Hyundai i40 Tourer

This is Hyundai’s flagship cruiser, the i40, and it’s a significant car because it gives a valid indication of just how far the Korean maker has come in the last decade.  Indeed, models such as this one and the popular ix35 SUV are a far cry from the aesthetically challenged Elantras and uninspiring Accents of yesteryear - a time when Hyundai all to often bestrode the line between budget and just rubbish.

When Thomas Burkle, now Hyundai’s European Chief Designer, left BMW in 2005, it was very much the carte blanche opportunity that lured him away.  Now, seven years later, Hyundai’s line up exhibits a clear and coherent design language that, most importantly, offers a distinct identity to the Korean brand.

The i40 represents the latest production evolution of Hyundai’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ philosophy, which was taken a step further still by the i-oniq concept at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. “Loud and fussy” were the words Ford's design chief, J Mays, chose to describe  'fluidic sculpture' at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show and, in fairness, you could argue that features such as the “eyes of the falcon” LED daytime running lights convolute the front graphic somewhat. However, traits like the wraparound bone line and heavily raked windscreen make the i40 stand out on the road, and for all the right reasons.

From the wheel the i40 feels titanic and London certainly isn’t its natural habitat. The interior is, however, rather sumptuous for a car that offers so much for under £25,000 and as a long-distance transporter the i40 has all bases covered.  

Whilst the i40’s sculpted lines probably won’t remind you of “desert sand dunes at dusk”, there’s no doubting that Hyundai are onto something here. Long may it continue.

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