2008 Hyundai iLoad Review

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2008 Hyundai H1 iLoad Review & Road Test

Sure to prove popular with those who have nothing to prove.

Models Tested:

  • 2008 Hyundai H1 iLoad Cargo Van 2.4l petrol five speed manual - $29,990 (RRP)
  • 2008 Hyundai H1 iLoad Crew Van 2.5l turbo diesel automatic - $38,990 (RRP)


  • Metallic Paint $350; Twin Swing Tail Gate $550; Locking Differential $700; Nudge Bar $650; Tow Bar with Ball & Harness $550; Rhino Full Technicians Roof Rack System $1,260; Air Conditioning Curtain $185; Cargo Barrier $495

Diesel Engine a winner, Loads of Room, Built Tough & Simple Petrol Engine too weak, Exposed Wiring Loom on Barn Doors

CarAdvice Rating: (Petrol)

CarAdvice Rating: (Diesel)

- by Matt Brogan

When you think of heading out to buy your next work van, the choices are rather astonishing. It would seem there's a never ending array of wheel bases, roof heights and engine combinations to choose from, all of which soon enough start adding up to only one thing - a rather large bill.

Wouldn't it be nice if someone offered you a dependable, basic work vehicle which was not only cheap to purchase, but cheap to run, cheap to service and offered a warranty second to none? Now, someone has.

Hyundai have made a big impact on the large van sector this year with the introduction of their all new, Turkish built iLoad commercial and iMax passenger orientated van series.

iLoad Cargo Van in 'Crystal White'

Determined to offer the value associated with the brand whilst losing none of the durable and, dare I say it, unbreakable reliability this sector of vehicles requires, the i-Series vans are sure to prove popular among those who have nothing to prove.

All too often now the trades vehicle is either an over priced Euro offering that spends too much time in the shop, or a small car based utility that's more show pony than work horse. The iLoad on the other hand is neither of these things and instead promises to fill the gap with modest, reliable transport for just about any application.

The first of our contenders is the petrol powered Cargo Van. It's well built, easy to drive, surprisingly manoeuvrable, and although a little more gutless than its diesel cousin, is nonetheless fluid to drive and very stable, even at highway speeds.

The 2.4 litre DOHC four cylinder petrol develops 129kW @ 6,000rpm but lacks the ability to rev quickly with only 228Nm available from 4,200 revs. The result is an engine that is challenged when confronted with any considerable payload and struggles to perform well in traffic or on the open road, especially if hills are involved.

Sitting rather high in the semi-bonneted front the engine has one saving grace in that it drives the rear wheels giving a very positive feel through corners. The five speed manual offers a good spread of cogs and is rather light to use with a decent clutch helping things along considerably.

ADR fuel consumption tests claim 10.1 litres / 100km (combined), though in a week of driving - mainly around town and mainly unloaded - I found this very hard to believe. Our tests managed mid 12s and I'd dare say this would be even higher with a little weight on board.

iLoad Crew Van in 'Sleek Silver'

The middle (or third) seat offers only a lap type seat belt and is perhaps wide enough only for a skinny apprentice thanks to the floor mounted centre hand brake and is more useful with the tray flipped down offering small work area and two additional cup holders to those already offered in the dash. If you need to carry the team, Crew Van is definitely the pick of the pair.

A decent spread of creature comforts are offered as standard including remote central locking, AM/FM audio with single CD, power steering, air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, front and rear mud flaps and tilt adjustable steering. I'd like to have seen cruise control fitted, even as an option, and perhaps the inclusion of bluetooth given the vehicle's application.

Twin sliding side doors and optional rear barn doors (lift type standard) offer easy access to the cargo area which offers 2375mm long x 1620mm wide (1260 between the arches) x 1350mm high dimensions over a leaf sprung rear end giving a maximum 1055kg payload.

The barn doors' exposed wiring looms for the rear demister could pose an issue with objects catching them on entry/egress but are far easier to utilise than the giant lift gate and require far less parking space to open. Were it mine I'd be taping those wires down to avoid catching.

iLoad is available in petrol manual or diesel manual / auto.

Ten tie down points, a thick moulded rubber floor mat and enclosed side panels provide a spacious, usable area which could easily be fitted out with shelving or racks to suit almost any trade use imaginable. Courier drivers will appreciate the 11.2 metre turning circle and dual side access too.

Crew Van on the other hand offers a little more flexibility should your work crew involve more than one other bloke and / or you have a family to consider on the weekends. With an extra row of seating offering three additional seats, cargo space is of course compromised, but the ability to carry the troops means added flexibility.

Powered by a 2.5 litre turbo diesel developing 125kW @ 3,800rpm and a very hearty 392Nm from just 2,000rpm the common rail DOHC unit offers brilliant driving dynamics and superb flowing performance, far beyond that expected from a commercial orientated set-up. The fuel economy offered is also excellent coming in at 8.5 litres / 100km for the manual and 9.6 litres for the auto.

It is also a far better option not only for the benefits offered in terms of drivability and fuel economy, but for the flexibility to carry some extra weight. The CRDi engine offers 500kg greater towing capacity (up to 2,000kg - braked) and an extra 69kg payload, taking the total to 1,076kg.

Having driven both the manual and automatic diesel i-Series vans now, I'd have to say my pick is the manual variant. The auto tends to be indecisive on kick-down, often selecting two cogs back when one would have done, especially at 100km/h. It's an otherwise smooth an easy transmission, but the manual is, for this application, a far better choice given the spread of gears offered.

At the end of the day the iLoad is sure to become a popular alternative for trade and courier buyers not only for the price tag, but because it's simple, tough, well built and most importantly durable.

With Hyundai's ever growing reputation for well priced, good quality products, and the iLoad van series' combination of value and size, this new comer is an absolute winner.

  • iLoad Petrol Specifications:
    • Engine: 2359cc four-cylinder
    • Power: 129kW @ 6,000 rpm
    • Torque: 228Nm @ 4,200 rpm
    • Transmission: Five Speed Manual
    • Driven Wheels: Rear
    • Wheels: Steel 16" x 6.5"
    • Warranty: Five Years/160,000kms
    • Fuel Type: Regular Unleaded Petrol
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres
    • Fuel Consumption: 10.1 l (M)
    • Weight: 2,950kg (Gross)/1,943 (Tare)
    • Towing Capacity: 1,500kg (Braked)
    • Safety: ABS, EBD, Dual Front Airbag
  • iLoad Diesel Specifications:
    • Engine: 2497cc four-cylinder
    • Power: 125kW @ 3,800 rpm
    • Torque: 392Nm @ 2,000 rpm
    • Transmission: Five Speed Auto
    • Driven Wheels: Rear
    • Wheels: Steel 16" x 6.5"
    • Warranty: Five Years/160,000kms
    • Fuel Type: Diesel
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres
    • Fuel Consumption: 8.5 l (M)/9.6 l (A)
    • Weight: 3,230kg (Gross)/2,156 (Tare)
    • Towing Capacity: 2,000kg (Braked)
    • Safety: ABS, EBD, Dual Front Airbags