Review: Hyundai i40 Tourer (2011)
Good quality and fairly stylish for an estate. Plenty of standard equipment. Comfortable ride. Economical diesel engines
Awkward boot shape. Lacklustre image
Hyundai i40 Tourer (2011): At A Glance
The Hyundai i40 Tourer is Hyundai doing what it does best. A good quality, good value car that appeals to the left side of the brain rather than the right. In other words, if you made a big checklist of all the things that are good about the Hyundai i40 Tourer you’d come up with a desirable car, yet you’d never actually write 'desirable' as one of its traits.
Initially the i40 Tourer was only one engine, a 1.7-litre diesel in three versions - 115PS, 136PS and 141PS. This was replaced by a 1.6 CRDi diesel late in 2018, while a 1.6-litre GDi petrol was also introduced. One thing all these engines have in common is impressive fuel economy - with the latest diesels capable of a combined 54.3mpg under WLTP tests.
The car was launched in 2012 with trim levels called Active, Style and Premium, but a 2015 update changed that to S, SE Nav, SE Business and Premium. All cars get alloy wheels, Bluetooth and air conditioning plus you only need jump one grade to SE Nav for a full colour touchscreen multimedia setup and climate control – this is a well-equipped car, far from ‘low budget’ in that respect.
Cabin quality is excellent throughout, with good use of soft-touch plastics for the upper dash and door trim plus glossy black trim even for base models. Some of the dials and buttons are flimsy and the dashboard design occasionally falls into the 'trying too hard' category with its swoopy creases, but overall the i40 Tourer has a quality feel.
So, it’s well-equipped, spacious, high quality and the numbers stack up. But what the i40 Tourer lacks is any sense of fun. Granted, fun is rarely a priority for estate buyers if you believe the cliche, but everything about the i40 Tourer just does a decent job – no more, no less.
What does a Hyundai i40 Tourer (2011) cost?
Hyundai i40 Tourer (2011): What's It Like Inside?
In volume terms the i40 Tourer has a quantifiably large boot at 553 litres, stretching out to 1719 litres with the rear seats folded down (which have a 60/40 split as standard). That compares favourably to the 500 to 1605 litres of cargo space of the Ford Mondeo estate.
Unfortunately the boot is awkwardly shaped because of the amount that the rear suspension encroaches into it at either side. That does mean the spaces in front of them can be sectioned out as useful storage pockets, but it’s a hindrance to the loading of large objects – as is the fact that the rear seats don’t fold entirely flat. The floor is flush with the boot lip, at least and there’s some under-floor storage.
With the rear seats up the i40 offers plenty of rear knee space, though the swoopy styling means headroom is limited for taller adults. Rear seat passengers will find storage limited to a couple of nets on the front seat backs and shallow door pockets.
Up front it’s much better, with a large central storage bin, a big glove compartment and deeper storage spaces in the doors. The covered receptacle in the dashboard is surprisingly large too and a good way of neatly storing fuel receipts and such.
The i40 Tourer’s dash is mostly intuitive despite looking a little haphazard owing to all those buttons – some of which are in unusual places. But because they’re all clearly labelled, it’s easy to work your way around them.
The touchscreen media system of SE Nav versions and above is one of the easier ones to use too, because there are physical buttons for all the main functions, meaning you’re not endlessly navigating back and forth through sub-menus.
In terms of specifications, you really could make do with a base level S car if you’re not fussed about the navigation, but in a car like this we’d say it's better to have one – it improves the cabin ambience and the used car value, if nothing else.
Other kit that makes SE Nav appealing includes a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, electric adjustment for the driver’s seat and electric heated door mirrors, while DAB radio comes with the nav system and there are parking sensors all round.
SE Business takes things up a notch, naturally, including part-leather ventilated seats, parking sensor displays and keyless smart entry with a start-stop engine button.
Finally, Premium adds features like a full-colour instrument display between the driver dials, heated rear seats and alloy pedals. It’s worth noting that Premium gets a couple of extra safety features too, including two extra arbags, with a pair of rear side ones adding to the seven that are standard, and a lane departure warning system. Premium cars are distinguished by 18-inch alloy wheels and satin chrome trim.
The i40 was awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP, with especially impressive 92 per cent and 86 per cent scores for adult occupant and child occupant safety especially. That said, it’s disappointing that safety equjpment like additional airbags is revserved for top specification models.
Child seats that fit a Hyundai i40 Tourer (2011)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Hyundai i40 Tourer (2011) like to drive?
The i40 Tourer is set up primarily for comfort, so the suspension is on the soft side, the steering is very light and the car very effectively shuts out road, wind and engine noise at higher speeds. That all means it’s far better on the motorway than it is around town or anywhere else – involving to drive the i40 Tourer is not.
It’s worth noting that there’s a big difference in feel between the torque convertor automatic gearbox available with the older EU5 136PS engine and the dual-clutch automatic (DCT) with the later 141PS unit. The former is a real weakness, sapping the life out of the engine and coming with a significant fuel economy penalty, sinking it to a 47.1mpg average from 62.8mpg with a manual.
The more modern DCT is a far better driving experience – quicker to chenge gear and with better low range engine response – but surprisingly it too reduces economy, albeit not as drastically, dropping it to 56.5mpg. By comparison, a 150PS 2.0-litre Volkswagen Passat estate specificed with a twin-clutch DSG will return 62.8mpg, which is only a few miles per gallon less than the manual.
One thing you’re guaranteed with any i40 is a lack of pace, with no variant of the sole 1.7-litre diesel getting below a double figure 0-62mph time. As with much about the i40 though, numbers only tell half the story because, in fact, even the 115PS unit has a healthy 260Nm torque at just 1250rpm, while the 141PS unit has 340Nm at 1700rpm.
To a greater or lesser extent in both cases, there’s a surge of acceleration from the off, but it rapidly tails off. It means a lot of gear changing around town with a manual, but that’s no real hardship because the i40 Tourer has a light, pleasant gear shift action.
Light is the best way to describe the steering too, giving the car a feeling of low-speed agility that belies its length – at 4.8 metres this is a long estate. Sadly it also provides almost zero information about the relationship between the wheels and the road, making for especially numb cornering sensation.
But do you care about that? Because in every other way this is a very pleasant estate car. There’s surprisingly little chugging from the diesel engine and the car’s combination of an excellent, quite low-slung driving position, supportive seats and supple driving position make it pretty relaxing transport.
|1.6 GDi||43 mpg||11.6 s||155 g/km|
|1.6 GDi Blue Drive||47 mpg||11.6 s||140 g/km|
|1.7 CRDi 115 Blue Drive||66 mpg||12.9 s||113 g/km|
|1.7 CRDi 136||55 mpg||10.6 s||134 g/km|
|1.7 CRDi 136 Automatic||47 mpg||12.0 s||159 g/km|
|1.7 CRDi 136 Blue Drive||63 mpg||10.6 s||119 g/km|
|2.0 GDi||39 mpg||9.7 s||169 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Hyundai i40 Tourer (2011)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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