HYUNDAI iLoad CRDi Se­ries 2

Deals on Wheels - - Van Comparison -

The Hyundai iLoad and van and iMax peo­ple mover copped an up­date ear­lier this year, re­sult­ing in the Se­ries 2 ver­sion of this pop­u­lar plat­form. A 7.0-inch touch screen with voice ac­ti­va­tion is now stan­dard, as is a rear view cam­era on mod­els with a lift-up tail­gate.

Side airbags are also now stan­dard fare for the Hyundai, and cruise con­trol is also now stan­dard on diesel auto ver­sions. It also copped a few bits and pieces to pretty it up a lit­tle on the out­side.

A 2.4-litre petrol en­gine mated to a six-speed man­ual is avail­able, but as a com­mer­cial propo­si­tion we’re more in­ter­ested in the diesel vari­ants.

So our iLoad was fit­ted with a 2.5-litre com­mon rail turbo-diesel donk that makes 125kW (168hp) and 441Nm when sit­ting in front of the op­tional 5-speed au­to­matic. Man­ual ver­sions with the same CRDI en­gine use a waste­gate turbo in­stead of the auto’s VGT, and cre­ate 100kW (134hp) and 343Nm.

The iLoad has a pay­load of 1098kg as an auto, and 1113kg in man­ual guise. But it only has a load vol­ume of just 4.42 cu­bic me­tres and is only avail­able in the one wheel­base. It’s kind of a one­size fits all ap­proach that means it has less space than some com­pet­ing SWB mod­els.

Dual slid­ing doors are stan­dard and barn doors are an op­tion on the rear. How­ever, as is typ­i­cal of this seg­ment, an Aussie pal­let will only fit into the rear of a barn door equipped iLoad as the side door open­ing is just 970mm. It’s worth not­ing though that you lose the re­verse cam­era if you go for the swing­ing rear doors.

The auto will tow a braked load of 1500kg, while the stick shift will tow 2000kg. Our test ve­hi­cle was the iLoad CRDi auto, which was fit­ted with the op­tional mesh cargo bar­rier and park­ing sen­sors.

The iLoad doesn’t have the op­tion of a bulk­head be­tween the cabin and the load area. The Hyundai’s cock­pit is roomy enough, and there’s a cen­tre seat that flips down into a small con­sole with cup hold­ers.

In iLoad guise, there’s more a sense of sim­ple func­tion­al­ity around the in­stru­ment clus­ter and con­trols. Stor­age is ad­e­quate much in the same

vein as the HiAce – you’ll prob­a­bly still end up with stuff float­ing around the cabin any­way. That said, the cen­tre stack and touch-screen give the grey in­te­rior a bit of a lift, and ev­ery­thing is wellplaced and easy to reach.

Once be­hind the tilt-ad­justable wheel, it’s easy to see why this van is run­ning a close sec­ond be­hind the in­ex­pli­ca­bly mar­ket lead­ing HiAce.

The driv­ing po­si­tion in the cloth trimmed seats is com­mand­ing and com­fort­able. And like other vans on the mar­ket that share a peo­ple mover plat­form, it feels less com­mer­cial than it ac­tu­ally is.

The 2.5-litre diesel is rea­son­ably quiet, but is a very will­ing per­former with lit­tle lag once the go-pedal is pushed, and it works very well with the five-speed auto. The de­cent whack of torque comes on tap at a very us­able 2000rpm, which again matches with the auto nicely.

The lack of a bulk­head be­tween the cabin and the load area means that there is quite a bit of road rum­ble from the rear-wheel drive plat­form, though a de­cent load in the back hushes things down quite a bit. Un­like the Toy­ota, the Hyundai is equally happy on the open road and around town, and it han­dles twists and turns very well, even when empty.

The iLoad is a com­fort­able and easy van to spend a work­ing day in. It’s a rip­per lit­tle van to drive even if it lacks the flair of its Euro ri­vals.

There are floor mounted tie down points in the cargo area, how­ever. These tie downs and their mount­ing bolts sit above the sur­face of the floor, which makes it easy to gouge and tear boxes and parcels when shuf­fling freight around.

Our test ve­hi­cle had a list price of $40,122.72 with op­tions, and comes with a five-year, 160,000km war­ranty.

Once be­hind the tilt-ad­justable wheel, it’s easy to see why this van is run­ning a close sec­ond be­hind the mar­ket lead­ing HiAce.

1. An op­tional mesh cargo bar­rier keeps the boxes in the back, but there’s only 4.4 cu­bic me­tres of space

2. There are plenty of tie downs in the back of the Hyundai. But those bolts will rip through boxes easy enough dur­ing a day’s work

3. The Hyundai has a plain but func­tional work

space.

4. The 124kW/440Nm diesel power plant in the iLoad has plenty of grunt when cou­pled with the 5-speed auto

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