Iload is rising star of NZ van market
HYUNDAI’S ILOAD TICKS ALL THE MID-SIZED VAN BOXES WITH good carrying capacity, ease of loading, a decent amount of pulling power and good fuel economy.
Its driving position and cabin refinement, comfort and low noise levels make for a pleasant workplace for people who spend their day in the driver’s seat.
And those factors have combined with better availability to put the Korean van into second place on the NZ market, behind the Toyota Hiace.
Hyundai sold 1012 iloads in 2016, leapfrogging the Ford Transit; by the end of April this year, it was still in second place with 371 sales to the Ford’s 253. The Hyundai is running 119 sales ahead of the same period of 2016 when it retailed 252 vans. The freshen-up it received in 2016 has clearly helped boost sales.
The make-over included a facelift and some worthwhile tech upgrades.
Its user-friendly seven-inch touch-screen incorporates Apple Carplay and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming capability, and displays the high-resolution reversing camera that has replaced the previous rear view mirror-mounted display screen.
We’ve never been big fans of reversing cameras displaying in the mirror as they’re too small and the mirror is susceptible to glare, but many manufacturers continue to fit them.
There’s also a useful fold-down centre armrest that incorporates a handy storage area and two cup-holders, and there are cup holders that retract into the dash panel too.
A further enhancement has been made to the lighting system, where the headlights are constantly on.
Strictly speaking, it’s not a Daytime Running Lamp (DRL) system in the true sense, where LEDS are generally used.
But it does make the vehicle more visible on the road, so it’s a welcome safety upgrade to the four star Ancap-rated iload/imax range.
With 4.4 cubic metres of cargo space, the iload isn’t the most cavernous mid-sized van, but with a floor that measures 2450mm long by 1260mm wide between the wheelarches, there’s ample room to cart eight by four sheet building products.
And with good access via the tailgate or twin sliding side doors, loading and unloading is made easy. To secure the load, there are 10 tie-down points.
For trade crews with a need to seat more, the iload can be optioned with a second row of seats, providing for seating for five, although obviously, that reduces cargo space.
The iload’s 2497cc common-rail direct-injected turbodiesel fitted to our test vehicle delivered 125kw of maximum power at 3600rpm and produced its peak torque of 441Nm between 2000rpm and 2250rpm.
On iload manuals, the similar capacity common-rail diesel engine produces 100kw at 3800rpm and 343Nm of torque between 1500 and 2500rpm.
A manual iload has a tow rating of 2000kg, and the automatic, is rated at just 1500kg.
Though the basic vehicle has been around since 2009, the upgrades have added some useful high-tech equipment, and the cosmetic changes have provided a new fresh look. Gone are the days where a van was a bare-bones shed on wheels. The facelift and spec upgrade have resulted in a $1000 price increase for the iload, so retail pricing begins at $48,990 for the manual, with the automatic carrying a $50,990 sticker price.