Hyundai Australia has expanded its range of oil-burnin' thrift-mobiles with the addition of an automatic transmission to the iMax CRDi', previously only available with a five-speed manual gearbox.
Hyundai's 'Selectronic' self-shifter also features a tiptronic mode, giving drivers of the big Korean people-mover a greater degree of control over ratio selection.
However, the added convenience of the auto comes at the cost of fuel economy, with consumption for the auto-equipped iMax falling to 9.8 litres of diesel per 100km, down from the manual's 8.5 l/100km. It's still a mighty impressive figure for a vehicle with such a large frontal area and hefty body, but buyers looking for the best possible efficiency may want to stick to the manual.
Gearbox aside, the iMax CRDi Selectronic is virtually the same as the rest of the iMax range. Packing eight seats, a sliding middle row, a generous luggage area and sliding rear doors on both sides, the iMax is primarily targeted at hospitality and corporate customers looking for a mid-size shuttle vehicle, although it should prove just as handy to parents "blessed" with a large number of offspring.
At just $42,490 AUD, the Hyundai iMax CRDi Selectronic also represents great value - the competing Mercedes-Benz Vito 115CDi auto and the Volkswagen Multivan 2.5 TDI auto are over $14,000 more.
Currently, sales of the Hyundai iMax are split 72/28 between the 2.4 litre petrol automatic and the 2.5 litre turbodiesel manual, however with the better fuel economy (the petrol model drinks 10.6 l/100km) and greater ease of use of the diesel's Selectronic 'box, the balance of power should swing towards the diesel models in the not-to-distant future.