January 28, 2015 @ 06:23 PM

Review: Hyundai i40 Tourer

Back when the SUV hasn’t been invented yet, the station wagon was the go-to car for space. So now that SUVs exists, is the wagon still relevant? Chris Ng wonders


Back when the SUV hasn’t been invented yet, the station wagon was the go-to car for space. So now that SUVs exists, is the wagon still relevant? Chris Ng wonders

To be completely honest, I never really thought much about station wagons, or sports tourers, or sports wagons or whatever fancy marketing name that type of car goes by these days. To underline my point, the last wagon I touched was the Volvo V50. Yes, it’s been that long ago and seemingly in a galaxy far, far away. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

So here I am, behind the wheel of the Hyundai i40 Tourer and wondering at all if it is that good. Sure, Jerrica and Arvind had taken the i40 and compared it with the Mazda6 and Peugeot 508 of the same body type, and proceeded to rave quite a bit about the Korean. You can read their take on the matter in the November 2014 issue, the one with three Big Cats on the cover.

Exterior (4/5)

Let’s get the elephant out of the room – the Hyundai i40 Tourer is boat-long. The impact of its length won’t hit you until you boxed the wagon in a parking space – the nose breaches the line just enough to make it noticeable. End to end, the i40 stretches the tape to 4770mm. It is also broad, measuring 1815mm from left to right. If it isn’t for the wagon’s height of 1470mm, this could have been passed as a mid-sized SUV.

Size aside, the i40 looks quite fetching. The shoulder lines look quite appealing and the rear lights speak of European influences. It’s only the front lamps that somehow manage to break the fluid lines of the car; shocking.

Interior (3/5)

Unless you remove the roof rack, you’re never going to get the full view the panoramic sunroof offers. The rear will enjoy the best views, together with a good amount of room for the knees and feet. Comfortable too, seats are plush and the rear air vents alters the climate at the back end.

The obvious upside here is the space it presents. At default, the i40’s boot measures 553 litres and can grow up to 1719 litres of space. Seats fold flat to the floor so it can haul more things; a flat-packers dream come true.

Power and handling (3/5)

Despite its length, the i40 has a surprisingly small turning radius. Three-point turns completed on a two-lane road without dipping the wheel into the dirt is not only doable but also easy to execute. Rear camera helps somewhat, a very light steering also adds to the ease of the turn.

Then you’ll escape the manoeuvre with a healthy kick forward. Power comes in quick to get the Tourer moving but after that you’ll feel the entire weight of the vehicle being pulled. So it is no sprinter but it will get up to speed sooner than you think. Three modes govern not just the acceleration but the aggressiveness of the gear shifts as well – Normal, Sport and Eco do exactly as advertised.

Tech and safety (3/5)

The nine airbags leads the safety specs , the i40 Tourer may just have the most airbags for a car in its class. The Hyundai also comes with the Electronic Stability Programme that makes sure all nine does not see the light of day.

As for the tech part of things, the Tourer’s dazzles with digital gauges and the steering also acts as an interface for the media system. It has Navigation as well, but I somehow still rely on Waze.

Summary

Not being brutish like an SUV or having limited space like a sedan is where the charm of the i40 Tourer can be found. There’s just no taking away from the fluid styling that the Korean carmaker debuted so many years ago. It still remains eye-appealing and the drawn out lines of the wagon let the curves flow smoother from nose to tail. You’ll want the i40 Tourer, but I’d wager you’ll end up driving home the Santa Fe instead.

Overall score: 16/20

Hyundai i40 Tourer Sport
On Sale

Now
Price
RM184,859.50 without insurance
Engine
1999cc, inline-4, 16 valves, Dual CVVT, 175bhp @ 6500rpm, 213Nm @ 4700rpm
Transmission
6-speed, torque converter, front-wheel drive
Length / width / height / wheelbase (mm)
4770 / 1850 / 1470 / 2770

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Topics:  First Drives

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