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