Get a load of this
The iLoad is a refined and well-built workhorse, writes Graham Smith
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