Hyundai set an aspirational course with its mid-size sedan
THE market having made up its collective mind to downsize, mid-size models have come into play as never before. Car makers, hell-bent on getting a slice of the growing segment, had to go back to the drawing boards and produce more attractive cars.
As Hyundai amply demonstrated in 2010 with the i45 sedan, mid-sizers are no longer cars bought by people lacking the cash to go big. They’re now fully fledged aspirational models.
The i45 was up against some pretty tough competitors in the
form of the proven Mazda6, Holden Accord, Subaru Liberty and Toyota Camry.
Style was never one of Hyundai’s strengths until the new generation of models, of which the i45 is the flag-bearer.
Hyundai adopted a classy look for the i45 with long, sweeping lines that would have looked perfect on a coupe, let alone a four-door sedan.
Its thoroughly modern cabin provided comfortable accommodation for four adults, even in the rear seat, and beyond the roomy cabin it had a good-sized boot.
Buyers could choose from three levels in the i45 range, which began with the Active entry model, climbed to the better equipped Elite and then the range-topping Premium with the works.
The i45s performance came from a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, backed up by a conventional six-speed automatic transmission.
Unfortunately there was no diesel option for anyone who really wanted to save on fuel.
If anything let the i45 down it was its handling, which lacked the cornering poise and feel of far more accomplished rivals like the Mazda6 or Accord.
Gauging the longevity of any car is difficult— when it’s as new as the i45, even more so. Given Hyundai’s past reputation as a maker of cheap-and-cheerful models, some of which were problematic, it’s harder still to make a call.
But the Korean maker’s most recent history suggests that buyers can buy with a good degree of confidence that the i45 will deliver long and reliable service, as evidenced by the lack of owners’ complaints to Carsguide.
Hyundais cars are now well engineered and well built, a good start for any car that aims to be a quality product.
Hyundai recommends servicing the i45 every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, which is in line with most makers today. On that basis a car sold in 2010 should have had a minimum of two services, perhaps even three, so check the service record and make sure that has been done.
There have been no major issues with the i45. The only alert issued by Hyundai was in 2102, relating to a faulty switch terminal that could cause the brake lights to fail, and prevent the engine from starting and the cruise control from working. A new switch terminal rectified the problem.
Well-built, well equipped and good value for money, the i45 should be on every mid-sized shopping list.
Longing look: The i45’s sweeping lines would flatter a coupe