Go­ing the dis­tance

A pleas­ant run to Bris­bane cost just $60 at the bowser in Hyundai’s i40

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story - SA­MAN­THA STEVENS sa­man­tha.stevens@cars­guide.com.au

THE trip-me­ter reads 930km and the fuel gauge shows we’re just on 40 litres into the 70-litre tank in the Hyundai i40 tur­bod­iesel sedan.

Ev­ery petrol sta­tion from Sydney to Bris­bane has done with­out the i40 at a bowser— and there’s still enough diesel left for an­other 600km run.

Wel­come to the re­al­ity of own­ing a mod­ern car, where the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ claimed fuel econ­omy can be achieved, or bet­tered, with­out re­sort­ing to the air­con-off, low-speed mo­tor­ing known as econ­omy driv­ing.

Cars­guide steered the Hyundai to an amaz­ing 0.5 litres/100km un­der the com­pany’s claimed high­way fuel use and did it in a top-ofthe-range model with all the weight-adding fea­tures and a six-speed au­to­matic.

In a world where fuel costs big bucks and the best badge on the boot lid is any­thing green, an econ­omy run is one of the most rel­e­vant tests of them all— pro­vided it’s not taken to ex­tremes.

That is re­flected in the fact most of the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ claimed fuel fig­ures seem largely unattain­able in the real world. Hell, the cars aren’t even tested on the road most of the time, but on an engine dyno in a lab.

Yet the Hyundai proves driv­ing in ev­ery­day traf­fic sce­nar­ios can be done within their claims. Put that down to how ef­fi­cient new tur­bod­iesel — and force-fed petrol en­gines — are.

The Euro­peans aren’t bad, but the i40 is up there, with the base diesel man­ual giv­ing a claimed com­bined fuel use of 4.7 litres/100km.


So con­fi­dent was Hyundai of its new i40 sedan, the de­layed ver­sion of its year-old i40 wagon, that they of­fered it for a real-world test from Sydney to Bris­bane on a sin­gle tank.

The sen­si­ble choice for this ven­ture would have been the 1.7-litre, 100kW/330Nm tur­bod­iesel in base Ac­tive spec­i­fi­ca­tion with a six-speed man­ual shifter, which claims a com­bined fuel con­sump­tion of 4.7 litres/100km.

Hardly a chal­lenge, we in­stead went for the top-shelf $44,590 Pre­mium, com­plete with glass moon roof, leather seats with three-stage heaters and cool­ers, ac­tive head­lights and the eco-drive en­emy, an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Add weighty safety fea­tures that in­cludes nine airbags and a full-size spare, that huge mul­ti­func­tion touch­screen with sat­nav and traf­fic as­sis­tance (SUNA), and you have a rather heavy 1626kg sedan claim­ing 1.3 litres/100km more than the frugal Ac­tive at 6.0 litres. Plus the six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, which makes it dif­fi­cult to cheat the best out of the car by coast­ing down hills and short-shift­ing through the gears, of­fers 10Nm less than the man­ual (100kw/ 320Nm), so there’s a lit­tle less twist to play with from a stand­still and up the hills.


As we take off from The Rocks in Sydney first thing in the morn­ing, the sat­nav quotes 930km to our des­ti­na­tion, while the trip-me­ter gues­ti­mates the tank range at 940km. So not much room for er­ror, and no way to sneak any ex­tra juice into the tank; the NRMA has su­per­vised the f and of­fi­cially sealed the fille cap, which will not be touch un­til our ren­dezvous with th RACQ in down­town Brisba

Driv­ing for econ­omy doe not mean driv­ing slowly; an­tic­i­pat­ing the traf­fic ahea keeps the speed up and revs down. Nor does it mean dri

Lux­ury: Sa­man­tha Stevens drove the Hyundai i40 930km from Sydney to Bris­bane on 40 litres of fuel with­out driv­ing slowly or in mis­ery: the tyres were not pumped up for less rolling re­sis­tance, the seat heaters were on max­i­mum, the dual-zone air­con was cir­cu­lat­ing, and the stereo was on

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