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 - AutoBuzz.my

QUICK FACTS

Name  HYUNDAI i40 SEDAN
Segment  D-SEGMENT SEDAN
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.

EXTERIOR
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 - AutoBuzz.my

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review - AutoBuzz.my

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 - AutoBuzz.my

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 - AutoBuzz.my

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.

INTERIOR
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 - AutoBuzz.my

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

PERFORMANCE
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 DRIVE
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.

IS IT FOR YOU?
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.

COMPARISONS
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 Sedan Toyota Camry 2.0G Honda Accord 2.0 VTi-L
ENGINE
Type DOHC 16V D-CVVT, 4 cylinder engine DOHC 16V VVT-i, 4 cylinder engine SOHC 16V i-VTEC, 4 cylinder engine
Displacement cc 1999 1998 1997
Compression Ratio 11.5  10.6
Max Power hp/rpm 175 / 6500 146 / 6000  153 / 6500
Max Torque Nm/rpm 214 / 4700  190 / 4000 rpm  190 / 4300
Carburetion System Gasoline Direct Injection  Fuel Injection Fuel Injection
Fuel Tank Capacity L 70  70 65
STEERING
Type Electronic (MDPS)  Electronic (EPS) Electronic (EPS)
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission  6-speed A/T  4-speed A/T 5-speed A/T
SUSPENSION
Type McPherson Strut (F) / Multi-link (R) MacPherson Strut (F) / Dual Link Independent Strut with Stabiliser (R) MacPherson Strut (F) / Independent Multi Link with Stabiliser (R)
BRAKES
Front Ventilated Disc Ventilated Disc Ventilated Disc
Rear Solid Disc Solid Disc Solid Disc
TYRE & WHEELS
Tyres 215 / 50 R17 215 /60 R16  225 / 50 R17
Wheels Alloy  Alloy Alloy
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS
Overall Length mm  4,770 4,825 4,870
Overall Width mm  1,815 1,825 1,850
Overall Height mm  1,470 1,470 1,465
Wheelbase mm  2,770 2,775 2,775
Max Kerb weight kg 1,445 1,530
SAFETY
Airbags 9 SRS airbags, including driver side knee airbag 2 (front) SRS airbags 2 (front & front side) SRS airbags
Others anti-locking brake system, hill-start assist, stability control, parking assist anti-locking brake system, hill-start assist, stability control, parking assist anti-locking brake system, hill-start assist, stability control
FUEL
Grade min. 95 RON min. 95 RON min. 95 RON
PRICE RM 159, 888.00 158, 915.30 144, 959.00

 

Hyundai i40 Sedan Review - AutoBuzz.my

WILL I BUY IT?
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.

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KY Looi
A very carefree person. When his day job drives him crazy, he diverts his energy to finding gadgetry and automotive news. Loves everything on four wheels and the old-school, 3-pedal, clutch operated vehicles.