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The Top Gear car review: Hyundai i800
For:No other MPV can seat so many with such ease for so little
Against:It's a van. A literal van.
2.5 CRDi SE 5dr Auto
It may not look it, but the Hyundai i800 is a stripped-out racer. Really, it is. See, back in Korea, this van-derived people-lugger is sold as a...
What we say:
Simply enormous van-people-carrier thing from deepest Korea. Masses of room for eight, but sadly with all the on-road prowess you’d expect from something with the exterior dimensions of a bijou flat.
What is it?
The huge Hyundai i800 has eight proper seats and enormous amounts of room, and it’s excellent value for money. You’ll also wish you’d listened in that family planning class when you were at school.
Wallowy, to say the least. We’ve seen steam ships with sharper cornering. The sheer height of the i800 means it tips and leans through bends with all the alacrity of, erm, a ruddy great van. Easy enough to drive, though.
Do you like space? Do you like headroom? In that case, you’ll love the spacey-headroomy i800. With eight on board, there’s acres of space – even the rearmost three passengers have plenty of legroom. Back in Korea, they sell it as a 12-seater. Enough said.
It’s deceptively perky, given the size of the thing. OK, 14.5 seconds to 60mph isn’t going to win you many drag races, but the 2.5-litre common rail diesel is torquey enough to keep up with traffic. And don’t forget it’s rear-wheel drive. Drifting time? No. Really no.
On the inside
It’s as practical as a big van with eight seats, in fact. There’s a proper boot behind the rearmost row of seats, while the high-spec ‘Style’ version (that’s high-spec, not expensive) gets seriously useful rear parking sensors.
A bit plasticky, a bit rattly, but what do you expect for a sub-20 grand van with eight seats? Build quality should be sound, though, and Hyundai’s uber-warranty will see you through any significant problems.
30mpg-plus is achievable, while service and maintainance shouldn’t cause too many headaches. Be warned, though – it won’t depreciate well. Especially not with six kids kicking it to pieces from the inside out.