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Hyundai’s long-awaited replacement for the iLoad is ready to take on Toyota’s HiAce

12 Oct 2021

FOLLOWING a much-publicised six-month delay, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) is now stocking dealerships with its all-new Staria Load. 


Replacing the 14-year-old iLoad in Hyundai’s commercial vehicle line-up, the Staria Load, is available as of this month in two-seat Van or five-seat Crew Van formats with pricing starting from $45,740 plus on-road costs.


The Staria Load is available with twin sliding side doors as standard and the option of a top-hinged liftback or barn-door-style twin swing tailgate, the latter due toward the end of the year at no extra cost.


Given it carries a $3000 price premium over the cheapest automatic iLoad, the auto-only Staria Load introduces a range of safety and driver assistance technologies that weren’t available in Hyundai’s outgoing and outdated light commercial van. 


It adopts many of these technologies courtesy of a lighter, more rigid platform it shares with the Santa Fe SUV, which the brand says also gifts the Staria Load with a more car-like drive.


Offered in front-wheel drive only – and with a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine making 130kW/431Nm(+5kW/-11Nm compared to the outgoing 2.5-litre diesel) and paired exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission – the Staria Load features a solid beam rear axle and leaf sprung rear-end to provide significantly more cargo space than its predecessor.


Cargo space grows to 4935 litres (VDA) up from 4426L, meaning the Staria Load can accommodate three Euro-sized pallets (or two standard Australian pallets). 


The floor height has also been reduced from 614mm to 573mm with the side door aperture increasing by over 200mm (to 870mm). 


The rear aperture on Liftback models measures 1300mm wide by 1320mm high.


The load bed grows to 2607mm in length (+237mm), 1640mm wide (+20mm), and 1436mm tall (+96mm). 


Eight tie-down points provide maximum load security while felt board trim lines key areas of the walls to prevent cargo-inflicted damage.


Payload is listed at 1090kg with a braked towing capacity of 2500kg. Fuel consumption is listed at 7.0L/100km on the combined cycle while the turning circle grows to 11.9m (up 0.9m) by virtue of the Staria Load’s larger footprint.


The Staria Load adopts nearly all of Hyundai’s SmartSense active driver assist and collision-avoidance technologies as standard. 


Driver attention warning, forward collision-avoidance assist, haptic warning function, intelligent speed limit assist, lane-keeping assist, lane following assist, leading vehicle departure alert, parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, safe exit warning, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance-assist and blind-spot collision-avoidance assist are all standard, in addition to seven airbags. 


The Staria Load has yet to be tested by ANCAP.


A shipment of approximately 200 ‘Limited Release’ vans are available while stocks last. 


Priced from $45,240 (plus on-road costs), these variants miss out on many of the safety technologies listed above but is not expected to become a full-time part of the line-up.


The light commercial Staria Load also adopts many of the creature comforts found in its people-mover sibling, the Staria. 


These include black cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, 4.2-inch supervision instrument cluster, dusk-sensing headlights, keyless entry, Qi wireless phone charging, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity and AM/FM radio. 


The Staria Load rides on 17-inch steel wheels (to accommodate larger, uprated brakes) with a full-sized spare. Metallic paint is a $695 option.


Hyundai backs the Staria Load with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and lifetime service plan. Roadside assistance is included for the first 12 months and extended for another 12 months with each successive scheduled service. Service intervals are set at 12 months/15,000km (whichever comes first) and are priced at $360 each for the first five years.


The Hyundai Staria Load competes with rivals including the Ford Transit Custom 340S (from $43,290), LDV G10 (from $32,490), Mitsubishi Express GLX ($38,490), Peugeot Expert 150HDi ($39,990), Renault Traffic Pro ($37,390), and segment-leading Toyota HiAce LWB ($39,740) which accounts for 34.4 per cent of segment sales.

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