Hyundai’s new iLoad van faces stiff competition against established rivals such as the Ford Transit, Vauxhall Vivaro and Volkswagen Transporter.
However, when cost-cutting is very much a focus in today’s financial climate, the iLoad may have the answer.
Its primary appeal will be its low running costs, coupled to its high level of standard equipment.
Hyundai offers a three-seat and a six-seat crew cab, although only the three-seat version is being stocked at its network of 140 dealers.
The three-seat version comes in Classic or Comfort specification, while the Crew Van comes in Comfort specification only.
The standard five-year, 100,000-mile warranty will also position it well against its rivals, while giving Hyundai the chance to boost its fleet and business sales, as a medium panel van alongside a comprehensive modern car line-up presents a much broader line-up to attract business customers.
At £13,595 (excluding VAT and on-the-road costs), the iLoad Comfort comes with twin side-loading doors, air conditioning, electric windows and mirrors, central locking, a CD stereo with aux-in connectivity, height adjustable steering column and a full-size, glazed steel bulkhead.
Hyundai has set itself a target of the iLoad accounting for 1% of overall sales in 2009 – equivalent to around 300 units. Hardly massive, but it’s a start for the manufacturer on the commercial vehicle side.
Behind the wheel
What is vital in today’s market is a modern, fuel-efficient diesel engine and Hyundai’s iLoad delivers – its 2.5-litre common-rail engine offers car-like performance, yet is more than up to the job of hauling loads up to 1,062kg.
Also on the plus side is its rear-wheel-drive layout, which provides high levels of traction with a load on board as the driven wheels are directly beneath the weight.
The lack of driveshafts to the front wheels also improves manoeuvrability – the iLoad boasts a turning circle of just 5.6 metres.
Standard safety features include twin airbags, a full-size steel bulkhead, height adjustable seatbelts with pre-tensioners, and ABS with electronic brake force distribution.
The iLoad offers generous specification at a highly competitive price. And when it’s backed-up by a five-year warranty, with cover against mechanical defect up to 100,000 miles, its appeal is extended further.
Model: 2.5 CRDi
Max power (bhp/rpm): 114/3,800
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 253/1,750
Gross vehicle weight (kg): 3,160
Payload (kg): 1,062
Load volume (cu m): 4.3
Fuel consumption (mpg): N/A
Price (ex-VAT): £13,595