The big Kia is not the only Korean bus for the big­ger fam­ily. STU­ART MARTIN runs the mea­sur­ing tape over two of them

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -


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.

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