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Sunraysia Daily Saturday, February 21, 2015
THE family wagon is under
siege in Australia - and losing.
Jacked-up SUVs are often
less roomy and certainly less
wieldy than your average wagon and
to add insult to injury, have smaller
The i40 gets a bit lost in the
Hyundai range - bigger than the
Tardis-like i30 Touring (our beloved
long-termer) and slotted in between
the ix35 and Santa Fe price-wise, it
also has the new Sonata to deal with
and compete with the sedan version.
Does it deserve its relative
The i40 Touring range starts at
$33,990 for the Active 2.0-litre petrol
with the range-standard six-speed
automatic. Another $2600 upgrades to
the 1.7 diesel, a pattern repeated with
the $38,990 Elite and $44,990 Elite.
The top of the range $47,590
diesel Premium was our steed for
the week. Before we get into the
spec list, it s worth pointing out, it s
not exhaustive. Even after a week of
heavy visiting-family shuttling, we
were still finding new features.
The highlights are: dual zone
climate control, six-speaker stereo,
rear vision camera, keyless entry and
start, cruise control, lane departure
warning with steering assist, leather
trim, electric heated and cooled
front seats, sat-nav, full glass roof,
automatic HID headlights, auto
wipers, dark tint windows, park
assistance, power tailgate and power
windows and mirrors.
Metallic paint is a $595 extra
(which is a bit cheeky for nearly
$50,000 on the road for a Hyundai).
The Hyundai i40 is a cracking-
looking car. The sedan is handsome
but goes a bit wobbly at the back
whereas the wagon maintains the
rage. Low and sleek, there are echoes
of Mercedes shooting brake styling
and a Jaguar XJS-like flourish in the
brightwork at the rear.
The 18-inch alloys are free of the
nasty plastic-chrome inserts of some
other Hyundais and properly fill
the huge arches. The LED fishhook
daytime running lights are distinctive
and lend the i40 a very European air,
which is entirely intentional.
Like its i30 sibling, it s gigantic
inside. Special mention must be
made of the rear seat space - the
legroom is epic. With the front seats
set for six-footers, there s still limo-
like room for the rear passengers.
Headroom is good even with the
glass roof that stretches back over
the rear passenger s heads and the
boot held two big Samsonsites side
by side and two huge soft sports bags
stacked on top of each other.
The dash design is familiar to
Hyundai owners from the i30 right
up through to the Santa Fe. The
family look is perfectly agreeable with
brushed metallic finishes and satin
plastics. The materials are certainly
no match for VW but are comfortably
better than most of its competitors.
The boot features a cargo cover,
barrier net and cargo system for
keeping smaller items from flying
around. Beneath the flat floor is a few
little cubby holes where you could
hide stuff like iPads, phones and
There are nine airbags, ABS,
corner braking control, brake force
distribution, lane departure warning,
blind spot warning, brake assist and
ISOFIX mounting points. The i40 has
gained five ANCAP stars.
The six-speaker stereo is controlled
from a seven-inch touch screen which
also looks after sat-nav and reversing
camera duties. The interface is still a
bit clunky but seems to be improving
as the years go by, with a bit of
impatient stabbing to make things
work and a slightly counter-intuitive
way of programming the sat-nav.
The sound is good from the
speaker set but won t be exciting any
The Bluetooth phone audio quality
is good and you can plug your phone
into USB as well.
The 1.7-litre turbo-diesel produces
100 kW of power and thumping
330Nm of torque. The transmission is
Hyundai s own six-speed automatic.
Conspicuous by its absence is stop-
start fuel saving technology. Hyundai
claims 5.6 litres on the combined
cycle but like the i30, we got a solid
miss, using 8.6 litres per hundred
You couldn t accuse the Hyundai
i40 of being the quietest, smoothest
or most dynamic car on the road. The
18-inch alloys do shake up the ride
compared to the smaller wheels on
the Active and the fatter tyres roar.
The engine is vocal under load and
the i40 won t be troubling a race track
What it is, however, is a
comfortable and surprisingly
luxurious family car.
The driving position is just right,
with a good view out over the diving
bonnet and ample adjustment to get
Heated and cooled seats keep your
posterior at the right temperature,
you can open the roof blind or the
roof itself to let in a massive amount
of light and the climate control fends
off the worst excesses of Sydney
The torquey 1.7 diesel is terrific
at pulling a car full of people and
luggage, barely breaking a sweat.
There is a selectable driving mode,
but the Eco mode is too soft and
Sport mode a bit coarse - it just
seems to hold too low a gear for too
long. Leave it in Normal and it s a
perfectly acceptable state of affairs.
The steering is a little vague,
isolating you almost completely
from what s going on outside, but
there is a bit of heft to keep you
connected. If you get a bit ambitious,
the traction and stability controls
are a bit of a hindrance - as with
all Hyundais there s a near-binary
attitude to cutting the power when
there s any wheelspin and the
computer is loathe to hand it back.
The i40 does feature corner brake
control, which means that if you
do switch off the nannies, there s
a very good chance you can have a
moderate amount of fun without
getting into too much trouble. It s
unlikely many i40 buyers will ever
sink the pedal, but it s comforting to
know it can do it.
The i40 isn t about that, though
- it s an easy, comfortable cruise-and-
Prospective Uber drivers should
take note, you ll have happier
passengers in this car than almost
any other for the price. It s certainly
going to be cheaper to own and
run than an SUV with more interior
space than many much larger cars
(including, we think, Hyundai s own
It certainly doesn t deserve its
relative lack of interest - the i40
is great to look at and be in, it s a
terrifically comfortable car packed
with tech goodies and features to
ensure you arrive unstressed.
If you want a car with lots of
boot space and room for lounging
teenagers, this is a better bet than
Likes: Great looks, ample interior
space, lots of goodies
Dislikes: Jumpy traction control,
fiddly sat-nav, glass roof heats the
For more Hyundai i40 information,
contact North Star Motors LMCT
8241 at 29 Orange Avenue, Mildura
or phone 5021 3866.
Hyundai s big wagon is stylish,
technology-laden and even a bit of fun.
The Hyundai i40 1.7-litre turbo diesel
produces 100kW of power and a
thumping 330Nm of torque.
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