Hyundai i-Max review
Joel Helmes has filed this Hyundai i-Max review.
Forget the rest; if you have a family (or are expecting) then the Hyundai i-Max is best.
I think I’m perfectly placed to make that assessment given I have two children aged 3 and 5.
That means my wife and I have gone through the baby stage and now we’re in the kindergarten and school phase.
Over the past nearly six years we have moved the girls around in dozens of vehicles, either manufacturers press cars, rental cars or our own.
This allows you to get a good idea of which car features and designs help, and which elements hinder the lives of often stressed-out parents.
And after having the i-Max diesel for a week I’m happy to declare that if you have young ones this is the car you want.
Starting at the back of the vehicle the storage area is absolutely massive, perfect for a pram or two, groceries and all the other things you’ll end up carrying.
Just as importantly however the floor height is very low and that means getting items such as heavy prams in and out is easier than in a 4×4.
There’s also no boot “lip” meaning you don’t have to lift the pram over something to get it in like you do with a hatch or sedan boot.
Also you get a huge tailgate which doubles as a roof to keep you dry if you’re utilizing this area as a change table – trust me you will!
Access to the rear passenger area is through two huge sliding doors.
What’s the advantage of sliding doors?
Well when you first try to put a screaming and kicking two year old in a regular cars back seat in a crowded shopping centre car park you’ll find out.
Best of all because of the i-Max’s high roof line you can actually jump in as well and this means when you’re strapping them in you are out of the weather.
You then don’t have to even get out again because you can just simply slip into the driver’s cabin through the big gap between the front seats – too easy!
Once on the road you can give the kids (and any other passengers) the exact temperature they want with separate climate control adjustments (rear temperatures can also be adjusted in the back but knobs are on the roof and out of reach of little fingers).
It was also great to see the i-Max is fitted with floor vents to help keep rear passengers feet warm.
Another great aspect in the back of the i-Max is the fact that the windows don’t open, that means you have complete control over what happens from up in the front cabin.
Another baby and kid friendly inclusion is the generous number of storage areas around the cabin.
No wonder my wife and kids all gave the i-Max their tick of approval and didn’t want me to take it back!
But I hear you ask is the i-Max all about the children?
No it’s not; it’s actually a real pleasure to drive thanks mainly to the 2.5 litre turbo diesel engine under the bonnet.
Matched with a smooth five speed auto it delivers 125kW and a mammoth 441Nm.
During my week with the i-Max I had the opportunity to ferry around six business colleagues and even on serious hills the i-Max just ploughed away without a fuss.
Interestingly they all commented on how nice it was to ride in even after a two hour stint in the back.
Fuel economy is very reasonable in the i-Max at a combined 9.0 litres per 100.
From a driver’s perspective the vehicle handles remarkably well, the turning circle is extraordinarily good, and the ride is very pleasant.
Best of all visibility from the high seating position and large windows is sensational and the big wing mirrors just add to the ease of moving the i-Max around in traffic.
The roof line is about 165mm higher than the Kia Grand Carnival and this does make it easier to move around inside, and helps get you that higher seating position too.
Overall the cabin feels really well put together, yes there is some hard plastic around but generally speaking everything looks and feels quite nice.
The only area where I could probably take some marks off the i-Max is that even in the top of the range model neither a rear-reversing camera, satellite navigation or cruise control are available even as an option.
It also comes with just a 4-star ANCAP safety rating (same as the Grand Carvinal).
But overall there are just so many plusses and with an extremely reasonable price tag it’s hard not to have a little love for the very impressive Hyundai i-Max.
NUTS & BOLTS
Engine: 2.5 litre four cylinder turbo diesel delivering 125kW and 441Nm.
Transmission: 5 speed automatic or six speed manual.
Warranty: 5 years.
Economy: Urban – 11.8L, Extra urban – 7.5L, Combined 9.0L
Price: From $37,290 to $42,490