Car Review: Hyundai - i800  Series 08 (3 stars)

Hyundai's i800 is a capable people mover representing excellent value for money

There is a limited choice of vehicles on the market these days if you're after something really big. If you're the average family with the two kids and a dog you've got a wealth of vehicles to choose from - any more than that and it starts to get limited. Which explains the occasional Ssangyong Rodiuses you'll see on the road - they are nothing else if not capacious.

If you're after eight seats then luckily for you Hyundai have come to the rescue with the i800. It is cavernous inside, offering room for eight and their luggage too, making this Hyundai invaluable for the massive family or airport transfer business.

Unlike the Rodius, there is even a modicum of style on this beast of a car. The front end of the car has a cutesy, bulbous appeal along the lines of famed ogre Shrek. It looks modern, but it still looks like a huge 8-seater - and there will be no getting away from that whichever huge MPV you buy.

Carrying eight in reasonable comfort isn't the i800's only trick, either. Both rear benches can be split 60/40 and lowered and, when the rearmost seats aren't needed, the middle bench slides back and forth to create a massive amount of legroom for lucky passengers.

Those seats are comfortable even over longer distances, and the Hyundai rides quite well - there's no getting away from the i800's size when it comes to road and wind noise, but even these are kept to reasonable levels. This isn't a premium vehicle but the hard-wearing plastics inside the cabin are just the right side of cheap.

The only real problem with the i800's bulk are the squeaks and creaks you get over larger bumps and obstacles in the road - the MPV does suffer from a lack of torsional stiffness as a result of its hangar-like interior. Again, though, this is something to be expected in a vehicle of this size.

The i800 is pleasingly refined to drive - the steering and gear change are effortless and the acceleration just as smooth, but not rapid. The only engine on offer is a 2.5-litre turbo diesel which will return a respectable 33.2mpg - you won't want for anything out of this motor.

For a car costing £20,595 the i800 represents exceptional value - not just for what it's capable of, but for the excellent standard-fit list - and it deserves very strong consideration.

Hyundai i800 Series 08 StatisticsCar Reviews

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