Hyundai’s big boys, the iLoad, light commercial vehicle, and its sibling the iMax Shuttle, people mover, have joined an elite group in Australia after being awarded a four-star safety rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
The two van based vehicles were recently crash tested at the South Korean Government testing facility, KATRI, under ANCAP protocols and supervision.
ANCAP program manager, Michael Case, who oversaw the Korean tests, welcomed the results and acknowledged Hyundai’s efforts to produce safer commercial vehicles.
The only other similar vehicles in Australia to have a four star rating are the Mercedes-Benz Vito and the Volkswagen Transporter. The top selling LCV van, the Toyota HiAce, has only a three star rating.
Announcing the test results in Sydney today Mr Case called on all light commercial vehicle manufacturers to work urgently towards producing five-star ANCAP standard vehicles.
He acknowledged the work Hyundai had done in achieving such a high result with the iLoad/iMax twins and said the company was to be commended to taking work place safety so seriously.
He said while vehicle manufacturers put a lot of effort into achieving the highest possible safety standards in passenger vehicles, work vehicles were often overlooked.
“ANCAP is seeing mixed safety performance in its recent crash tests of van-style vehicles and the Hyundai results are good to see, given the importance of light commercial vehicles in transporting goods and people in and around Australia.
“These vans are the drivers of Australian small business and occupants should be afforded the same levels of safety as private cars,” Mr Case said.
“Hyundai has put considerable effort into improving the safety of its vehicles and the ANCAP results reflect that effort.
“Occupant safety should be an important consideration for fleet managers who no longer have any excuse to buy three-star vehicles or worse.
Questioned by CarAdvice he said he could see the situation arising where fleet managers were forced to consider only four-star vehicles, as they were obliged to provide the highest possible level of safety for workers under Occupational Health and Safety legislation.
“Of the seven box-style vans now rated by ANCAP, three earn a four-star rating – the iLoad, the Mercedes-Benz Vito and the VW Transporter.
“No commercial vehicles currently have a five-star rating, which requires excellent crash protection plus head-protecting side airbags and electronic stability control.”
Dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic brake distribution (EBD) are standard on both the iLoad and the iMax.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is standard on the iMax, while the iLoad has ESC standard in New Zealand but optional on the Australian market.
Mr Case said the 64km/h frontal offset test was conducted in South Korea under the supervision of ANCAP and was also observed by officials from EuroNCAP and JapanNCAP, making it possibly the most highly observed crash test ever held.
Hyundai’s Director of Sales and Marketing Kevin McCann said, “We’re tremendously proud of the result.”
“While we’ve always known that our semi-bonneted design, with more ‘real estate’ to engineer in crumple zones, affords occupants much greater protection than is possible with straight forward control (cab-over) style vans, it’s great to see our conviction vindicated by ANCAP’s rigorous and independent test regimes.”
“People like the fact that they get all the power and torque they want from the 2.5 litre Common Rail Direct injection turbo Diesel, while not missing out on fuel efficiency,” Mr McCann explained.
“And the 2.4-litre petrol engine is also very frugal, something that’s very important nowadays. Other reasons for ownership pleasure and satisfaction include the payload capacity, up to 1132kg, and our five-year warranty.”
He said the award-winning Hyundai iMax and iLoad are extremely well specified for the price, from $29,990* for the iLoad and $36,990* for the iMax.
Both offer a high level of specification with ABS and EBD standard across the range, dual front airbags, keyless entry, alarm, height-adjustable seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters for front seat passengers, tilt steering, air conditioning, rear wiper, auxiliary input for both iPod® and MP3 players, sliding doors on both sides to maximise ease of cargo or passenger access and optional locking differential for use on muddy building sites.
The iLoad van and crew van run a leaf spring rear suspension more suited to commercial loads, whereas the iMax shuttle has a five-link coil spring arrangement that offers a more comfortable ride for those in the rear seats.
It wasn’t all good news for the Hyundais as Mr Case said; “ANCAP noted the iLoad van has a centre front seat that has a two- point seat belt and lacks the protection of an air bag, offering inferior protection compared to the other front passenger seat”
ANCAP also recorded a disappointing pedestrian protection rating for the iLoad of one star out of four.