Proving how quickly Hyundai has matured as a company, the European arm released a great-looking i40 wagon at the Geneva show. Hyundai’s European operations made sure the i40 wagon hit the market before the sedan since wagons are much more popular in Europe.
Hyundai sales in Europe have strengthened in the past few years, and the Hyundai executives in Geneva have high expectations for the i40. The midsize market in Europe is quite important and the i40 should be a very competitive vehicle. Though the chassis may be related to our Sonata, the European operations have tuned it specifically for their market by changing the exterior, engine offerings, and suspension for local tastes.
As much as we like the looks of the i40, especially in the grille and front fascia, we’re not so sure Americans are ready for a Sonata wagon. Wagons simply don’t sell very well in our market and it can be prohibitively expensive to bring to market given the modest sales. Even if the i40′s classy wagon shape came to the states, we’d never see Hyundai’s 1.7-liter turbo-diesel engine that will likely make up the majority of European sales.
For more on all the world debuts from Geneva, including more photos, videos and information, be sure to click over to Automobile Magazine’s 2011 Geneva Motor Show coverage.