Get a load of this

The iLoad is a re­fined and well-built work­horse, writes Gra­ham Smith

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars -

HModel watch

YUNDAI reck­oned there was money to be made in vans — and why not, af­ter see­ing the Kia Pre­gio cut a swath through the mar­ket. IThe South Kore­ans trans­formed the lo­cal car busi­ness with their val­ue­for-money propo­si­tion and it stood to rea­son that the same could be done to the van mar­ket.

A quick scan of the monthly sales num­bers is enough to show that the Hyundai has in­deed had a ma­jor im­pact with its iLoad van. THOUGH the Kia Pre­gio had been a great sales suc­cess with its value for money, diesel en­gine, air­con­di­tion­ing, CD player and power win­dows, it was a rather crude de­vice that won few fans.

The Pre­gio’s diesel en­gine was old technology. The ex­haust emis­sion laws of this coun­try even­tu­ally caught up with it and Kia re­moved it from the mar­ket.

But in the time it was in the mar­ket it shook up the van seg­ment, rac­ing to sec­ond over­all be­hind the Toy­ota Hi­Ace, and its de­par­ture left a gap­ing hole in the mar­ket that ev­ery van maker looked to fill.

The Hyundai iLoad has come the clos­est to do­ing it. It was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult to take over from the Kia van be­cause the Pre­gio was very ba­sic and no one was build­ing any­thing sim­i­lar.

The only sim­i­lar­ity be­tween the Pre­gio and the iLoad was their coun­try of ori­gin. The Pre­gio was rough and ready but the iLoad was com­fort­able and re­fined and used mod­ern technology. It was sold in two mod­els, the van and the crew van.

The van had seat­ing for three in a well laid-out, com­fort­able and mod­ern, well-equipped cabin. The crew van had an ex­tra row of seats and could ac­com­mo­date six.

There was a choice of two en­gines, a 2.4-litre four-cylin­der petrol en­gine putting out 129kW at 6000 revs and 228Nm at 4200 revs, and a 2.5-litre com­mon rail tur­bod­iesel pro­duc­ing 125kW at 3800 revs and 392Nm at 2000 revs.

The petrol en­gine came bolted to a five-speed man­ual gear­box. There was no auto op­tion. The diesel could be had with the five-speed man­ual or a five-speed auto.

In stan­dard form the iLoad came with slid­ing doors on each side and a lift-up tail­gate at the rear, but there was an op­tion of barn doors that al­lowed it to be loaded us­ing a fork­lift.

The load space is cav­ernous. The iLoad van would take up to 5.3cu m of cargo weigh­ing up to 1100kg. The crew van a lit­tle less.

On the lot

PAY $21,000-$25,000 for the petrol van, or $22,000-$26,000 for the crew van vari­ant.

For the diesel en­gine add $3000-$5000.

In the shop

HYUNDAI’S build qual­ity has im­proved markedly in the years since the brand was launched in this

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