Hyundai has its eye on class-leading family car rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat with the attractive, well-equipped i40 Tourer.

So can the i40 really take on the best that the D-segment can offer from Ford and Volkswagen? Well, we spent a week with the £24,395 1.7 CRDi Premium to find out.

There might be elements of the ix20 and ix35 in the design, but it certainly looks like no other Hyundai we've seen before. An evolution of Hyundai's unique design language, 'fluidic sculpture', overall the i40 Tourer looks sleek and elegant.

At the front, you can't miss the large headlights which slash back far into the front wings and have Audi-like LED light detailing. There's also another version of the Hyundai family front grille and if you missed the headlights, the triangular fog lights really stand out.

At the side, the sweeping roofline is probably the most unique feature of the i40 Touring. Our test car was also fitted with an optional three-piece, full-width panoramic glass sunroof.

There's also the distinctive beltline, which rises from the front wheel arch to the large rear light clusters, the unusual rear quarter windows that appear to follow the curve of the rear window glass, the sculpted wing mirrors and the smart undercut on the front and rear doors.

At the back, it's all about the i40's curvy tailgate with its sporty rear spoiler. Like the front, the rear is dominated by the lights. The large, sleek light clusters follow the beltline down the side of the car, but also stretch across the tailgate, even under the rear chrome finisher.

About the only thing we'd change is the small rear window, which is difficult to see out of. Still, a rear-view parking camera was fitted to our Premium version.

The interior design of the i40 impresses too, with its Infiniti-like console, dominating the curvy dashboard. The Mercedes-like dials with their digital centres displaying the petrol and temperature guages are easy to read and there's plenty of piano black and metal trim to lift the rest of the front cabin.

With the multi-adjustable steering column, the driving position is comfortable. The seats themselves are nothing particularly special, but are supportive.

Overall, the i40 Tourer's cabin isn't quite up to Ford Mondeo or VW Passat standards, but it's certainly not far off.

Most of the dashboard plastics are soft-touch, but the glovebox is made of harder, scratchier plastic. Then there are the column stalks which look the same as you'll find in an entry-level Hyundai i10 and finally the multi-function steering wheel is overcomplicated.

Rear space in the i40 Tourer is huge; I'm over six-foot and there was more than enough head- and legroom for me to stretch out. The 577 litre boot is also a surprise considering the curvy shape; fold the rear seats forward and this increases to 1719 litres.

With 134bhp, this is the high-power version of the 1.7-litre diesel engine. It also has a healthy 325lb ft of torque on tap and a competitive CO2 figure of 119 g/km. Top speed is 124mph, with 60mph coming up in just 10.6 seconds.Yet, it's still capable of 62.8mpg on the combined cycle.

The i40 Tourer's dynamics are almost up to Ford and Volkswagen levels; yes there is more road noise with the bigger 18-inch alloys, but the ride is generally refined and body roll well-contained. We just wish the steering had more feel and the change quality of the six-speed was better.


Still, the i40 Tourer is a fine effort and surely is the equal of the Passat and the Vauxhall Insignia to drive. Not a fan of the Tourer estate bodywork? No worries, there is also a saloon version of the i40, but it is the Tourer that is the looker.

In Premium specification, the i40 is very well-equipped as you'd expect from a car costing £24,650, with standard equipment including keyless entry, start/stop button, electrically-operated front seats and leather trim.

Also fitted with touch-screen sat-nav, sadly the graphics, shared with sister brand Kia, are hard to read and look a bit cheap.

So to sum up, we think the i40 Tourer could be the best car that Hyundai makes. Fleet and family buyers considering a Mondeo or Passat would be foolish not to search out a Hyundai dealer and try the i40 Tourer. If there was more driver appeal, it could be the best in class.