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New models - Hyundai - i40 - Sedan

Hyundai i40 sedan lands Down Under

Mid-size muscle: Hyundai's i40 sedan and wagon will sit alongside the larger i45 in a comprehensive assault on Australia's mid-size passenger car segment.

Value-packed i40 sedan rolls into Hyundai showrooms priced from $29,990

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Hyundai logo22 Jun 2012

HYUNDAI'S i40 sedan goes on sale in Australia this weekend, priced from $29,990 plus on-road costs, undercutting rivals like the Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Honda Accord Euro, Subaru Liberty, Kia Optima and Ford Mondeo by at least $500 while offering generous levels of standard equipment.

The larger, US-style i45 (from $26,990) will continue alongside the sportier, Euro-centric i40 sedan and Tourer wagon, completing Hyundai's two-pronged approach in the mid-size segment, much as Honda simultaneously offers both the Accord and Accord Euro sedans.

Hyundai has priced the i40 sedan $2500 cheaper than the wagon across entry-level Active, mid-spec Elite and flagship Premium variants.

For now the sedan is better specified with standard front and rear parking sensors across the range and higher-spec Elite and Premium models gaining goodies like satellite-navigation and a reversing camera.

Although not confirmed, GoAuto expects the i40 wagon's specification to fall into line with the sedan once existing stocks are depleted (and Hyundai says incentives are being offered to speed this process) and a running change is likely to be applied in the next couple of months.

Other than the i45 and Suzuki Kizashi (from $28,490) the only mid-size rivals to significantly undercut the i40 sedan are the Volkswagen Jetta (from $26,490) and Skoda Octavia ($26,990), while a driveaway price of $32,990 for a Citroen C5 runs the Hyundai close.

The engine and transmission combinations are also shared between i40 sedan and wagon, with a 130kW/213Nm 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engine consuming as little as 6.8 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle with the six-speed manual.

Hyundai charges a $2600 premium (compared with $2000 extra on the wagon) for the 100kW/330Nm 1.7-litre diesel, which has a claimed combined fuel consumption figure of 4.7L/100km when paired with a manual transmission to provide a theoretical 1500 kilometre tank range.

As with the wagon, only entry-level Active variants can be had with manual transmissions and opting for the automatic (with manual control through paddle-shifters) costs an extra $2000, while the Elite and Premium variants come with the automatic as standard.

Standard safety equipment levels are high, with a total of nine airbags on all variants, anti-whiplash front head restraints, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, cornering brake control and hill-start assist.

The i40 sedan will share the wagon's five-star ANCAP safety rating and as with all Hyundais fitted with electric power steering, the i40 features vehicle stability management, which provides the driver with counter-steering assistance if understeer or oversteer is detected.

In addition to the the aforementioned parking sensors, entry-level Active variants come with an MP3-compatible CD sound system with USB, auxiliary and Bluetooth connectivity, a multi-function steering wheel, remote keyless entry, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels (plus full-size spare) and automatic headlights with daytime-running lights and static cornering function.

Mid-range Elites start at $36,990 for the petrol and gain a premium infotainment system with seven-inch touch-screen satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic updates, in-dash six-CD stacker, amplifier and subwoofer, dual-zone climate control and a reversing camera.

The list goes on to include electrical adjustment for the driver’s seat, rain-sensing wipers, automatic windscreen de-fogging, proximity key with push-button start, leather upholstery, alloy pedals, foglights, rear privacy glass and 17-inch alloy wheels, behind which are upgraded brakes.

Top-spec Premium grade ($41,990 for the petrol) adds a panoramic sunroof – claimed to provide better heat insulation than a metal roof – plus driver's seat memory, heating and ventilation, rear seat heaters, adaptive Xenon headlights, electrically folding mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels and stainless steel sill plates.

The i40 sedan is one of the smaller mid-sizers on the Australian market, being 80mm shorter than the i45 at 4740mm with a 25mm shorter wheelbase at 2770mm while being 20mm narrower at 1815mm wide but the same 1470mm high.

Only the Suzuki Kizashi and Skoda Octavia are smaller, yet the i40 is claimed to offer best-in-class front headroom, shoulder-room and legroom.

At 505 litres, boot space is 18 litres smaller than the i45 and cannot match the 519-litre Mazda6 or 515-litre Camry, but outstrips the Accord Euro (467 litres).

As with the wagon, the i40 sedan comes with Australian-tuned suspension and steering settings resulting from thousands of local testing kilometres.

The i40 sedan was first seen at year’s Frankfurt motor show, with styling overseen by ex-BMW designer Thomas Buerkle at Hyundai's European technical centre in the German city of Russelsheim.

Like the Californian-designed i45, the i40 sedan has a coupe-like swooping roofline, which Mr Buerkle described as aerodynamic but not aggressive and “present but at the same time is very elegant”.

Hyundai sold 682 i40 wagons in Australia to the end of May this year, while 1667 i45s found homes, a 12.4 per cent drop.

Overall Hyundai sales have risen 3.5 per cent, to 35,643 units year-to-date, against a market that has grown 8.8 per cent.

Hyundai i40 sedan pricing (plus on-roads):
Active petrol$29,990
Active petrol (a)$31,990
Active diesel $32,590
Active diesel (a)$34,590
Elite petrol (a)$36,990
Elite diesel (a)$39,590
Premium petrol (a)$41,990
Premium diesel (a)$44,590

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