The Hyundai iLoad was launched in 2009 and was seen as a serious evolution in Hyundai’s lineup of light commercial vehicles. Launched in the middle of the big recession the iLoad was sold in pretty good numbers and its modern design combined with a flexible character managed to attract a few fans.
In Hyundai ’s favor reliability played a major role and also the generous five years warranty that comes as standard for the iLoad. The Hyundai iLoad is also priced pretty competitive at 22.500 (excluding VAT). The vehicle is available in crew and panel van versions and is based on the i800 passenger carrier which is equipped with 9 seats.
The Hyundai iLoad features a modern design with a bold stance underlined by the aggressive flared wheel arches. The front radiator grille is traversed by a horizontal chromed strip which bares the company’s logo in its center. It also comes with a thin chromed surrounding which gives it a stylish look.
The dynamic look of the vehicle is underlined by the sleek swept back headlights which come with integrated turn signals. The wagon versions feature a pair of fog lamps, which are neatly integrated into the lower section of the front bumper enhancing the modern design.
The iLoad’s contemporary looks are enhanced by striking character lines, which run down the length of the side panels. With twin sliding rear side doors, double 180 degree opening rear doors and a 1,062kg payload, the iLoad is more than capable of handling larger loads.
The rear lamp clusters wrap around the sides and group together the rear lights, reversing lights, direction indicators and reflectors.
The iLoad sits on 16” alloy wheels which are pretty nicely integrated into the fenders without looking too small when compared to the gargantuan size of the vehicle.
Inside, the iLoad puts practicality and flexibility in the first place. With a spacious cab and ergonomic dashboard design, the iLoad offers a pretty welcoming environment which copes great with its multiple applications. The panel van model comes with two front seats, while the crew van ads another three seats behind.
The interior design is pretty modern, but looks a bit dull for our tastes. The plastics are part of the third class as most vehicles in this segment but the build quality is at par with the competition and the 5 years standard warranty should be able to keep you far from any significant problems. Still, the overall levels of refinement are better than what you’d get in a comparable Renault Trafic , though they aren’t nearly as good as what the Volkswagen Transporter has to offer.
We also like those acres of space that are typical for this kind of vehicles and the generous airy feel that characterizes the whole cabin.
The knobs and buttons found within the center stack don’t feel exuberantly cheap or clunky, and we also like the dash mounted gear knob which falls easy into hand.
The passenger compartment of the crew van boasts twin sliding doors, which will come in handy in tight parking lots. There are also offered pop-out style windows for ventilation and extra visibility. The rear passengers won’t complain about leg- or headroom but the seats are a bit flat. The front seats are slightly more comfortable and offer better side and back support. For enhanced comfort the steering wheel is tilt adjustable.
The standard features include remote central locking, AM/FM audio with single CD, power steering, air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, front and rear mud flaps.
Take a look under the hood and you’ll find a 2.5 liter CRDi engine that develops a maximum output of 118 hp @ 3800 rpm and a peak torque of 343 Nm achieved between 1750-2500 rpm. The engine is mated on a standard five speed manual transmission that feeds power to the rear wheels.
The engine has very smooth performances and is responsive, with enough punch to keep the vehicle nimble even when fully loaded. Push the accelerator pedal and the Hyundai iLoad can reach a top speed of up to 154 kmph, which won’t win you any speed contest, but it’s a good figure for a boxy commercial vehicle.
The five-speed manual gearbox, is combined with a light clutch, and copes well with the utilitarian nature of the vehicle, as it features a shorter first gear which will come in handy when you need to deal with big payloads. The efficiency is among the best in the segment, with an average fuel consumption of 8.5 l/100 km.
Ride and handling
The Hyundai iLoad’s suspension is pretty flexible and copes well with the big payloads and also offers a pretty forgivable ride. Despite its tall stance, the Hyundai iLoad has also surprising cornering abilities with the body roll effect kept to a minimum. The steering however is way too vague and won’t reward you with any significant road feedback. At least the vehicle has a pretty tight turning radius of only 5.6 meters.
The stopping power is assured by large and powerful disc brakes available for both front and rear wheels. Standard safety equipment includes dual-front airbags, anti-whiplash head restraints, three-point inertia reel seatbelts, while the optional ESC and Traction Control are available as an option.
The latest iteration if Hyundai ’s LCV has anything it needs to make a compelling case for itself. The style it not the best in the business but it’s fairly modern and bold, coping great with the flexible character of the vehicle.
The cabin is also fairly comfortable and has anything it needs to keep its driver and passengers comfortable even for a long run. It’s true that the poor materials and cheap plastics can be found everywhere, but this is a common thing for this segment so we won’t complain too much about it.
You won’t have any major complains about the engine either. We can’t say that is the most nimble unit in its class, but it offers a good balance between performance and efficiency.
On the other hand, the handling could’ve been better and we would’ve liked to see the cruise control at least on the optional features list.
In a time when many consumers are trading power and comfort for a more affordable, economical and reliable option, the Hyundai iLoad blends perfectly. And despite competing in a hotly contested segment, this vehicle has the potential to help Hyundai to consolidate its position.