2012 Hyundai iLoad 2.5 CRDi Automatic Review Photo:
2012_hyundai_iload_2_5_crdi_diesel_automatic_review_01 Photo: tmr
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2012_hyundai_iload_2_5_crdi_diesel_automatic_review_08 Photo: tmr
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2012_hyundai_iload_2_5_crdi_diesel_automatic_review_03 Photo: tmr
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What's Hot
Sizable load area, dual sliding doors.
What's Not
No cruise control, cabin noise.
Plenty of load-carrying ability for less dosh than the competition.
Tony O'Kane | Oct, 14 2012 | 10 Comments


Vehicle Style: Light commercial van
Price: $36,990 (plus on-roads)
Fuel Economy claimed: 8.8 l/100km | tested: 7.9 l/100km



The unexpected iLoad van has been kicking goals for Hyundai.

For years, Toyota’s HiAce has dominated the van segment. The iLoad, however, has overtaken the Toyota’s sales on more than one occasion this year, and the two vans are currently in a close battle for dominance of the segment.

For 2012, Hyundai has introduced some minor tweaks to the iLoad and iMax range, boosting efficiency of the 2.5 litre turbodiesel engine while maintaining power and torque outputs.

We figured it was a good excuse to check out what might possibly be the best-selling van of 2012.



Quality: It’s a commercial van built to a price, so keep your expectations low here. Most things have a solid, durable feel, but plastics are cheap, hard and not very appealing to look at

The cargo area floor is lined with a thick and hard-wearing vinyl, but the junction between this and the cockpit carpeting is unfinished and looks messy.

It might only be a van, but that doesn’t mean Hyundai should get away with neglecting little details like these.

Comfort: The seating position is tall and upright, which affords the driver good forward-vision. Annoyingly though, the steering wheel only adjusts for rake and not reach.

The iLoad van we tested came with the standard three-seat configuration, however you’d need to be a masochist to willingly subject yourself to the centre position. The centre backrest is extremely firm, there’s no headrest, you only get a lap belt and the centre stack intrudes on leg room.

Equipment: It’s slim pickings here. The iLoad’s only concession to luxury is the provision of manual air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors and steering wheel audio controls.

There’s no trip computer, no cruise control and no auto-on wipers or headlights. Happily though, Bluetooth telephony and audio integration is standard, and a USB audio input is provided.

Tradies take note: only one 12-volt power outlet is provided, and does double-duty as the cigarette lighter.

Storage: The iLoad’s roomy load area measures in at 2375mm long, 1620mm wide, 1350mm high and with 1260mm between the rear wheel arches - enough to fit any ISO pallet as well as an Australian Standard pallet.

In fact, two of the latter should fit inside the iLoad’s cargo bay - albeit with just 45mm to spare.

The iLoad is one of the longest non-LWB commercial vans available, but despite this the Toyota Hiace has a substantially longer load area (2930mm).

However, with the LWB Hiace having just 1120mm between its rear wheelarches, the iLoad comes out on top for load-carrying versatility.

Owners will also appreciate the ten tie-down hardpoints in the iLoad’s floor, not to mention the dual sliding side doors. Our tester had a conventional top-hinged tailgate, but side-hinged rear barn doors are available as an option.



Driveability: Curiously, the iLoad’s 2.5 litre turbodiesel inline four has a lot more power and torque when mated to the optional automatic.

While the standard six-speed manual makes do with 100kW and 343Nm, the five-speed auto gets 125kW and a whopping 441Nm of torque.

Granted, the auto’s peak torque is available over a narrower rev range than the manual (2000-2250rpm, versus 1500-2500rpm), but with nearly a hundred more Newton-metres the automatic is the hands-down winner if you intend to haul heavy cargo.

We had no big complaints with the five-speed auto. While the loads we carried weren’t anywhere close to the iLoad’s 1098kg maximum, we found the iLoad’s drivetrain and powertrain coped easily with carrying a bit of weight.

In automatic trim, the iLoad diesel can tow 1500kg behind it on a braked trailer, and 750kg unbraked.

Refinement: The iLoad’s diesel is fairly smooth for a commercial powerplant, although quite noisy.

The absence of a partition between the cabin and cargo area also amplifies noise, and tyre roar is particularly loud at highway speeds.

Suspension: With a leaf-sprung solid rear axle, the iLoad sacrifices handling in favour of load-carrying ability.

It’s jittery and bouncy when unladen, but throw a few kilos over the rear axle and the ride settles down markedly.

With all of the iLoad’s drive going to the rear wheels, traction also improves when more weight is carried. Some FWD vans can struggle for grip when carrying a heavy load in wet conditions, but no so the iLoad.

Steering is fairly light: it’s easy to wind the wheel from lock to lock. A turning radius of 11.2m is fairly tight for this kind of vehicle, and no wider than most large passenger cars.

Braking: The brake pedal has a small amount of dead travel near the top of its stroke, but has an otherwise smooth and linear engagement, with solid braking power from the all-disc system.



ANCAP rating: Four stars.

Safety features: The driver and front left passenger are protected by three-point seatbelts and dual front airbags, but the centre seat only gets a lap seatbelt and there’s no side airbag protection.

ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution is standard, but stability control and traction control are - disappointingly - cost options.



Warranty: 5 years/160,000km.

Service costs: Under Hyundai’s iCare capped price servicing scheme, the first three scheduled services for the iLoad CRDi cost $349. Service intervals are set for every 12 months/15,000km.



Toyota HiAce LWB 3.0D auto ($40,190) - A solid and dependable choice, but the HiAce’s 100kW/300Nm turbodiesel 3.0 litre lacks both power and torque compared to the Hyundai.

It’s less versatile too, with a smaller gap between its rear wheel arches preventing the Hiace SWB from carrying common pallet types. Its maximum payload of 970kg is also less than the iLoad’s

Scheduled services under Toyota’s Service Advantage scheme are markedly cheaper at just $170 for the first six, but that’s not quite enough to compensate for the Hiace’s higher purchase price. (see Hiace reviews)

Volkswagen Transporter SWB TDI340 DSG ($40,990) - The SWB Transporter has a cargo area slightly wider and taller than the iLoad’s, and just a smidge shorter.

It’s expensive though, and features like dual sliding doors and side airbags aren’t standard. Stability control is on the standard spec list, however.

With 103kW and 340Nm, the Transporter has more grunt than the Hiace. However, being FWD it can struggle with heavy loads in greasy conditions. (see Transporter reviews)

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.



The Hyundai iLoad is a good all-rounder, and it’s easy to see why it’s giving the HiAce a run for its money in the showroom.

A more versatile load area, double sliding-doors as standard and the best warranty of a commercial van make it prime pickings for tradies. It’s also priced to undercut its key rivals by a healthy margin.

Things could be better though. Stability control and side airbags should be standard by now, and the lack of cruise control is a real pain on the highway.



iLoad 3-seat Liftback Van

  • 2.4-litre Petrol - five-speed man - $29,990
  • 2.5-litre CRDi Diesel - six-speed man - $34,990
  • 2.5-litre CRDi Diesel - five-speed auto - $37,490

iLoad 6-seat Liftback Crew Van

  • 2.4-litre Petrol - five-speed man - $31,990
  • 2.5-litre CRDi Diesel - six-speed man - $36,490
  • 2.5-litre CRDi Diesel - five-speed auto - $38,990

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.

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