2017 Hyundai i40 Review

Introduction

First seen in 2011, the Hyundai i40 is the Korean giant's rival to the likes of the Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia (not to mention its own sister brand Kia's Optima). A steady and straightforward four-door family saloon, of the type that once sold so well before we all went SUV crazy, the i40 is a sensible choice, if not exactly a heart-stopping one.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Verdict: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (6.8/10)

There really is very little about the i40 that you can objectively criticise. It’s smooth and refined to drive and the 1.7 CRDi diesel engine is exceptionally economical. The cabin is well-made and spacious, the boot large and useful and the safety and technology levels both reasonably high. It will never get your pulse going with excitement, but it’s good value and a solid workhorse for both family and work.

Design & Exterior

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Interior & Comfort

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Technology & Connectivity

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Performance & Handling

★★★★★★★☆☆ (7/10)

Safety Features

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Specs & Trim Levels

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Running Costs & Fuel Economy

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Pricing

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

 

Hyundai i40 saloon

We Like

Quality and reliability

Comfort

Frugal diesel engine

We Don't Like

Dull to drive

Cabin fittings look a bit out of date

Anonymous styling

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Design & Exterior: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Hyundai i40 saloon

You certainly couldn’t call the i40 ugly, but neither is it dramatically beautiful or especially memorable. Hyundai updated the styling of the i40 in 2015, with a new more square-edged grille (meant, it seems, to mimic Audi), square-edged lights, and some changes to the bumpers and body trim. It was an effective update, giving a familiar car a pleasing new face without actually changing it all that much, but the i40’s relatively quiet styling is shown up by the more dramatic looks of its cousin, the Kia Optima, not to mention the bluff, American handsomeness of the Ford Mondeo.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Interior & Comfort: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Hyundai i40 saloon

As with almost all Hyundais, there’s nothing wrong with the quality of the i40’s cabin. Quite the opposite – it’s exceptionally well made. It’s also very comfortable with excellent, if dowdily-trimmed, front seats and a nice, laid-back driving position (so much nicer than all those upright SUVs…). The layout of the cabin is slightly off though. That big centre console, which bulges out from the middle of the droopy dashboard, looks a bit old-hat at this point, and some of the switchgear, notably the button for the rear-window de-mister, is located too much of a stretch away from the driver. The main dials are also starting to look a bit out of date now, especially compared to the like of Volkswagen’s Active Info Display digital instruments.

Practicality

Practicality is the i40’s strongest suit. There’s a 525-litre boot out the back, and space in the rear seats is excellent, with leg-stretching room for tall passengers. Up front, there’s plenty of oddment stowage space and a deep centre armrest storage box. You have to spec it up to quite high levels to get simple things such as a luggage net, though, which seems a little stingy.  

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Technology & Connectivity: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Hyundai i40 saloon

Basic i40s come with an RDS stereo with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, voice control, an electric parking brake and steering wheel controls for the stereo. SE Nav models get a touchscreen with sat-nav, DAB radio, cruise control and a rear-view camera. To that you can add keyless entry and ignition, and an LCD colour display in the instrument panel. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on SE Nav and above, and all models get a Drive Mode Selector for choosing between Sport and Normal driving styles.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Performance & Handling: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Hyundai i40 saloon

There’s little to complain about the i40 here; for the most part it is perfectly pleasant to drive. The steering has little feedback, but it’s nicely weighted and the i40 doesn’t feel at sea on a twisting back road. It’s better suited to long motorway runs, though, which make the most of its well-controlled ride quality and all-round refinement. Hyundai has specified the i40 with quite gentle spring and damper rates, so it lopes along in long-legged, comfortable fashion.

The i40 only comes with one basic design of 1.7 CRDi diesel, in either 115hp or 141hp forms, and the only other drivetrain option is the seven-speed TCT automatic gearbox. The lack of choice is perhaps a little disappointing, but that's ameliorated by the fact that the 1.7 is generally a very good engine, with decent performance and economy and good refinement.  

The 141hp engine is the pick of the (small) pack in this case. In reality, it’s not much thirstier or worse off in emissions terms than the 115hp, and it’s much more flexible on the open road.

Recommended engine: 1.7 CRDi 141hp

0-62 MPH

10.3 seconds

Fuel economy

65.7 mpg

Emissions

114g/km

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Safety Features: ★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Hyundai i40 saloon

Euro NCAP tested the i40 when it was launched in 2011, and it scored a full five-star rating with a 92 per cent protection rating for adult occupants, 86 per cent for child occupants, 43 per cent for pedestrian protection, and 86 per cent for safety assist.

Hyundai has since upgraded the i40’s safety package, and items such as dusk-sensing headlights are now standard across the range, as are seven airbags (nine airbags are available on higher-spec models thanks to optional rear side airbags). You also get electronic stability control, hill-start assist, active front head restraints, brake assist, ISOFIX points on the outer two rear seats and emergency stop hazard flashers. Active headlights with auto high beam, lane-keeping steering and traffic sign recognition are available as options. However, Hyundai has not yet added more up-to-date systems such as autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitors or pedestrian detection.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Specs & Trim Levels: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Hyundai i40 saloon

Colours

As in every other area, the i40 keeps things simple in the paint department. There’s one solid colour – Creamy White – and after that you can choose from Sleek Silver metallic, Titanium Silver metallic, Blue Spirit pearl metallic, Phantom Black pearl metallic, or Red Merlot pearl metallic. Interiors come only in black, with leather seats for SE Nav Business, and Premium models.

Trim Levels

Basic S model i40s are pretty well equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, seven airbags, air conditioning, dusk-sensing headlamps, Bluetooth and USB connections for the stereo, Drive Mode selector, electric parking brake, all-round electric windows, stop-start, leather steering wheel and gear shifter, LED daytime running lights, steering wheel stereo controls and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

SE Nav adds touch-screen sat-nav with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 17-inch alloy wheels (for the 141hp engine with the TCT gearbox), auto dimming rear view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, DAB radio, cruise control, speed limiter, heated and folding door mirrors, heated front seats and steering wheel, LED front fogs, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and privacy glass.

SE Nav Business models come with all that plus electric driver's seat with memory function, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and upgraded parking sensors with a visual display.

Premium models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, nine airbags, heated rear seats, lane departure warning with active steering, panoramic sunroof, chrome radiator grille, rear electric window blind, upgraded instrument panel and some satin chrome styling details.

Size and Dimensions

It’s quite a large car, the i40, just over 4.7 metres long, so make sure you’ve got a roomy driveway for it.

Length

4745 mm

Width

1815 mm

Height

1470 mm

Max towing weight without brake

700kg

Max towing weight with brake

1500kg (115hp and 141hp TCT), 1800kg (141hp)

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Running Costs & Fuel Economy: ★★★★★★★★ (8/10)

Hyundai i40 saloon

The i40 comes with only one engine, a 1.7-litre diesel, offered in two power outputs – 115hp or 141hp – and with either a manual or a dual clutch automatic gearbox. Choose any of those versions and you are getting a very economical car. The 115hp version has official economy and emissions figures of 67.3mpg and 110g/km, while the 141hp version returns 65.7mpg and 114g/km. The same engine with an automatic gets 56.5mpg and 129g/km of CO2. The 115hp model can genuinely break the 60mpg barrier in daily driving, while the 141hp version isn’t far behind.

Hyundai previously offered a 1.6 petrol version of the i40, but dropped it because most of the model’s sales were to fleet customers who weren’t picking the petrol option.

Reliability and servicing

The i40 has never had a major recall, and given that it comes with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty, we wouldn’t expect anything other than pretty solid reliability.   

All models

Every 10,000 miles or one year

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Pricing: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Hyundai i40 saloon

For the most part, the i40 is pretty well priced, starting at just over £21,000 and coming with decent equipment as standard. That makes it a touch cheaper than the basic Ford Mondeo, but with more toys on the base model. It’s also around £2000 cheaper, model for model, than a Volkswagen Passat. You can get a Mazda6 for less, but that’s the petrol model so it isn’t directly comparable.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Recommendations

Company Car Buyer

1.7 CRDi 115hp – low emissions and long warranty will keep the fleet manager happy.

Cost Conscious

S model – not as cheap as Hyundais of old, but it still has a price advantage over rivals.

Luxury Seeker

Premium model – ventilated seats a nice luxury touch at an affordable price.

Rivals

Ford Mondeo

No longer the default choice, but it's handsome, roomy and still (mostly) good to drive.

Kia Optima

The same mechanical package in a better-looking body. What’s not to like?

Mazda6

Seriously handsome and seriously good to drive, though the 2.2 diesel is a touch thirsty.

Vauxhall Insignia

Really handsome saloon that’s better to drive than you’d expect.

Volkswagen Passat

Hugely classy in looks, terrific build quality and refined to drive. Best car in the class.

What others say

What Car?


“The Hyundai i40 is cheaper than key rivals and it’s available with some very efficient diesel engines.”

Car Buyer

"Practical, cheap to run and good to drive, the Hyundai i40 is a top-notch car for all the family"

 

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