A van at heart, Hyundai released the iLoad as a people mover and renamed it the iMax. An eight-person carrier, the Hyundai iMax is one of the larger people movers on the Australian market that we've looked at.

The Radosavics, a CHOICE voting member family with three kids aged 15, 13 and two, took the iMax for a ride to the Central Coast of New South Wales and on a day trip into the city.

The Radosavic family says:

We found this car roomy enough for the whole family; in fact it may be suitable for a large extended family of five or more, or at least four kids.

It's wide and has ample legroom behind the driver's seat and also has plenty of height for the tall members of the family. Controls were far enough out of reach for the kids and the child seat anchors were easy to locate. The luggage room was big enough for prams and nappy bags combined.

The car itself is minimalist in its interior, but the steering controls were handy for radio and Bluetooth. We sorely missed storage space for the driver's side, but there were enough nooks and crannies for the passenger side. In future iterations we would prefer some kind of console between the front passenger and driver so it has some storage room for your everyday items like wallet and phone.

We really liked the dual zone air conditioning and the combination of sitting high above traffic and being able to see down side windows made visibility when changing lanes excellent. It was also easy to manoeuvre around an underground car park. It's a relatively comfortable drive.

CHOICE says:

The steering isn't particularly direct and the car could really do with wider and better quality tyres. The suspension doesn't feel rough or uncomfortable. It's the heaviest people mover we've reviewed so far at 2.23t but still has enough power for overtaking.

We were impressed by the fuel economy.

The individual armrests for driver and passenger are appreciated, but the seats are flat, firm and get uncomfortable very quickly. We were disappointed the back row of seats didn't fold down, but there is still a lot of luggage room.

Rear visibility is reduced by the three headrests in the back. Unlike the previously reviewed Toyota Prius V and Honda Odyssey, this is definitely a car designed to carry a lot of people with room to spare.

There is a lot of road noise entering the cabin, and the diesel engine was noisy even at idle, sounding very busy on acceleration. The mostly plastic interior wasn't unpleasant. The air-con fan is noisy and struggled to keep the temperature down at only 26 C° outside.

The verdict

Both CHOICE and the Radosavic family agree that this is a good car for a large family. It has lots of luggage room and seating, and its fuel economy is good. However, the Radosavic family wouldn't make the jump to the iMax because they prefer a seven-seater for getting around in the city. They found it more of a converted van than a car. Our CHOICE tester didn't really enjoy the engine or road noise entering the cabin, and the seats were uncomfortable.


Cost: from $39,990

Contact: www.hyundai.com.au

Fuel usage claim vs measured per 100km: 9.0L vs 8.9L

Acceleration to 100km/h: normal 11.5s, economy 12.3s

Braking distance from 60km/h: 17.4m

ANCAP safety rating: 4 stars out of 5