The Hyundai HD Series are the lightest trucks built by the company and are available with tree gross vehicle ratings, 4.5, 6.5 and 7.5 tonne. The vehicle is also available with two cab choices and long or short wheelbases.
The Hyundai HD45 is the smallest model in the HD range and is equipped a CRDi diesel engine that develops 80 hp with 167 Nm of torque.
Compared to other trucks in its class the Hyundai HD45 is starting to show its age and the build quality and the fit and finish are also behind other similarly spec’d trucks. On the other hand, the Hyundai HD45 was always appreciated for its cheap maintenance costs and a relatively affordable acquisition price.
The Hyundai HD45 features a cab over engine design with 4x2 axle configuration. The exterior style was sacrifice for functionality and the truck has a bulky looking cabin and a pretty plane appearance. The vertical front fascia is fitted with a cheap looking radiator grille that looks like it was placed as an afterthought. Hyundai tried to make it more appealing to the eye and give it a shiny chromed surrounding, but it only managed to make things worse.
The headlights however, look pretty good and feature a dynamic design. The light clusters are also fitted with integrated turn signals and the mains lights feature Multi Focus Reflection Technology for more precise light projection.
The front bumper has a pretty odd shape that doesn’t cope well with the rest of the vehicle. It can be fitted with two optional fog lamps which are mounted deep for preventing easy damaging in case of an impact.
Viewed from the profile, the Hyundai HD45 features a nice side character line which adds a dose of sportiness, to an otherwise pretty utilitarian design.
Judging by today’s standards, the interior is a big disappointment. The dashboard design is dated and features a cheap looking fake wood trim which only makes things worse. The plastics are part of the “hard” class and the build quality is light years behind compared to other trucks in the business.
On the other hand, the switches and buttons are located within easy reach and we don’t have any major complains about the overall ergonomy either. The analogue instrument cluster is pretty basic and looks like it was designed with 20 years ago. Despite its dated design however, it is fairly easy to read and clear.
The steering wheel is another piece of ancient design and is also a bit too thin to be hold with confidence. Luckily, the driver’s seat can be adjusted and comes with a convenient air suspension which somehow compensates for the lack of any lateral support.
The high driving position enhances the straight road visibility, while the big lateral windows offer a proper view of the sides. We also like the plate sized door mirrors which are up to the task and keep blind spots to a minimum.
The Hyundai HD45 cab offers space for up to three people at the front and even the middle passenger has plenty of leg- and shoulder-room. For improved comfort, the center seatback folds and forms a convenient multifunctional console with two cup holders and a useful flat surface. Moreover, the centre console includes storage bin, coin slot and two additional cup holders.
Needless to say, that the Hyundai HD45 is fitted with plenty of storage places and cubby holes to make your life on board easier. Our favorite storage is the over head console which provides deep, secure and capacious stowage for papers or maps without impeding free movement in the cab.
Engines and performance
The Hyundai HD45 is equipped with a D4BB Engine mated on a five speed manual transmission. The diesel unit is able to deliver a maximum power of 80 hp with a peak torque of 167 Nm achieved from as low as 1400 rpm. The engine isn’t the most nimble unit in its class and occasionally could act a bit sluggish when the truck is fully loaded. After a few struggles however, it will be able to get the job done and also keep its dignity untouched. Obviously we aren’t talking about sports cars, but with a maximum speed of 114kph the Hyundai HD45 offers a pretty good performance. The really good part of the Hyundai’s D4BB engine is its smoothness.
We also like the manual gearbox which is fairly responsive and smooth being able to cope pretty well with the utilitarian nature of the truck.
Servicing and other regular checks are also pretty easy to do thanks to a 50-degree tilting cab which provides quick and easy access to the engine compartment.
Ride and handling
To be ultra resistant the HD 45’s frame received a heat-treatment and was web strengthened in order to provide a strong and safe base for the arduous missions of the vehicle.
The high capacity axle and leaf suspension are combined with an air suspended cab to offer a surprisingly good ride and to maximize the load carrying capacity. We also like the power assisted steering which will serve you well at low speeds; while at high speeds will need only minor adjustments to keep the truck o a straight line.
The braking power is provided by large brake linings and tandem brake boosters which offer a good stopping power and a strong pedal feel.
Hyundai promotes the HD45 as being versatile enough for just about any conceivable application. With the proper configuration the truck will be able to do any kind of commercial job without major problems. Its cab over engine design and the relatively small exterior dimensions also give it a good maneuverability on the narrow city streets.
The real beauty of the Hyundai HD45 however, is that for many it will be just enough vehicle to provide the same payload capacity as other truck in the business, but with much lower operating costs.
It’s true that the engine lacks that lively character of other vehicles in the segment and that the overall build quality is far behind models from Renault or Nissan, but we are in the commercial vehicle segment and here things like comfort or speed aren’t that important as practicality and flexibility and the HD 45 has anything it needs to make a compelling case for itself.