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Hyundai i40

Bold looks, a spacious cabin and a long kit list helped the Hyundai i40 stand out from the crowd when it hit showrooms in 2012. Yet over the past three years it has been overtaken by newer mainstream rivals.

In an effort to push it back up the sales charts, Hyundai has given its big saloon - there`s also a practical Tourer estate - a bit of a nip and tuck. Tweaked looks, more efficient engines and revised trim levels underpin this update.

The Hyundai i40 was something of a watershed moment for Hyundai. The brand has already broken into the mainstream, but no model encapsulates its meteoric rise better than the i40. Hyundai`s last foray into the large family car class was with the woeful Sonata, but following on from the excellent i40 Tourer estate, the four-door model banishes any lingering association with the bargain basement and challenge the class leaders such as the Volkswagen Passat and Peugeot 508.
Top-spec models come very well-equipped but do come at a price, while the punchy BlueDrive 1.7-litre CRDi diesel is efficient and cheap to tax, which should make the i40 a hit with company car buyers.

Overall, there are three specifications - Active, Style and Premium - which all come with 16-inch alloy wheels, air-con, Bluetooth connectivity and automatic lights as standard. Hyundai is certainly trying to move the brand upmarket, but as a result, the prices start to rise.

On the plus side private buyers will be tempted by the excellent five-year triple care package, which includes five years` free warranty, servicing and roadside assistance, too. Sister company Kia also offers a stylish saloon in the form of the Kia Optima.

It shares the underpinnings and engines with the i40 but comes with a seven-year warranty, but there`s little else to distinguish between the two.

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