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Hyundai UK takes the fight to Mondeo with i40 wagon

On the up: Hyundai is shaking off its bargain basement image in Europe by pricing the i45 wagon close to Ford's Mondeo while offering generous levels of standard equipment.

Hyundai i40 wagon competes with Mondeo on price, space but goes for luxury jugular

Hyundai logo3 Jun 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

HYUNDAI has announced specifications and pricing for the UK-delivered right-hand drive i40 ‘Tourer’ wagon, providing clues as to what Australian buyers can expect when the mid-sized model goes on sale here alongside the i45 sedan in November.

Four engine choices are offered in the UK-delivered i40, which priced from £18,395 ($A28,208) undercuts the entry-level Ford Mondeo load-lugger by about £600 ($A920) and is almost £3000 ($A4600) more expensive than the cheapest Skoda Octavia wagon.

This mid-market price positioning is part of Hyundai’s move away from its bargain basement roots, although it still aims to offer value for money by offering a high level of standard equipment.

The Active-badged base variant comes kitted out with seven airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth with voice recognition, air-conditioning a leather multi-function steering wheel, heated electric mirrors, automatic headlights and an electric parking brake with hill holder.

Mid-spec Style variants add 17-inch alloys, touch-screen satellite navigation, rear view camera, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, dual zone climate-control, automatic windscreen demisting, electric driver’s seat adjustment, passenger seat height adjustment, self-dimming rear-view mirror, solar-reflecting windows with rear privacy glass and rain-sensing wipers.

The Premium badge goes further with leather upholstery with electric adjustment and heating plus memory for the driver, panoramic sunroof, keyless entry/start, ‘supervision’ colour LCD colour instrument cluster, 18-inch alloys and a chilled glove compartment.

1 center imageFrom top: i40 wagon, i40 interior, i40 sedan, i45, Elantra.

Options on top-spec Premium models include adaptive xenon headlights, lane departure warning, parking assistance, tyre pressure monitoring, heated leather steering wheel and heated rear/ventilated front seats.

Despite being physically shorter at 4770mm than the Mondeo (4837mm) and Vauxhall Insignia (4908mm) with which it competes, the i40 wagon offers an impressive 1719-litre maximum cargo capacity, just 21 litres short of the class-leading Mondeo and a significant 209 litres more than the Insignia.

Of the four available engine choices on the UK market, only the 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel fitted to mid-spec Style and top-of-the-range Premium variants is available with an automatic transmission, a six-speed unit with paddle-shifters.

This driveline combination, sending 100kW to the front wheels along with 325Nm of torque (between 2000 and 2500 rpm) is the most likely to be sold in Australia, possibly in tandem with a direct-injection 2.0-litre ‘Nu’ petrol engine producing a hearty 130kW at 6500 rpm and 213Nm of torque at 4700 rpm.

The automatic diesel can complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 12 seconds, return combined fuel economy of 5.1 litres per 100km and emit 134 grams per kilometre of CO2. The petrol manual, only offered on Premium models in the UK, reaches 100km/h in 9.7 seconds, consumes 7.2L/100km and produces a CO2 output of 169g/km.

As GoAuto has reported, Hyundai’s i45 sedan range recently received a new entry-level 2.0-litre engine, which with older-style multi-point injection has peak power and torque outputs of 121kW and 198Nm, making it seven per cent less potent than the i40’s direct-injection unit. It is also eight per cent thirstier, with fuel consumption in manual form of 7.9L/100km.

UK-spec entry-level engine choices that are unlikely to be available here comprise a 99kW/164Nm 1.6-litre direct injection petrol engine and a 1.7-litre diesel ‘Blue Drive’ featuring idle-stop and low rolling-resistance tyres, available in 85kW/260Nm and 100kW/325Nm tune.

The Blue Drive variants are low-CO2 specials aimed at the fleet market and designed to offer a low CO2-linked fringe benefit tax burden. The lower powered unit emits a class-leading 113 grams per kilometre and the 100kW version pumps out 119g/km. They consume 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres and 4.5L/100km respectively.

Hyundai recently unveiled the sedan version of the i40 at the Barcelona motor show. As GoAuto has reported, Hyundai has hinted that it is considering selling the booted i40 in Australia as a premium alternative to the i45 for a dual-pronged approach to the market much like Honda, which fields its Accord Euro alongside the Accord.

The South Korean automotive giant is also claiming a class-leading British insurance rating for the i40, equalling that of the far smaller and cheaper i10 city car. This means that theoretically the i40 will cost no more to insure than its diminutive stablemate.

As with all European-delivered Hyundais, the i40 will also come with five year care package including unlimited warranty, roadside assistance and vehicle health checks.

The Hyundai Elantra due to go on sale in Australia in July as a premium sedan to complement the small-segment i30 hatch, has just picked up a ‘top safety pick’ award in the US for its crash test performance, achieving the highest rating in all categories including front, side, rollover and rear protection.

VFACTS figures released today show Hyundai to have secured third place in Australia’s sales charts for the second month running, having sold 7444 cars in May (up 16.7 per cent) to beat Ford by 614 units, contributing to a year-to-date total of 34,444 – an increase of 0.4 per cent.

The Getz and ix35 topped their respective light passenger and compact SUV segments, while the i30 and i45 were third in their respective small and medium passenger categories.

Aided by the addition of a cheaper new 2.0-litre variant, Hyundai last month sold just 33 fewer i45s than Ford did Mondeos.

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