Increased cargo capacity and passenger car levels of comfort, driveability and refinement are among Hyundai’s claims regarding its new STARIA-LOAD commercial van that went on sale locally in September priced from $45,740.
It will be available in either two-seat van or five-seat crew van configurations, with the option of a one-piece lift up tailgate or twin vertically split rear barn doors.
STARIA-LOAD is all-new from the ground up, based upon the same N3 passenger car platform as the 2021 Santa Fe.
According to Hyundai, this platform is lighter and more rigid than the outgoing iLoad, which combined with a new front-wheel-drive (FWD) layout, provides car-like refinement, handling and ride quality.
While the drive has moved from the rear to the front wheels, a solid rear axle and leaf spring rear suspension have been retained to manage heavy loads reliably, while the new platform and powertrain have enabled an increase in braked towing capacity to 2.5 tonnes.
Hyundai said STARIA-LOAD’s new platform and layout has not only increased cargo volume, but also made the space more usable, increasing key dimensions for a cargo area that can comfortably fit two Australian pallets or three Euro pallets, with an increased sliding door opening width for side forklift access.
Every dimension of the new vehicle is increased compared with its predecessor, along with a lower loading height.
As well as easier loading and unloading, the lowered floor provides 96mm of extra interior height for head room and taller items.
There are also eight tie-down points throughout, a variety of mounting points for accessories and felt board trim in key areas where objects may damage the walls.
Power comes from a 2.2-litre CRDi (common-rail direct-injection) turbo-diesel – delivering strong figures of 130kW at 3,800rpm and 430Nm of torque in a wide band between 1,500 and 2,500rpm – mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Hyundai claimed a fuel consumption figure of 14.3km/l (40.4mpg) but didn’t specify under what conditions this figure is achieved. Standard safety features abound including seven airbags including front centre – three more than iLoad – and Electronic Parking Brake with auto hold.
There are also a number of all-around visibility aids including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist and Surround View Monitor (lift-up tailgate versions only).
The list goes on to include Parking Distance Warning – front and rear, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance, Smart Cruise Control and Driver Attention Warning.
Occupant comfort and convenience are also well catered for with leather appointed steering wheel and shift lever, black cloth seats, dash storage and front ceiling trays, Qi wireless smart phone charger and an 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia display with multiple Bluetooth connection along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
STARIA-LOAD rides on 17-inch steel wheels and includes a full-size spare.