Over the last few years we’ve seen cars from Hyundai and Kia make great strides in how they appeal to European audiences.
Looking at the numbers for its latest model, the I40 Tourer, the car could easily be mistaken for a contemporary western European estate car.
CO2 emissions are from 113g/km and fuel consumption is up to 65.7mpg on the combined cycle. These are the kind of figures you’d see in an upper-medium car with a strong heritage in diesel technology.
Back at the business end of the I40 Tourer, you find luggage capacity of 553 litres with the rear seats in place up to window height (Mondeo estate: 537 litres) and 1,719 litres up to roof height with the rear seats folded (Mondeo estate: 1,728 litres).
The I40 disguises its carrying ability very well, with a sleek and elegant profile and tapering rear. It’s less distinctive on the inside, but clearly has the upmarket feel sought by all the mainstream manufacturers when it comes to competing with premium badge products.
The I40 variants of particular interest to fleet operators will be those with the 1.7-litre CRDi diesel.
The 114bhp version in entry-level Active grade offers the headline-grabbing low CO2 of 113g/km. There is a higher-output version of 136bhp, and both Active and Style variants have CO2 emissions of 119g/km.
We tried the entry-level version, which comes with manual air conditioning rather than automatic climate control, but outdoes some rivals with standard Bluetooth, automatic headlights and electric rear windows.
Mid-grade versions come with standard satellite navigation and rear-view camera, while the I40 is also available with a self-park system and lane departure warning.
With only a ride that lacks the panache of a Volkswagen Passat or Ford Mondeo, and steering that isn’t as engaging as the Mondeo or the Peugeot 508, there is little else to fault the I40 Tourer.
Throw in ultra-competitive P11D prices and it results in a strong BIK tax and Class 1A National insurance proposition.
Although we know some fleets are able to negotiate longer than standard warranties with manufacturers to cover life-cycles in excess of three years, Hyundai’s simple five years/unlimited mileage cover as standard gives extra reassurance.
In fact, as an overall package it stacks up remarkably well as a fleet option, with low costs, distinctive styling and excellent practicality.