The Hyundai i40 is a roomy family car with plenty of standard equipment, but alternatives are more practical and come with a much greater range of petrol and diesel engines
The Hyundai i40 is a roomy family car that’s fairly comfy and easy to drive, but doesn’t feel quite as posh as some more upmarket alternatives. It’s available as both the saloon we’re reviewing here and the more spacious estate, the i40 Tourer, which we review separately.
Sure, you get plenty of soft materials inside, but its cabin looks much more dated than a Skoda Superb or Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport. You do get a touchscreen infotainment system as standard and satellite navigation in all but entry-level cars but it’s a shame the Hyundai’s rather old-fashioned graphics can’t hold a candle to the Skoda’s slick system.
So the i40 doesn’t feel all that modern inside, but at least there’s plenty of adjustment in the front seats and more than enough headroom for you to get comfy. Space in the back is reasonably generous too, although if you regularly carry four very tall friends you’ll be better off with the limousine-like Superb.
It’s a similar story when it comes to boot space. There’s enough room in the Hyundai for a few large suitcases but – you guessed it – the Superb, Mondeo and Insignia Grand Sport can all carry more. If you flip the Hyundai’s rear seats down there’s enough space to carry a bike with its wheels attached but its narrow opening makes lifting it in and out a bit of a pain.
The i40’s pretty dull to drive, but its spacious back seats make it the ideal car for ferrying a few friends around – handy if you fancy moonlighting as a taxi driver…
If you do find yourself filling the boot and carrying passengers on a regular basis, it’s best to go for the Hyundai’s more powerful 141hp diesel engine. This 1.7-litre model is powerful enough to cruise along happily at motorway speeds and very nearly as frugal as the slightly cheaper 115hp 1.7-litre version.
This slightly less athletic option is still worth a look if you do lots of driving in town, however – as is the optional automatic gearbox. It isn’t particularly smooth at very low speeds but it’ll help make heavy stop-start traffic a bit less tiring.
If long motorway journeys are more your thing, you might be disappointed to hear cruise control is only standard on SE Nav models. That said, even without it the i40’s fairly relaxing to drive but it’s a bit noisier than the likes of the Skoda Superb at motorway speeds.
Head into town and the i40 soaks up most bumps nicely, but the soft suspension doesn’t do a great deal to stop its body leaning in tight corners. It’s also missing out on some key safety tech you get as standard on most modern rivals.
Still, if you can live without some headline-grabbing technology and want a relatively affordable family car with a roomy cabin, the i40’s worth a second look.