Hyundai’s new i40 has the looks and the oomph

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Once upon a time, Hyundai made dependable, practical, everyday cars that weren’t known for their looks or style. It wasn’t that style was ignored, it just didn’t seem to be a priority. That changed when German Chief Designer Thomas Bürkle came on board and decided things were going to be different. Jetting to the company’s global headquarters in South Korea, he was impressed by the city’s local architecture and sought to uniquely incorporate it into the next generation of the i40 Tourer series.

While many car designers claim to be inspired by divine intervention in some form, very few can claim to be directly inspired by places of worship. Bürkle is far from your average car designer.

“I noticed the very sleek lines of the Buddhist temples around Seoul and I used those curves to design the rear end of the vehicle until it was something that was quite sleek,” he proudly claims. Not just from the back, the i40 Tourer is great to look at from all angles.

In a single word it is impressive. Whether driving to the office in peak hour traffic or propelling you through the twists, turns and unexpected bends on a country road trip, it’s a very comfortable ride. That’s partly due to the interior heated seats (both front and rear) and partly due to the fact that they’re just so well-designed, even if you decide not to flick the switch and in an instant increase the temperature on those cold days (and strangely, there’s been a few of those on the east coast of Australia this season).


Further assisting your drive to be as effortless as possible the dashboard has the latest features of what you’d expect from a high-tech production vehicle manufactured in 2011. There’s an LCD display, trip computer with clever features like an alarm reminder for your next service and seat adjustment memory, but it doesn’t overwhelm the driver with excess. The interior is spacious enough to allow you and your passengers to relax. In fact, Hyundai have ensured simplicity is the order of the day and its high-tech control features are all simply laid out in a user-friendly format. From the first time driving, it is clear that everything is where it should be.


The i40 Tourer with its choice of a 2.0 litre petrol engine (1,999 cc) or a 1.7 litre diesel engine (1,685 cc) is not the most powerful car on the road. Hyundai never designed it to be, but what they have claimed is that it will deliver maximum fuel efficiency and power response output at all times – a wise choice for the inevitable peak hour traffic rush and the ever-increasing cost of fuel. That’s not to say it’s a slouch. Put your foot down and you’ll notice the performance is there. Ultimately the i40 Tourer is a sensible road choice for anyone who wants a well-designed, technologically-loaded car so they can make their journey in complete comfort for themselves and their passengers. And it doesn’t look too bad either.

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