PACKED with European styling, the 2015 Hyundai Series II i40 Premium sedan offers a lot for a mid-sized sedan that is often left of most buyers shopping lists.
Perhaps it’s the overcrowded mid-sized sedan market, or perhaps it’s the name plate – which comes without all the sass and reputation of something like it’s fellow Hyundai family member the Sonata Premium – but we don’t really understand why there aren’t more i40 sedans and tourers (that’s the wagon) cruising the streets of Australia.
Best described as the middle of the road in the mid-sized sedan bracket based on its features, pricing and performance, it’s got plenty of stiff competition from the likes of the Ford Mondeo, the Mazda6 and the final edition of the Camry – as well as its stable mate we mentioned earlier.
But let’s take a look at what it has to offer. Powered by a 1.7 litre turbo diesel that pushes out a respectable but not ground-breaking 104kW of power and 340Nm of torque, the i40 Premium engine is butted up against an exciting seven speed DCT auto gearbox that comes with steering wheel paddle shift that does its job very well.
Outside there’s a twin panel panorama glass roof, LED daytime driving lights and dusk sensing headlights, a self opening smart boot sensor, privacy tinting from the B-pillar backwards, and dual exhausts, all bundled up in a package that actually looks pretty good on the road – especially with the over sized fluid design grill.
Inside there’s premium leather and black piano gloss panels everywhere, giving the i40 an overall stylish and luxurious feel, while the air conditioning is outstanding – offering dual zone climate control with an integrated ioniser to provide clean air.
On the downside inside, we found the rear head room tight if you were particularly tall (yours truly stands 186cm or 6ft2in in the old measures and one of our travelers during test week was over 190cm tall), and there is a fair bit of plastic for a high end model.
But back to the features, with a proximity key and push button start joining a fully powered drivers’ seat, and ventilated and heated front seats to add to the luxurious nature of this well appointed mid-sized sedan.
The 7-inch multimedia centre and SatNav offer fairly standard but good quality interaction with the car’s technology capabilities, but in reality the remaining technology features come pretty much standard on most mid-sized cars of any decent quality these days, so are not an exceptional stand-out.
They are all there though, and work well, including a premium sound system, steering wheel mounted controls for everything, an informative trip computer system, and rain sensing wipers.
Despite the upgrade, the i40 is getting long in the tooth, having been launched here in 2011. It also suffers some faults including an average cabin layout, a solid but not overly fiery diesel engine (that struggles to find real grunt), average seat comfort, road and wind noise, and a lack of a petrol option in the sedan.
The 2015 Series II i40 Premium sedan is Australian tuned and comes with a 5 year warranty, a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, and a bevy of exceptional safety features, including lane-keeping assist (the technology that warns you when you’ve strayed out of your lane), intelligent ABS and and electronic brake distribution.
This car stands out on the safety front, with the addition of Emergency Stop Signalling or ESS – the official description of which goes a little something like “If you have to suddenly slam on your brakes, ESS will make your brake lights flash to give following traffic more warning. If you come to a complete stop, the hazard lights will flash – until you start to accelerate again”.
Smart parking assist, hill start assist and stability control complete the safety features that all-in-all make this car a very smart choice for the safety conscious road user, or family that want something they know will keep them secure on the road.
Fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels and priced at $41,990 plus on-roads for the Premium sedan, the i40 comes in Phantom Black, Blue Spirit, Sleek Silver, Titanium Silver, Stone Grey and White (as tested).
Our test vehicle was provided by Hyundai Australia. To find out more about the 2015 Hyundai i40 Series II Premium, contact your local Hyundai dealer.
Road Test: 2015 Hyundai Series II i40 Premium
Pros – comfortable drive; family friendly; solid engine performance.
Cons – road noise; rear headroom; price point.