The longer I have lived with the Hyundai i40 wagon the more I find myself using it as the basis for judging every other car I test.
And, I have to say, I am constantly amazed at how many more expensive cars simply don't match up in respect to the Korean's standard features.
Heated seats are certainly not new but not many passenger cars, especially in the family wagon segment, come with heated and cooled seats.
While it may seem a bit gimmicky, once you have used the cooling function on a hot, sticky day (and we have plenty of them) it quickly becomes something you miss if it is not available.
And after living with a car with a reversing camera that has the screen in the rear-vision mirror, it becomes obvious that it's better than having the camera on a larger screen in the centre stack.
Unfortunately, I believe that as sat-nav becomes available across the Hyundai range the screen will move from the mirror to the centre stack.The camera screen in the mirror is quite small but it shows enough to warn you of any objects in your path, and, while it seems a little strange at first, you quickly get used to the "double vision" of the mirror and the camera.
The one feature I am not so fond of is the electric driver's seat with "memory" and that is because my wife has set it to suit her, so every time I get in the car the seat takes on a malicious persona, moving forward in a deliberate move to crush me between the seat and the steering wheel. Luckily, the push of a button is enough to tame the savage beast and have it sliding back into a more reasonable driving position for me.
The 1.7-litre engine has proved to be more than adequate, and in the first few months of having the car we had an opportunity to test its towing capabilities using a 5m aluminium runabout.
The i40 has a tow rate of 1800kg (braked) and the dinghy fell within that range. Towing the boat from Gnangara to Fremantle for a run on the river I was certainly aware of the extra weight, but it never felt under too much strain.
The torque of the diesel was also an asset when it came to pulling the boat up the boat ramp, although fuel consumption went up fairly quickly.
HYUNDAI i40 WAGON PREMIUM
Price: $46,490 plus on-road costs
Options: Tow bar $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-star ANCAP
Special features: Full-length glass roof, premium audio system with Bluetooth phone and streaming, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, automatic windscreen de-fog system
Engine: 1.7-litre turbocharged four-cylinder CRDi diesel
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Acceleration: 0-100kmh in 7.5sec.
Fuel type: Diesel, 70-litre capacity
Claimed consumption (combined): 6.0L/100km
Actual consumption: 8.6L/100km