Our cars: Hyundai i40 Tourer - January 2012
Driven this week 314 miles
It was interesting to swap my VW Passat Estate for the i40 Tourer this week.
A bigger, wider boot helps make the Passat the better load-carrier, but the i40 is roomy and practical enough for most needs. It's certainly more interesting to look at than the Passat, the engine is economical and you get a lot of kit for the money.
It's not quite as slick as the Passat – the engine, gearbox and ride aren't as refined – but one feature caught my eye. When the stop-start system switches off the engine, the display in the instrument panel shows how many seconds the engine has been silent for.
It's easy to dismiss these systems as largely pointless, but it's surprising how long the engine remains off for at the average set of traffic lights. Drive through town and you'll have been sitting without using any fuel or emitting any pollutants for minutes.
Full What Car? Hyundai i40 review
Week ending January 20
Driven this week 428 miles
The editor of CAT magazine, Peter Lawton, borrowed my car last week for a lengthy trip up to the north of England, and he came back impressed by the car’s abilities, but less so its winter tyres.
He found that a steering vibration was generated at about 60mph. On his return, I spoke to Hyundai London (020 8127 5824), and staff there suggested that I get the wheels balanced. The car is booked in to my local tyre workshop to have this done, so I’ll let you know if this solves the problem.
Nonetheless, I’m almost disappointed that there’s been no adverse weather to speak of, because I’ve been looking forward to seeing how my winter rubber performs when the white stuff settles. I suspect I’m alone in feeling this way though.
Week ending January 13
Driven this week: 562 miles
What is it with the heating and ventilation systems on Hyundais?
The i40’s is full of sound and fury when the windscreen demist button is pressed, but it’s ineffective.
On one mildly frosty morning this week, in fact, the ice on the outside of the windscreen was gone long before the air-conditioning managed to clear the condensation from the inside.
The picture shows how well, or otherwise, the system has managed to clear the windscreen after a full five minutes.
The iX35 we ran was just the same, so I think something needs addressing in this department – Hyundai seems to have elected for blowers with all the puff of a pair of Lilliputian bellows.
Also, there’s some vibration through the steering wheel and cabin that makes me think the wheels aren’t properly balanced. We’ve just switched to winter tyres, so hopefully it’s a simple fix.
Week ending January 6
Driven this week: 1000miles
Welcome home. That's what I'm starting to think every time I climb behind the wheel of our Hyundai i40 Tourer. It's because I've rarely been in a car that's so instantly inviting and comfortable.
The seats are terrifically comfortable – something a bad back has made me abnormally sensitive too – the controls are perfect, everything feels solidly put together and there's enough razzamatazz from the swimming pool blue lighting to make it look more interesting, too. In fact, it makes the dash of our long term VW Passat estate look slightly dull, and – dare I say it – a bit too German.
It seems to be matching our Passat for running costs too. My daily schlep around the M25 is producing pretty spectacular fuel economy: 46.5mpg even in stop-start commuting traffic equates to 700 miles between brims.
While it doesn't quite have the mechanical refinement or low down zip of the VW, I'm already thinking that the comfort and glamour of my car more than makes up the difference.
The i40's fitting well into family life as well… and recent trips to Norfolk and Dorset which clocked up another thousand miles proved the point.
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