The Rub

Deals on Wheels - - Van Comparison -

If space isn’t your fi­nal fron­tier, then it’s hard to go past the iLoad as a busi­ness propo­si­tion.

The avail­abil­ity of a torque con­verter auto widens the ap­peal of the Hyundai for fleet cus­tomers, and what it lacks in flair it makes up for in un­der­stated func­tion­al­ity. Im­age aside, it re­ally is an en­joy­able lit­tle van to drive.

The Toy­ota HiAce is a per­plex­ing ve­hi­cle. It re­ally does feel an­cient in com­par­i­son to the oth­ers, yet it re­mains the big­gest sell­ing van in this mar­ket seg­ment, with the iLoad a close sec­ond.

I can only put this down to the Toy­ota’s im­age of dura­bil­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity, as it re­ally is out­classed by vir­tu­ally all oth­ers from be­hind the wheel.

Try­ing to pick the bet­ter van be­tween the Tran­sit and the Trafic, how­ever, is a tougher ask. It’s like try­ing to de­cide the health­i­est glazed donut. Both ve­hi­cles are vir­tu­ally neck and neck on driv­abil­ity and ap­point­ments.

The Tran­sit gets brownie points on the stan­dard safety kit front. But from a busi­ness per­spec­tive, the Renault has a pretty at­trac­tive war­ranty – 200,000km over three years, ver­sus Ford’s 100,000km over the same pe­riod. Plus, Renault’s claimed fuel fig­ures are marginally bet­ter than the Ford’s: 6.2L/100km ver­sus 7.1L/100km.

Both the Ford and the Renault are se­ri­ously ham­strung by the lack of a full au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. While Europe’s pref­er­ence for stick shift ve­hi­cles re­mains, it’s not likely that we’ll see an auto in ei­ther of these vans any­time soon. Both man­ual trans­mis­sions, how­ever, are ex­cel­lent to op­er­ate.

The iLoad’s long war­ranty and capped price ser­vic­ing regime also make it an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion. Most com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors how­ever, will burn up war­ranty kilo­me­tres be­fore they reach the five-year war­ranty ex­pi­ra­tion. And it’s a great van to op­er­ate.

If you can han­dle the lack of space in the back, and are af­ter an auto, this is your ma­chine. A long wheel­base iLoad, if it ex­isted, would be a huge boon to Hyundai lo­cally. But if you want more space, I’d rec­om­mend reac­quaint­ing your­self with a gear­stick.

Out of this bunch, both the Tran­sit and the

Trafic are ex­cel­lent vans to drive with lev­els of equip­ment, com­fort and safety equiv­a­lent to most fam­ily cars.

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