Review: 2012 Hyundai i40cw BlueDrive (Euro-Spec)

Posted on 22. Dec, 2011 by in Auto News

Editor's note: be aware that the images are very large, in order to show TTAC a rare opportunity for amazing photo shoot locations.

What makes a flagship? It is a question that gets to the core of his own philosophy as a car expert, and there is no better example of the problem, explore as Hyundai. Here in the U.S., Hyundai unquestionable flagships of large, rear-drive Genesis and Equus, well-equipped traditional luxury bullies at an affordable price. And though these plush-but-understated cars sell well enough in these uncertain economic times (and they certainly help Hyundai embarrass the likes of Cadillac, which still lacks a real, large, rear-wheel drive flagship barge), they fit not quite the brand values that Hyundai has ridden to the forefront of the world. You are not wildly efficient, they lack Hyundai dramatic "fluidic sculpture" design language, and they are terrible, given the stated mission Hyundai conventionally to "new thinking, new ways" to promote in the automotive space. In fact, they are almost the last relapse into old image of Hyundai somewhat heavy cars that simply hollow against the competition value.

But if we look at the indisputable logic of the market to offer the Genesis and Equus in the U.S., it is clear that other Hyundai flagship that captures almost perfectly the reasons why the Korean brand will last such a force in the global car business in the years. Although it might not be the right showcase for the U.S. market, the Hyundai i40cw is much closer to the Platonic ideal of the Hyundai brand than any other car brand offers. And as such it is also a damn good car.

Greater than Elantra, but slightly smaller than Sonata (none of which, as such, is in Europe), the i40 is the largest family car from Hyundai in continental markets (Genesis is it only sold in coupe form) offered. And as if to confirm the model of the European focus, the i40 has been initially as a slickly-styled car, you start to see here, although a sedan will start next year. Based on the Sonata platform, the i40 5 cm shorter and has brings a 2.5-cm shorter wheelbase, it is more in line with the European D-segment of voluminous crop of American family sedans. Nevertheless, the extent of cramped quarters, although the sleek roof line emphasizes style over space, there is plenty of room for two six-footers in the back seat and less claustrophobic than you might think. Although clearly in Europe, the i40cw is not always doomed to remain there.

The i40cw is the exterior design of this reviewer's opinion, the best example yet of the distinctive design language Hyundai and the car stands out even in the most refined of the Euro-confection. But such provisions are generally subjective, the interior of the i40 is much easier to praise in a purely objective manner. Although the design is not a major departure from the Sonata, it's a little more expressive and gives a much better impression of quality. Center instrument panel controls more tightly clustered to accommodate the larger screen to create, and the design eliminates most of the Sonata look and feel cheaper materials. This pattern continues throughout the i40 cabin with large swaths of solid-located, soft-touch plastics accented by minimal amounts of relatively high quality faux-aluminum. Compared with the brand-spankety new Euro-spec Volkswagen I drove in my second week in Europe (look for a review of that very soon), meets the i40 and in some ways even surpasses what you are in Euro-market benchmark finding vehicles.

As from the outside images could be guessed, is visible from the outside in some endangered i40, especially in blind spots, and the rear-view. But the more compact dimensions and a suite of electronic gadgetry, which seems like overkill in a car of this class more than overcome any disadvantages. Field of view is great, and as I learned during a pitch-black climbing a mountain pass, fully automatic headlights, what sense obstacles close on either side of the hood and adaptively add lighting where needed to keep the driver judged obstacles well and easy to navigate help roads and tunnels with ease. Parking sensors and a rearview camera built makes parking a breeze, even in spots and garages for cars much smaller than the i40. Add an excellent navigation system (which must only updates its information for Italian roads) and comfortable (if a little lacking in the side view of strengthening) seats and the i40 for a nearly perfect European road trip vehicle.

Further makes the case for the touring capabilities, and exemplary Hyundai focus on efficiency, were matched our 1.7-liter diesel powertrain with a superb six-speed transmission, the results come (if any part should i40 coming to the U.S., but probably won 't, it is) this slick six-cog box. Although only 136 HP, Hyundai makes shockingly refined oil-burner spits out a far more respectable 243 pounds-ft of torque, towing the 3,500-ish lb i40 to 100 km / h (~ 60 mph). In a respectable 10.6 seconds Although not fast by U.S. standards and challenging to keep a bit of gear-rowing a fast pace, the performance is more than adequate for a family car in its class. Let's just say, I had no problem crossing