Our cars: Hyundai i40 Tourer - March 2012
Week ending March 30
Driven this week 324 miles
Hyundai i40 Tourer review
As a journalist, I’m a bit of a stickler for proper use of the English language. That’s why I recently found myself getting extremely annoyed during a couple of days with our i40 Tourer.
The satellite-navigation was responsible, and here’s why. When you’re approaching a roundabout, the voice instruction says 'Leave the roundabout at the third exit' – fair enough. However, when you’re just about to make your manoeuvre, the voice reminds you to by saying 'now leave the exit'. Now, call me old-fashioned, but that plainly doesn’t make sense.
Because these commands were repeated over and over again, I found my patience wearing thinner and thinner. I don’t know, maybe that says more about me than it does about the car. It’s a shame I let this disembodied voice tarnish my experience with the i40, because otherwise I found it a joy to drive and to be in.
Week ending March 23
Driven this week 300 miles
It's been a week of bad traffic so instead of wasting precious hours sitting still, I spent a lot of the time trying out the i40's equipment. It took quite a while, because the list includes sat-navigation, a comprehensive radio, and various climate settings.
For a start, all the controls and buttons are very well positioned. I also like the tactile feel of the air-conditioning knob in the centre of the console – it's easy to use, too.
The backlit blue glow at night makes the cockpit a pleasant place to be and if you turn off the sat-nav screen the mood created is cool, especially on a long, dark journey home.
The only disappointment is that the sat-nav doesn't have any live traffic information built in – this would certainly enhance its usage on Britain's increasingly crowded roads. I know a few owners have expressed the same opinion.
Week ending March 16
Driven this week: 710
I’ve done some serious miles in the past week, running my son to various college interviews. Obviously, this has entailed sitting in the Hyundai a lot, which has given me cause to think about how it has been over the past four months.
In short, it’s making my life easier, which is about all you can ask of a family-sized estate car. For instance, last weekend another trip up to Norfolk proved it's an ideal car for the family, taking all of our stuff and covering the miles in decent comfort.
The comfort has improved quantifiably now that the i40 has swapped its winter tyres for the standard set. There’s no more vibration through the steering and the ride’s better.
All of these miles are clearly helping the car loosen up, and perform better, because fuel consumption continues to improve to the extent that I can go nearly two weeks, or 730 miles, between fills.
Week ending March 9
Driven this week: 350
The i40 went into the dealer this week for a check because I was getting a little bit of vibration through the steering wheel at 50mph. It seems that my first guess that a wheel weight had gone missing was correct. Anyway, that’s academic now because the winter tyres have been swapped for regular rubber, so the wheels were always going to be rebalanced.
Was it worth the hassle and expense of getting winter tyres? Well, on the one night of the winter that we had some snow I found there was a bit more traction when moving off, but I can’t honestly say it was worth the £576 cost.
Week ending March 2
Driven this week 320 miles
Living with the i40 gets easier by the day. The cabin is airy, the driver’s seat is comfortable and the slightly raised seating position suits my posture and helps visibility. There’s not been a hint of a rattle, and the simple controls are all within easy reach.
Not everyone likes how the swooping lines of the centre console mimic those of the car’s exterior, but they all comment on how big the cabin is. In fact, the i40 feels more like a limo than an estate.
One thing I’m particularly impressed by is the quality of the plastics. They’re a massive improvement over those in the Hyundai ix35 SUV I drove before the i40; they feel more solid and more tactile. I’ve heard that those in the new i30 are even better, so Hyundai is on a roll when it comes to interior quality.
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