While the i40 may have been unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, this was our first time getting a close look of Hyundai's newest D-segment wagon. Based on the Sonata platform, the i40 is designed specifically for the European market by Hyundai's European R&D center located in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
Of course, this means Euro-centric design and Euro-V-compliant powertrain packages. An inline-4 2.0-liter direct-injected engine, the Nu GDI, is the top-of-the-line powerplant, producing 174 hp and 153 lb.-ft. of torque. Just below that is Hyundai's Gamma GDI, 1.6-liter inline-4 that produces 133 hp and 121 lb.-ft. of torque. Drivers who want diesel get to choose between two versions of the inline-4 1.7-liter U-II engine. One is rated at 114 bhp and 192 lb.-ft. of torque; the other has 134 bhp and 240 lb.-ft. of torque. The Nu GDI and higher spec U-II engines can be purchased with either 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions, while the base U-II and Gamma GDI will only be offered with a 6-speed manual.
To help keep emissions down, both diesels and Gamma GDI can be equipped with Hyundai's engine start-stop technology called Integrated Stop & Go (ISG). A "smart" alternator limits alternator load to those times when it will minimally affect engine drag. What's more, all i40s will be equipped with low rolling resistance tires.
The i40 wagon has independent multi-link rear suspension, with MacPherson struts at the front. An electric motor provides steering assist for this wagon, which has a tight turning circle, especially for a car with a wheelbase of 109.1 in. and an overall length of 187.8 in. On the inside, the i40 wagon will have 19.5 cubic feet of cargo space in the back. With the rear seats folded down, that increases to 60.7 cubic feet.
Amenities include optional Smart-Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, heated and reclining rear seats, heated and cooled front seats, heated steering wheel and standard equipment such as Bluetooth and navigation with a rear-view camera. A new feature that automatically defogs the front windshield will also be available.
With wagons making up over 50 percent of sales in the D segment, it's no wonder Hyundai Europe decided to launch the i40 with the wagon first. But the question remains: How would such a car fare in the U.S.?