A SPARKLING newcomer has just entered the medium-sized car arena and it looks well capable of winning a fair share of customers from more-established competitors.
Hyundai launched its i40 Tourer this month with saloon models to follow later in the year and it has a lot of plus factors.
The i40 is a stylish looking estate and buyers will find that it comes with a level of standard equipment they would have to pay much more for in other alternative models.
The quality and finish of the car is also of a very high standard and shows how far Hyundai has come in recent years.
Tourer prices start from just £18,395 and it is available in three trim levels – Active, Style and Premium – with the choice of three engines and four power outputs.
Hyundai is looking for the i40 to play a big part in its UK fleet sales, 60 per cent of its 5,000-6,000 target for 2012, and has the lowest benefit in kind cost in this class.
The smart, roomy interiors – there’s also a massive luggage area - will easily accommodate driver and four adult passengers and the models I sampled briefly were impressive enough on the road.
The only option on the Active 1.6 Gdi 134bhp Blue Drive model I drove was metallic paint at £445, taking this to £18,840.
Yet for that price the standard items included 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, leather steering wheel with audio controls, electric heated door mirrors with integrated LED indicators, electric front and rear windows and electric parking brake with automatic hold function.
Move up to Style models and you will also get touch screen satellite navigation with rear view camera, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control and dual zone climate control.
The 1.6-litre petrol engine was sprightly enough going up and down the six-speed manual gearbox with a zero to 62mph time of 11.6 seconds and a top speed of 121mph.
Combined fuel economy was 47.1mpg, extra urban 55.4mpg and urban 37.4mpg – way short of that achieved in the second model I drove.
This was the 1.7 CRDi 134bhp Premium which, at £24,395 on the road, still seems a bargain thanks to all sorts of extra goodies.
Over the Style spec these were leather upholstery, a super panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and supervision instrument cluster with LCD colour display as standard, plus the choice of three option packages - Vision, Comfort and Assist which include the following features, Lane Departure Warning and Smart Parking Assist, heated leather steering wheel, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats and xenon headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting System.
This diesel unit was more powerful, reaching 62mph in 10.6 seconds and having a top speed of 124mph, but also much more frugal with a combined figure of 55.4mpg, extra urban 61.4mpg and urban 47.9mpg.
Ride comfort was good on both models as they went smoothly over some potholed roads with steering also sharp.
First impressions are that there is no doubt this latest offering from Korea represents real value for money over competitors with its superb spec – and it also comes with Hyundai’s Five Year Triple Care assurance.
This offers five-year unlimited warranty, five years of roadside assistance and five years of vehicle health checks.