Double demerit points, largely desolate roads and barely any traffic leave me wanting one thing over the Christmas break – a commercial vehicle that isn't likely to encourage me to get into any trouble.
The CarAdvice Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series wasn't quite ready to go from its first round of mods and with the requirement that I lug my huge 80-litre Engel fridge/freezer around over the break, the 2018 Hyundai iLoad presented itself as the perfect solution.
Armed with the newly acquired CarAdvice auxiliary arkpak smart battery box, I had everything I needed to transport the required refrigerated goods to and from the various family Christmas festivities.
The arkpak is an exceptional piece of kit if you go off-road regularly, or camp away from power for a few days at a time. Fit a quality deep cycle battery into it, and you have a standalone power source, that you can charge from the cigarette lighter while you're driving in whatever vehicle you have, or via 240V mains power where you're at home.
We'll show you a little bit more about that in the coming months as we continue to set the 'Cruiser up for remote area travel. What it means in short, though, is that you don't need a 4WD set up permanently for power provision. The arkpak can be moved into any vehicle.
Yes, we – I – also had a 2018 Audi RS5 lurking around CarAdvice Sydney HQ, but we'll get to that in another story. Christmas, as we all know is crazy, and the ability to use loading zones, load in a bunch of different gear without worrying about space, and just benefiting from the flexibility of a commercial vehicle, means something like the iLoad really is the perfect companion.
As we discovered with our most recent review, the only real negative is the unladen ride, which can be a little harsh over poor surfaces. Oh, and the passenger seat belt latch, which is impossible to access unless you have tiny hands.
The cabin is excellent, Apple CarPlay worked faultlessly for me over the period, and the storage on offer up front is perfect for a vehicle you're going to spend plenty of time in.
For me, the other big factor making the iLoad so pleasurable to drive is the visibility and manoeuvrability, even with a solid-sided van like the one I had. The rear-view camera helps here, but the forward visibility is excellent thanks to the high seating position and broad windows and screen.
We keep saying it, but if you need this size van, you should be looking at the iLoad. When you couple the diesel engine, which is efficient and responsive, with the smooth automatic, and easy drive experience, the Hyundai iLoad mounts a compelling case for the tradie, delivery driver, or small business owner.
MORE: Everything Car Culture