Unlike some people movers which have become sleek seven-seat limousines, the Hyundai iMax is an affordable but well-equipped eight-seater that’s popular with big families and businesses needing to shift people about.
- This is a true eight seater, with the three rearmost seats able to seat three adults thanks to the boxy shell that provides good head and leg room throughout.
- Passenger access is easy via large sliding doors on each side. The middle row seats slide back and forth and fold forward to allow access to the rear seats, much like the front seats in a two-door car.
- The rear cargo area is a very decent 842-litres with the rear seats installed, which makes it popular as a hotel shuttle.
- The air conditioning works well in the large space and there are separate climate controls in the passenger cabin.
- It’s pleasant enough to drive for a big van, with comfortable captain-chair-style front seats with fold down armrests. A 7-inch touchscreen controls and displays standard functions such as phone, media with Siri or Google voice activation. The rear-view camera is very handy for a vehicle this size.
- While it looks big, it’s easy to drive and shouldn’t worry anyone who hasn’t driven a large van before. It’s only marginally bigger than large family cars and SUVs and fits into most car parking spots.
- The 2.5-litre diesel engine is very zippy even with a full passenger load and you get good response via the five-speed automatic transmission. The diesel costs $2500 more than the 2.4L petrol variant, but is the pick of the two with better torque and fuel efficiency – about 9L/100kms versus 11L/100kms.
- It’s one of the most affordable people movers on the market, starting at $39,990 for the 2.4L petrol version and topping at $46,490 for the 2.5-litre automatic diesel.
- Not as slick as its competitors, which offer more of a compromise between car and van. There’s also no luxury versions should you want to combine its practicality with style.
- Unlike competitors such as the Kia Carnival, the rear seat doesn’t fold down and isn’t designed to be easily removed meaning there’s little versatility should you need to transport anything other than people.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?
In terms of affordability not much beats it except for the Chinese-built LDV G10 which comes with a 9-seat version for $32,990. Other options include Kia Carnival, Toyota Tarago, Chrysler Voyager and Volkswagen Caravelle or Multivan.