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Hyundai wagon is practical yet stylish
Hundai i40 Tourer Premium. Supplied picture

My wife and I have been living with the Hyundai i40 wagon for just over six months and during that time we have taken it away on a family holiday, used it as a removal van and towed a 5.5m boat with it.

We have also tested its cargo- carrying capacity several times, filling the back with enough fishing gear and diving equipment for a boys' weekend away, a couple of craypots and even an inflatable dinghy - although not all at the same time.

In between it has been used for the more mundane daily trips to work as well as the weekly adventure to the local shopping centre for home supplies.

The i40 has proved extremely proficient in every situation.

The only time the 1.7-litre turbo- diesel engine showed any sign of being under strain was when it was towing.

While there was enough torque to comfortably pull the boat up the ramp and climb any hill we encountered on the trip home, you definitely knew it was working harder.

The i40 has a maximum towing capacity of 1500kg, which restricts it to towing small boats (like our 5.5m centre-console) or camper- trailers and its four-cylinder engine is strong enough to cope.

On suburban roads it is a very comfortable car to drive.

The engine is quiet for a diesel and the six-speed auto smooth and well matched to the torquey engine.

Steering is light and direct, and for a wagon that is 4770mm long it is surprisingly nimble and easy to park.

The standard reversing camera makes parking a lot easier and, after getting used to having the screen in the rear-vision mirror, it is hard to imagine having it anywhere else.

Unfortunately, with Hyundai now offering sat nav it means the reversing camera screen will be placed in the centre stack, which means the picture will be significantly bigger but it takes your eyes off the road.

The other thing we will miss when Hyundai picks up the i40 is the long list of features.

I am not sure the wife will ever let me buy a car now that does not have heated and cooled front seats.

While these are an indulgence, there is nothing nicer than feeling the comforting heat warm your back and posterior on a cold winter morning, or the feel of refreshing cool air in the same region on a stinking hot summer day.

While the i40 wagon has proved a very practical car for us, I am still surprised at how many people comment on its styling - it has a real presence on the road.

And, to its credit, in the six months we "owned" the i40 we have not had a solitary issue with it.

While the car is still very new (it is yet to rack up 10,000km), there are no signs of any rattles or squeaks.

LOWDOWN


Model Hyundai i40 Premium wagon
Price $46,490 plus on-road costs
Options Towbar $605
Safety features Nine airbags, electronic stability control, emergency stop signal, hill-start assist, daytime running lights, auto adaptive headlights, rear-view camera
Crash rating Five stars
Special features Full-length glass roof, premium audio system with Bluetooth phone and streaming, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, automatic windscreen defogging system.
Engine 1.7-litre turbocharged four-cylinder CRDi diesel
Power/torque 100kW/320Nm
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Claimed fuel consumption (combined) 6.0L/100km
Fuel type Diesel
Fuel tank capacity 70 litres
Kilometres travelled at delivery 1809km
Kilometres travelled since 6179km
Fuel used 499.1 litres
Actual fuel consumption 8.07L/100km