Review: Hyundai i40 2.0 GDI Sedan, a D-segment sushi beater

Unveiled to the world back in late 2011, the Hyundai i40 was only introduced to Malaysians back in 2013 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show. In certain markets, the Hyundai i40 is set to replace the aging Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai Sime Darby meanwhile is selling the Hyundai i40 alongside the Hyundai Sonata, though it remain to be seen when they will phase it out. 

Read our review on the other variant of i40, the Hyundai i40 2.0 GDI Tourer.

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review -


Engine Nu 2.0L GDI
Price RM159,888 (Sedan) / RM163,888 (Sedan Plus)

Back then, a lot of us were dismayed when the Elantra introduced here comes with a so-so specification. Now Hyundai Sime Darby is going to amend things a little with the Hyundai i40. Boasting loads of feature such as keyless entry, engine start-stop, 4 door automatic (up and down) window, 9-airbags, Hill-Assist Control, Electronic Stability Program, we will explore what the Hyundai i40 really have to offer.

Based on Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture, one cannot deny that the Hyundai i40 it is very appealing and it is a looker. When we get the car for the weekend drive, we are pretty confident it will catch some attention and turn a few heads. We did not perform a full survey-cum-research the Top Gear style, but we manage to catch a glimpse of a pair of couple staring at us in the Hyundai i40. Perhaps the Fluidic Sculpture philosophy is beginning to show it’s age.

The money you spent will get you a very nice looking daytime running lights (DRL). Although the DRL is not very useful in our tropical weather, its presence help boost the Hyundai i40’s image as an European car (it is designed for the European market in mind). HID front light comes standard and turns on automatically when it is dark and it comes standard as auto levelling function. The rear end is complemented with a rather stylish LED stop lamp.

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review -

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review -

Measuring around 4.7m in length and 1.8m in width, it is indeed a huge car. The rear trunk is high and having no reverse camera in this car does not help. Hyundai Sime Darby is more than willing to fit the reverse camera for you if you are willing to fork out an additional RM4,000. The saving grace is, you get front and rear parking sensors. The Hyundai i40 Tourer however get all these goodies as standard!

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review -

The overall bulkiness of the car is reduced by not having an antenna that sticks out from the body. Instead, the antenna is printed on the rear glass. The sleek design of the Hyundai i40 is further enhanced by having a prominent beltline running right from the front door and continues backward until the rear lamp. It doesn’t just end there. You will find not one but 2 nicely chrome exhaust pipe sitting at the bottom of the bumper.

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review -

Our Hyundai i40 test car came wrapped in 215/50 Continental ContiMaxContact MC5 tyres and comes together with a rather bland multi-spoke 17-inch rims. Some may or may not like the choice of rims, but the Continental rubber strikes a good balance between ride & handling.

As you climb onboard the Hyundai i40, things takes a slightly different turn. There are plastic here and there, just like any Japanese offerings. But at the same time it doesn’t really feel too cheap at all. Fit and finishing is top notch. There is no uneven gaps to be seen. Other than that, there is a mixed of black glossy plastics and faux leather wrapped on the steering wheel, centre armrest, and side armrest on all doors completes the overall interior finesse.

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review - Interior Dash

Driving position can be adjusted to your hearts content. The Hyundai i40 features a 10-way electronically adjustable seats for both driver and passenger seats. If it comes with memory seats, then it will be prefect. Steering wheels can be adjusted for height and reach (tilt and telescopic adjustment). So no qualms there, anyone from short to tall is all catered for!

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review - Seat Adjustment

That being said, all buttons are logically laid at the convenience of driver. The steering wheel itself houses all the necessary controls such as voice activated commands for phone, cruise controls, ICE volume adjustment, trip button, Multi Information Display toggle and not to mention the paddle shifters. On the centre console, you will probably find the usual air condition and air recirculation controls. Upon closer inspection, you will find buttons that are supposedly positioned closer to the driver are actually placed further away from the driver! Take for instance the “Sport” button, is placed at the left most side of the console. In car entertainment is a pretty decent one.

The sound quality is nothing much to shout about. The norm includes CD, MP3, USB, AUX input, radio with Bluetooth hands-free. The 2-DIN player features a very blueish display that reminds you of an illuminated G-Shock watch of the 90’s! It is done so just to complement the blue scheme of the overall ambient setup of the Hyundai i40. As mentioned, if you choose to fork an additional RM4,000, you get reverse camera with touch screen entertainment and a pair of display monitors mounted on the front seats that comes standard with the Hyundai i40 Tourer.  

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review -

Having driven cars with a proper hand brake, the electronic-parking brakes that comes with the Hyundai i40 proves to be a little confusing to me at first. But after meddling with the Hyundai i40 for one and a half day, I find it as an excellent way to save space and it is rather convenient than a foot-brake. As a comparison, most Japanese D-segment contenders in Malaysia comes with a foot-operated parking brake. Oh and did I not mention the accelerator is of organ-type pedal?

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review - Pedal

One of the best feature that one must truly appreciate is the panoramic sunroof. Not only it provides a visually stunning view of the city skyline but it also gives the Hyundai i40 a roomier feel. Whether you are a kid or an adult, you will definitely love it to bits.

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review - Sunroof 1

The GDI poweplant in the Hyundai i40 is one of the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine that you can find the Malaysian market, at least on paper. It definitely trump all Japanese D-segments in the power department, but still looses to Continental offerings due to their turbocharged nature (read Ford Mondeo and VW Passat). The power delivery is super smooth, no qualms there, thanks to the 6-speed automatic transmission that is powering all Hyundais (and Kia). Driving around town is never a problem. Highway drive should be nearly as good. Acceleration is smooth and steady, but that is not true for throttle response.

The kickdown/downshift is slow, in my opinion and the opinion of a few other people that have tested it. But, fret not! Whenever I feel sleepy, I will just reach for the Sport button as my instant kick of refreshment. However do not let the Sport button fool you into thinking that it is a magic button that will lower or harden your suspension, increase your engine output, or sharpen steering input ala Audi. It will only hold the gear change slightly longer, thus giving a feel of oomph.

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review - Engine Bay

The ride & handling is decent in the Hyundai i40.  It could be everyone’s daily drive, whether in the city or highway. Steering response gives reasonable feedback through the electronic power steering (MDPS in Hyundai speak). There are times where I can feel some vibration and a very faint humming sound coming through the steering, but might not be noticeable to a majority of the drivers. The NVH of the Hyundai i40 is something I would like to touch more on.

Whenever I push the throttle, the engine sound will seep in. So is the road noise, but road noise may vary between roads, no thanks to our Malaysian roads. Wind noise is kept to a minimum, no problem there. There is also a manual mode for those who prefer to do the shifting yourself. However I would recommend letting the ECU do the shifting for a more pleasant drive.

Probably, given that the specifications and the amount of kit being offered on the Hyundai i40 is simply irresistible. With 9-airbags to boast, hill-assist control, a panoramic sunroof, and 5 year warranty by Hyundai Sime Darby, what is not to like? Hyundai had come a long way, and the Hyundai of today differs totally from the Hyundai of yesteryears. If you like to take a trip with your family once in a while in long distance drive, and to stand out amongst a sea of dull Japanese D-segments, this car is for you. That being said, a lot of Malaysian D-segment buyers is still rooted to Japanese cars only because of their perceived resale value.

With so many offerings nowadays, we will put a few closest and most popular rival here for a quick comparison, namely the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Other honourable mentions in this class is the Kia Optima K5, Nissan Teana, and also the all new Mazda 6.

Hyundai i40 SedanToyota Camry 2.0GHonda Accord 2.0 VTi-L
TypeDOHC 16V D-CVVT, 4 cylinder engineDOHC 16V VVT-i, 4 cylinder engineSOHC 16V i-VTEC, 4 cylinder engine
Compression Ratio11.5 10.6
Max Powerhp/rpm175 / 6500146 / 6000 153 / 6500
Max TorqueNm/rpm214 / 4700 190 / 4000 rpm 190 / 4300
Carburetion SystemGasoline Direct Injection Fuel InjectionFuel Injection
Fuel Tank CapacityL70 7065
TypeElectronic (MDPS) Electronic (EPS)Electronic (EPS)
Transmission 6-speed A/T 4-speed A/T5-speed A/T
TypeMcPherson Strut (F) / Multi-link (R)MacPherson Strut (F) / Dual Link Independent Strut with Stabiliser (R)MacPherson Strut (F) / Independent Multi Link with Stabiliser (R)
FrontVentilated DiscVentilated DiscVentilated Disc
RearSolid DiscSolid DiscSolid Disc
Tyres215 / 50 R17215 /60 R16 225 / 50 R17
WheelsAlloy AlloyAlloy
Overall Lengthmm 4,7704,8254,870
Overall Widthmm 1,8151,8251,850
Overall Heightmm 1,4701,4701,465
Wheelbasemm 2,7702,7752,775
Max Kerb weightkg1,4451,530
Airbags9 SRS airbags, including driver side knee airbag2 (front) SRS airbags2 (front & front side) SRS airbags
Othersanti-locking brake system, hill-start assist, stability control, parking assistanti-locking brake system, hill-start assist, stability control, parking assistanti-locking brake system, hill-start assist, stability control
Grademin. 95 RONmin. 95 RONmin. 95 RON
PRICERM159, 888.00158, 915.30144, 959.00


Hyundai i40 Sedan Review -

I would probably pick the Sonata 2.0 Sport with it slightly cheaper price and similar specifications. But the newer GDI engine that you get in the Hyundai i40 should give slightly better fuel economy, power and refinement over the older Sonata. And the Hyundai i40 looks so much better looking with it sexier curves and panoramic sunroof!

Read our review on the other variant of i40, the Hyundai i40 2.0 GDI Tourer.




  1. If Hyundai And Kia have a good resale value, can say bye bye to toyota car already…people nowadays still stick to toyota although toyota is Less spec Higher price car, but because over concerning about resale value, they close they eyes and bought it.

    • i do agree with you. Malaysian buyers have been taken for granted to a certain extent as some brands just sell by itself. Korean automakers have been putting in more effort to ‘convert’ buyers. If Jap automakers don’t buck up, more Malaysians will be kimchi-fied, that’s for sure.

  2. I bought this car in may this year. Before choosing this car i already test driven all models (accord 2.0,camry 2.0,mazda 6,peugeot 508,kia k5 except teana) and i already put booking money for honda accord 2.0…but after test drive i40..i was mesmerize with all the features…despite full spec and safety features(i didnt care about the resale value coz i didnt plan to sell my car-collecting habits) this car oso got rebate 15k(2013 models launched in nov 2013)compared to accord 2.0 2013 ony given rebate 1k for 2013 the price cheaper than the accord 2.0 vtl but better interior build…( i have a habit of knocking the dashboard with my fist -lol )accord feels more plactic while i40 feels more premium(almost as par as merc e250 coupe)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here