Hyundai i40 Tourer estate (2011 – ) expert review

By Andy Goodwin, 18th August 2011

The verdict

The Hyundai i40 Tourer estate is a contemporary and well-appointed model which will worry the established manufacturers in the class with its quality and value.

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Expert rating:

4.1

Pros

  • Impressive economy with Bluedrive Techology
  • Attractive styling
  • Classy and spacious interior

Cons

  • Engines aren’t the most flexible
  • Not as fun or as comfortable as the best
  • Awkward driving position

Full Review

1. Exterior

The i40 Tourer is a handsome car, and can more than cut it in the style stakes when compared with its family estate car rivals. The angular detailing of the grill and headlamps combine with the swooping lines of the bonnet and roof to give a really sleek look. The rear end is characterised by LED tail lamps and a rakish roofline. All models feature alloy wheels and chrome trims around the windows and exhaust pipes, that means you get the same sleek looks, even if you opt for an entry-level version.

Our rating: 4

2. Interior

While Hyundai’s interiors were once blighted by cheap and nasty plastic, the i40’s cabin can stand toe to toe with the quality of the Ford Mondeo Estate, Peugeot 508 SW and Vauxhall Insignia Sport Tourer. Not only are the materials plush, but it feels well assembled, too. The infotainment system is reasonably intuitive to use, but the driving position could be better. There’s lots of adjustment, but the seat won’t go low enough and the steering wheel won’t go high enough.

Our rating: 3

3. Practicality

Despite appearing fairly compact from the outside, the i40 has a very roomy cabin. There’s enough head- and kneeroom in the back to comfortably accommodate a brace of lofty adults, and a third can (just about) fit if needs be. The boot is similarly expansive with 553 litres of capacity, and there are split-folding rear seats that let you extend the cargo area into the cabin for bigger loads.

Our rating: 4

4. Ride and handling

Because most i40s will be sold as company cars, they’ll spend much of their time pounding up and down motorways. Luckily, that’s where the car is at its best. The soft suspension gives a smooth, comfortable ride and refinement is generally good. When you’re going slower, the ride doesn’t quite have the same polish as a Ford Mondeo’s, feeling a bit lumpier over bumps, but it’s still pretty comfy. The Hyundai can’t match the Ford in the bends, either; the body control isn’t as tight and the steering feels vague and artificially weighted.

Our rating: 3

5. Performance

All i40s come with a 1.7-litre diesel engine giving either 113bhp or 134bhp. Neither is particularly quick, but the more powerful version has a useful bit of extra punch in the mid-range. Both feel rather flat at the bottom, but they’re just about man enough for the job of hauling the car around. Make sure you choose a car with a Bluedrive badge, though; they’re no slower than non-Bluedrive versions, but much more efficient.

Our rating: 2

6. Running costs

The reason for the extra efficiency of the Bluedrives is that these versions get engine stop-start and low-resistance tyres. That gives the 113bhp car low CO2 emissions of 113g/km and a claimed average fuel consumption of 65.7mpg – just the ticket for high-mileage company car drivers. The 134bhp Bluedrive model isn’t much higher with 119g/km and 62.8mpg. Without Bluedrive, though, these figures go up to 134g/km and 55.4mpg.

Our rating: 4

7. Reliability

Hyundai is gaining an excellent reputation for both owner satisfaction and reliability, and the brand currently sits near the top of the Warranty Direct manufacturer standings. And, if anything does go wrong, the car comes with a five year/unlimited mileage triple care warranty, which includes road side assistance and car health checks.

Our rating: 5

8. Safety

Every i40 is fitted with anti-lock brakes, an electronic stability programme, hill-start assist and seven airbags. What’s more, the car has achieved the maximum five-star score in Euro NCAP crash tests. A lane departure system is available with the optional Assist Pack, which automatically steers the car if it wanders out of its lane.

Our rating: 4

9. Equipment

Standard features with the Active trim level include 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth with voice recognition, leather steering wheel, heated door mirrors, electric windows and an electric parking brake with auto hold. Style trim adds touch-screen sat-nav, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control and dual-zone climate control. Premium i40s get leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and supervision instruments. Three optional packs are available; Vision, Comfort and Assist.

Our rating: 5

10. Why buy?

The Hyundai i40 Tourer isn’t the best family estate out there, but it’s very likeable and it’s capable in every area. It’s also great value for money, with competitive pricing and generous equipment. Private buyers will like its generous warranty, and company car drivers will like its low running costs.

Our rating: 4

Expert review 3.8stars

  • Exterior4
  • Interior3
  • Practicality4
  • Ride and handling3
  • Performance2
  • Running costs4
  • Reliability5
  • Safety4
  • Equipment5
  • Why buy?4

Our recommendations

Best on a budget:

i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi 115PS Blue Drive Active

Impressive economy, cheap to tax and comfortable

Best-seller:

i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi 136PS Blue Drive Style

Cheap to run with good performance and useful features

Blow the budget:

i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi 136PS Blue Drive Premium

Leather upholstery and panoramic sunroof lift cabin ambience

Hyundai is gaining an excellent reputation for both owner satisfaction and reliability