Hyundai are well known for creating stylish yet practical cars and the Hyundai i40 is no exception. Over the past two weeks we have been able to test both the Diesel Active and the Petrol Elite automatic cars.
Powered by a 1.7L diesel engine, producing 100kW of power @ 4000rpm, the Hyundai i40 1.7 CRDi diesel Active comes in both a 6 speed manual producing 330Nm of torque @ 2000-2500rpm and 6 speed automatic transmission producing 320Nm of torque @ 2000-2500rpm.
The 2.0L petrol engine however is noticeably more powerful, especially in the lower speeds, producing 130kW of power @6500rpm and 213Nm of torque @ 4700rpm for both automatic and manual transmissions.
Fuel economy is something that consumers need to be weary of when purchasing a car these days. Generally speaking, you will get more distance out of a diesel fuel tank and that is shown with the Hyundai i40. The diesel Active has a combined fuel usage of around 5.6L/100km, rising to 7.2L/100km around town and dropping to 4.8L/100km on highway driving. The petrol Elite however has a combined usage of 7.7L/100km, peaking at 10.5L/100km around town and lowering to 6.1L/100km for highway driving.
In todays society, the damage a car does to the environment is also a consideration for many buyers. Automatic transmissions will always emit higher levels of carbon, however the diesel option is yet again better over the petrol variant. The diesel Active emits 149g/km and the petrol Elite emits 179g/km. It is worthwhile noting that the Hyundai i40 Elite is a higher model than the Active and in both the diesel and petrol it consumes more fuel and emits more carbon than the Active range, however, when comparing both Active petrol and diesel engines, the diesel still comes out on top.
As for the features of the Hyundai i40, they vary slightly over the Active and Elite range. The easiest way to compare them is to talk about the features of the bottom of the range Active and then address what differs in the Elite.
With a range of nine colours, the exterior of the i40 is not what you usually expect from a wagon. Hyundai has managed to achieve sleek lines and a curved design to make the i40 a modern and appealing car. With 16 inch alloys for the Active and 17 inch alloys for the Elite, they both have a rear spoiler, body coloured bumper and side mirrors and chrome effect door frame and belt line moulding. The Elite also has the added features of chrome effect exterior door handles and front fog lamps.
Once inside, it is very easy to achieve a comfortable driving position with a steering wheel that is tilt and telescopic adjustable and a height adjustable drivers seat. In addition, the passengers seat is height adjustable and the drivers seat is equipped with electronic lumbar support in the Elite. Both models have cloth seats. The steering wheel is mounted with cruise control, audio and phone controls along with paddle shifters for automatic gearboxes. The dash displays a trip computer with all the essentials including instant and average fuel consumption, distance till empty, trip distance, average speed and elapsed time read out. The dash also has an ECO indicator for when the car is being driven in an economical fashion.
The i40 is also equipped with a few nifty gadgets including a one touch triple turn stalk making turning and changing lanes easier, an Electronic Park Brake with Auto Hold for hills and Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD) for the suspension system to make your ride smoother. The center console also has a 12V plug for those wanting to charge an electronic device or plug in a DVD player for the kids on long trips. Hyundai has also equipped the i40 with one touch up and down features on the windows for convenience and safety.
Audio is such a big part of a car and the Hyundai i40 ticks all the boxes. Both models are equipped with AM/FM radio, CD Player, MP3 compatibility, WMA, AUV/USB input with iPod compatibility and Bluetooth connectivity. Where the Active and Elite are separated is in the speakers. The Active model has standard audio with 4 speakers and 2 tweeters while the Elite boasts premium audio with an in-dash 6 CD stacker, 4 speakers, 2 tweeters, an amplifier and a wolfer.
The Elite is set apart by the installation of automatic rain sensing wipers, alloy pedals, chrome effect inserts in the air vents and knobs of center fascia, chrome effect indoor handles and a brushed aluminum effect on the door inserts and dashboard compared to a metallic paint finish. Another main difference between the Active and Elite i40 models is the air-conditioning. The Active has manual air-conditioning while the Elite is full dual auto air-conditioning with automatic defog.
When it comes to storage, the i40 has no problems. With an already large boot, 60:40 split fold rear seats allow for an even larger storage area when the rear seats are folded down. There is a dual center console plus 2 cup holders with a sliding cover, the rear armrest also houses 2 cup holders, front seat back pockets, map pockets on all doors and a sunglass compartment. The Hyundai i40 Elite however goes a few steps further with the glovebox equipped with a cooling technology and the rear equipped with a cargo blind, safety net and luggage rails.
Security is something that needs to be addressed in all cars and the Hyundai i40 has certainly done that. Central locking, an engine immobiliser, Hyundai Active Locking Operation (HALO) including speed sensing auto door locking, auto door unlock and inside door unlock function, impact sensing door unlock system and keyless entry with burglar alarm are all equipped in both the Active and Elite models. The only added security feature the Elite boasts is a push button start with proximity smart key.
Passive safety is the same across both models and includes driver and front passenger SRS airbags along with thorax, driver knee, full-length side curtain and rear seat outboard side SRS airbags. The body is fitted with child locks on rear doors and side impact intrusion bars in all the doors to ensure maximum occupant safety in the event of a crash. A seat belt reminder will flash on the dash to alert the driver to occupants not properly restrained in the seat belts, which are height adjustable and equipped with electronic pretensioners and load limiters in the front.
Hyundai ensures that all their cars are equipped with the best safety systems and the i40 is no exception. It boasts ABS, EBD, Brake Assist System (BAS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), ESC and TCS. Automatic dusk sensing headlamps ensure that you never forget to turn your lights on and they also run during the daytime for when it is overcast. Static bending lights and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFLS) mean that when you turn the corner, the lights automatically turn as well, giving you a wider field of vision. I must say however, the high beams on the i40 are rather weak. The i40 also has an Emergency Stop Signal, projector beam headlamps, warning chimes for seatbelts and when speeding and warning lights for seatbelts, when you need to check the engine and when a door is ajar. For those conscious of speeding, there is a steering wheel mounted speed limiter. While the Active has a basic day/night rear view mirror I much prefer the auto-dimming rear view mirror in the Elite and am very partial to the front and rear park assist with 8 sensors the Elite offers, while the Active does not.
All in all, the Hyundai i40 ranges has done very well in creating a car that is pratical but also appeals to today society. The design and features are at a premium and the range, which also includes a top of the line Premium, ensures that there is a model to suit everyone. Hyundai has not only made a stylish and comfortable car, but one that is efficient, powerful and available in both diesel and petrol, manual and automatic to ensure that this car can be tailor suited to almost anyones needs.