Thursday 25 August 2011

Road - Hyundai comes to Glasgow

Hyundai were in Glasgow today. They had a brought a gaggle of the new i40s up for the Scottish motoring journalists to try out on home turf. It’s one thing to drive a new car at some glamorous foreign location on it’s launch, it’s quite another to drive it on more familiar territory.

The first Hyundai launch I attended was in Italy when Hyundai launched the Coupe 15 years ago. It was cheap, but well equipped, although quality was questionable. Having said that, the driveline engineering was sound, but the leather seats looked like they had been licked by a coo, rather than one that had donated its jacket.

The original Coupe drove well and the MkII was even better. Unfortunately, they’ve stopped making them now, but this latest i40 has moved the brand on another massive step. Honestly, this is as good as any other car in the ‘D’ segment which pitches it against the Mondeo and the Insignia.

It looks good, it is well put together and the quality of the furnishings is both stylish and practical. It’s also surprisingly roomy. The driver’s seat will slide far enough back to accommodate an American basketball player without cutting off the circulation to the legs in the back seat passengers. And there is big boot to boot!

The trouble is, it’s 25 grand. And it’s a Hyundai. But before you scoff, look at the spec and then compare it with its rivals. The top of the range Premium includes 18 inch alloy wheels, memory function heated front seats, SatNav and reversing camera plus all the rest, and that will cost you more than 1500 quid anywhere else. And the clincher? It comes with a 5 year Warranty.

The i40 goes on sale on  the 8th of September, and it's not just worth a look, it's worth a drive.yHHy

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