THE market for large family saloons may not be as large as it once was but it is certainly packed with quality offerings.
Korean giants Hyundai recently introduced the i40 saloon into the UK market and it will certainly shock a few people with its stunning looks and excellent quality.
The i40 Tourer arrived in the second half of last year and the four door saloon shares its good looks and handsome lines.
Offered in three trim levels - Active, Style or Premium – there is also a choice of petrol and diesel engines.
I tried the i40 CRDi model in the entry level Active trim and at £18,395 it represents astonishing value for money.
If you want to spend more then £24,985 will buy you the diesel with automatic transmission in the Premium trim which has absolutely everything as standard.
The car was fitted with the 1.7-litre tried and tested diesel which features in other models and it produces 114bhp compared with 134bhp in the more expensive spec models.
Spend £300 on Blue Drive technology and the car becomes capable of up to 65.7mpg on the combined cycle thanks to the intelligent stop/start system. It also has low emissions of 113g/km resulting in free road tax in the first year and then £30 from year two.
Surprisingly the lower output engine does not lack grant and it has a top speed of 119mph and a sprint time of 12.3 seconds to 62mph. It always has enough power for overtaking and is smooth and quiet.
The i40 is very agile for a big car and is an ideal long distance cruiser. The handling is sharp and the steering precise and it matches many more expensive models from European competitors.
It comes complete with an electronic stability programme, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, a hill-start control, vehicle stability management and seven airbags.
Hyundai has not skimped on equipment either. This entry level model came with alloy wheels, Bluetooth with voice recognition, leather clad steering wheel with audio controls, heated door mirrors with integrated indicators, electric windows all-round and an electric parking brake with an automatic hold function.
If that is not enough you can move up to Style spec which will add touch-screen satnav and a rear view camera, cruise control, dual zone climate control and front and rear parking sensors.
Go to the flagship Premium model and you get all the additional luxuries including leather upholstery, keyless entry and a panoramic sunroof.
I think the entry level model represents excellent value and makes the most sense. And remember you also get that super five-year warranty.
Hyundai i40 Active CRDi
Mechanical: 114bhp, 1,685cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 119mph
0-62mph: 12.3 seconds
Combined mpg: 65.7
Insurance group: 12
CO2 emissions: 113g/km
BIK rating: 13%
Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles