Our Fleet Test Drive: Hyundai i40 Tourer- Final Report
16 November 2012
Author: Jack Carfrae
It's been nine months since we took delivery of our Hyundai i40 Tourer - the first of a two-part long-term term test (the estate was followed by the saloon ) with the intention of seeing how well the Korean firm's unashamed two-pronged attack on the core fleet sector stood up to business use.
All-conquering upmarket German models such as the BMW 3-series and the Audi A4 are the dominant and desirable forces in the upper medium segment, and they're bolstered by established volume players in the form of the Ford Mondeo and the Volkswagen Passat.
It might seem as though we're stating the obvious in terms of traditional company car choices, but it's important to remember exactly what Hyundai was up against before it launched the i40 in September 2011. It's a tough corner of an overcrowded market at the best of times and sales of upper medium models have contracted across the board as businesses have followed the downsizing trend.
In response, the firm has done what it does best and played the value card, promising businesses a lot of car for the money. The mid-spec Style model that both our Tourer and saloon models sported is generous with its equipment, adding the likes of a reversing camera, satnav and an electrically adjustable drivers' Seat over the Active model's kit.
We're not yet at the stage where a company car driver who is dead set on an Audi, BMW or even a VW is going to defect to a more affordable Korean car, regardless of how comprehensive it is. But perception is different to reality and, after living with it for the thick end of a year, I'm happy to go on the record and say that the i40 is up there with the volume players on the quality front. It's a genuinely well-finished car inside , comfortable to boot, and is only let down by the electric steering system, which is artificial and lacks feedback.
No long-term test car is without its foibles and the Tourer suffered from a couple of minor maladies, namely an 'Application Error' message  that was consistently appearing on the satnav/radio screen and a tendency to retain water within the tailgate's rain gutters, which resulted in drenching anyone who opened the boot. The latter I learned live with/dodge and the former caused no problems other than its presence on the screen. A diagnosis by the local dealer suggested a replacement satnav unit under warranty (which didn't arrive during our time with the car).
It was a sink or swim move for the company, launching an upper medium, fleet-specific model last year, but as far as BusinessCar is concerned, Hyundai is well and truly buoyant.
|Hyundai i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi |
136 Blue Drive Style
|Claimed combined |
|Our average |
|Forecast CPM ||51.1p|
|For||Comfortable and |
|Against||Numb steering makes |
for a dull drive
|Why we’re running it||To see if Hyundai has |
hit the nail on the head
with its all-new, upper medium
model pitched squarely