THE Hyundai i40 wagon or Tourer Sport is a much refined machine, and is another example of the Korean automaker’s remarkable leap in quality and substance in recent years.
The 2.0L i40 is positioned as an upmarket D-segment European-designed car.
Engineered at the European headquarters of Hyundai in Russelsheim, Germany, the i40 has a striking coupe-like silhouette and sleek profile, which is the result of Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design language.
Now, there is low demand for estate cars or wagons in Malaysia, but the i40 might just be the game changer that shifts our car-buying mindset.
Hyundai touts the i40 as “your ticket to first-class travel and serene comfort”, and we completely agree.
Yes, it does sound like we are giving far too much praise here, but the i40 wagon is the kind of car that we love driving mile after mile.
It is not just about its barnful of high-end comfort features and impressively roomy cabin; it is the way that everything about the car combines to provide a highly enjoyable ride.
Regarding its front-end, the i40 has HID (high intensity discharge) headlamps with automatic light control, and distinctively designed LED daytime running lights as well as wing-shaped fog lamps.
Its rear end has large, wraparound LED combination lamps.
For those who prefer more sunlight in the cabin, the i40 has a twin-panel sunroof.
The black-themed cabin has a premium feel-good ambience, with its leather seats and chrome interior door handles.
Controls are well laid-out and the cabin equipment level meets high expectations, given its RM184,859.30 on-the-road price tag.
There are a lot of storage compartments and bins for small items, and the in-car infotainment system is impressive.
There is a six-speaker audio set-up, with DVD and CD playback, USB, MP3, Bluetooth handsfree capabilities and a large touch-screen GPS navigation system with reverse camera.
The audio system has a surround sound mode with options for pop, jazz, rock and classical settings.
It is a nice audio system, and delivers high-quality sound reproduction.
Adding the icing on the cake for rear occupants, are two separate video display screens mounted on the front headrests.
Other cabin appointments include powered front seats, smart key with engine start-stop button, and a sporty-looking TFT LCD gauge cluster.
Features which we really like are the space-saving electric parking brake switch, and the auto-hold function which is a blessing when we got stuck in Kuala Lumpur’s traffic congestion as it automatically keeps the brakes applied until we step on the accelerator pedal.
This eases muscle work for our left arm and right leg in traffic congestion.
The i40 has a 2,770mm wheelbase and provides plenty of shoulder and leg room.
This being a wagon, its cargo capacity ranges from 553L with the rear seats occupied, to 1,719L with the rear seats folded down.
We had no problems stacking a few large 26-gallon water containers in the luggage area, even with the rear seats up, during the recent water rationing exercise in the Klang Valley.
Its powered tail-gate provides convenience.
Concerning power delivery, the i40 Tourer Sport has plenty of grunt due to its highly fuel-efficient 2.0L Nu petrol direct injection engine with dual continuously variable valve timing (DCVVT), which is mated to a ultra-smooth six-speed automatic transmission.
According to Hyundai, the car’s refined driving feel is also partly due to the engine’s all-aluminium ladder frame construction which provides improved durability as well as reduced noise and vibration.
Those who want a bit of sporty driving can also take advantage of the steering column-mounted paddle shifters, for quick gear up and down-shifts.
Hyundai engineers also did a great job where the car’s NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) package is concerned, and the i40 wagon’s cabin was quite a cocooned environment.
The motor-driven power steering feels a bit numb, but is precise and light.
Fitted with ContiMaxContact MC5 215/50 R17 tyres, and a front MacPherson strut suspension and multi-link rear, the i40 wagon provides a very comfortable ride over rough surfaces and road bumps.
It is far from being the most sporty of cars, with a bit of roll when we charged through corners.
However, it excels as a smooth and well-planted highway cruiser.
In summary, the i40 Tourer Sport is an impressively well-designed and packaged wagon with an elegant interior styling that provides a new emotional dimension to sitting in a Hyundai.
It has a powerful and responsive drive train, and is certainly a long-distance cruiser that provides a premium motoring experience and good value for money.
It should be noted that the i40 Tourer Sport variant comes standard with a bodykit, roof rack and bicycle rack.
Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors Sdn Bhd also offers an i40 Tourer variant which is cheaper by around RM6,000 but this is not fitted with the bodykit, roof rack and bicycle rack.
There are also more affordably priced i40 sedan variants, which have attractive comfort and safety appointments.
To sweeten the deal for buyers, Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors provides a five-year or 300,000km warranty (whichever comes first) and free 24-hours, seven days a week Roadside Assist.
Hyundai i40 Tourer Sport
Engine: Nu 1,999cc dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing), petrol direct injection
Maximum power: 177ps at 6,500rpm
Maximum torque: 213Nm at 4,700rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Features: Nine airbags, anti-lock braking system, brake assist, parking assist (front and back), reverse camera, vehicle stability management, electronic stability programme, hill-start assist, auto hold function, paddle shifters, panoramic sunroof, all-round disc brakes
Price: RM184,859.30 on-the-road with insurance (five-year or 300,000km warranty - whichever comes first)