HYUNDAI IMAX SHUTTLE SLX CRDI
The big Kia is not the only Korean bus for the bigger family. STUART MARTIN runs the measuring tape over two of them
The iMax doesn’t fall short — 16-inch alloys, full-size spare, Bluetooth and USB link, steering wheel phone and audio controls, six speakers, auto locking, power front windows, suede/cloth trim, aircon with rear controls. Middle row lacks wind-down windows and it’s four airbags shy of the Kia. Resale value is 59 per cent.
Driving the rear wheels is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder (125 kW/441Nm) with less power but more torque than the Kia when teamed with the auto — the six-speed manual drops 25kW/98Nm. The auto diesel iMax claims 9.0L/100km from the 75Ltank.
At 5m long and 1.9m wide and two tonnes, it’s a big box. Absence of design flair translates to a stack of space. The cabin is useful without being luxurious — the middle seat row slides but neither it or the third row can be removed, limiting load capability. Luggage space is still well above the segment average. Its light commercial roots are betrayed by the pop-out rear windows.
Four crash stars for the iMax despite the fact that there are only two airbags (that LCV heritage shines through again) but there are ABS, stability control, reversing sensors (but no camera, even as an option), as well as lap-sash belts for all occupants. Rugrats get child-seat anchor points only on the second row and there’s a full-size (drop-down external) spare.
If you need to cart adults and kids on a regular basis then Hyundai’s offering is a good compromise. A sedate “old-school” bus to drive, it becomes a little less daunting with familiarity but at nearly 2m tall it’s not as carpark friendly as its Kia second cousin. Heftier but torquier than the Carnival, it’s not difficult to get ticking along in traffic, but low-speed manoeuvring would be easier with a camera teamed with the sensors.