Let’s be honest, there was a time when people only bought an Hyundai because it was value for money. It was the Lidl supermarket of the automotive world – alongside Kia and Proton.
Now, just like Lidl, the Korean company is thriving and we are buying loads of them, instead of stalwart favourites from Ford and Vauxhall.
The i40 goes today and we think it’s one of the best offerings from the Hyundai stable. Great to look at inside and out, practical, reliable and still relatively good value for money.
With a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty, anyone looking for medium-sized family estate would be crazy not to take one for a test drive.
We have a SEAT Leon ST FR coming today – perhaps a good comparison for the Hyundai but with a more sporty edge…
I’m just setting off to London to interview Tin-Tin Ho. The 16-year-old is a British table tennis protege and she’s going to give me a masterclass in the art of ping-pong.
Her father is obsessed with the game and named her brother Ping – at one point almost naming his daughter Pong too!
Finding the right name for a car is a major task and doesn’t always go right. There was the Dodge Swinger, Honda Life Dunk, Skoda Yeti, Renault Wind, Suzuki Every Joypop Turbo and the Mazda Bongo Friendee.
No wonder Hyundai uses the globally safe i40 – one of the few names beginning with an ‘i’ that isn’t owned by Apple…
September 6 Why is it we still have to mess about with car keys? Pretty much every vehicle Car Couture test these days either has keyless ignition – which means the little fob usually just stays in my pocket, or stashed in the centre console.
The downside is that it’s much easier to lose the bloody thing. Putting a key in the ignition means you know exactly where to find it, every time.
So when I couldn’t find the key to the i40 yesterday, there was the usual moment of headless chicken panic. You only discover a missing key when you actually need it after all.
i40 has keyless recognition, so at least I knew it wasn’t in the vicinity of the car. I’d worn three coats on Friday, so instead of searching through the pockets, all I had to do was bundle them all out to the car and see if the Hyundai ‘recognised’ them hidden in a pocket.
Nope. Thins were getting pretty desperate when I carried he kitchen bin out to the driveway, just in case the key had been accidentally lost in there. The Hyundai didn’t register a thing. Finally, having taken the dog tot he vet earlier, I hauled his basket out to the i40 et voila!
Tucked down inside was the key. Relief. Still, it can’t be long before we have fingerprint sensor pads or voice recognition to make it even easier…
September 5 My favourite estates are built by BMW. I’ve owned a string of 3 and 5 Series, brilliant cars that combine decent load space with great performance. They are sports cars with a large boot.
Yep, if it’s all about luggage capacity, go buy a Volvo. However, if you have children and still want to cut loose when they’re not in the car, there’s very little to rival the Beemer.
The i40 has just arrived at Car Couture and it looks every inch as good as the pictures. Better perhaps, because the interior is seriously cool. Imagine that – a Hyundai with a funky dashboard!
Looking at the spec sheet, it appears to have plenty of standard equipment as well. Even the entry model features alloys, Bluetooth, air con and auto lights and wipers. The Premium adds leather, panoramic sunroof and keyless entry.
The question is, will it drive anywhere near as good as the BMW – or is the i40 just a cheaper, poor imitation?