though.
But bearing in mind that the VW-badged car costs £2,720 more, Hyundai designers have done an admirable job. The driving position is good, with nice comfortable seats, and allround vision is aided by the deep windows and large rear screen. The positioning of the standard-fit satellite navigation system is good, just within your field of vision, but we wish the instruments were brighter with additional clarity. Space for oddments is well catered for, with a large bin ahead of the gear lever, a deep and wellproportioned armrest and goodsized door pockets and glovebox. It's obvious that the i40 has been designed with comfort in mind, as the suspension soaks up the bumps and potholes with nice absorption. Improvements to the steering are a total success, with the action now rid of the over-assisted, electrical feel that the old car was plagued with.
On tight bends, body roll is kept well in check, with the tyres gripping the tarmac nicely. The six-speed manual gearbox has a smooth, positive action, and the standard-fit stop-start system operates well, without being intrusive. Performance off the line is decent, with a good dose of mid-range torque for overtaking. The engine is quiet and refined, and even with your foot to the floor, remains hushed, and while there's traces of road noise at motorway speeds and some wind flutter, the i40 is actually a comfortable long distance cruiser.
Model tested Tourer SE Nav 1.7 CRDi Blue Drive
Made in Asan, South Korea
Configuration 5-door estate, 5-seats, front-wheel-drive
Drivetrain 1685cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, turbocharged diesel with stop-start
Transmission 6-speed manual
Power output 139bhp @ 4,000rpm
Maximum torque 251lb ft @ 1,700-2,500rpm
Top speed/0-62mph 124mph/10.5 secs
CO2 emissions (tax band) 114g/km (C) Euro 6
Economy (urban/extra urban/combined) 58.9/68.9/65.7mpg
Fuel tank size/range 70 litres/1,012 miles
Insurance group/BIK rate tba/20%
Size (length/width without mirrors) 4,775/1,815mm
Boot space (minimum/maximum) 553/1,719 litres
Kerb/max towing weight 1,648/1,800kg
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