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Hyundai vans score four in crash

However, of seven vans rated by ANCAP, just three, including the iLoad, have four-star ratings.

The others are the Mercedes-Benz Vito and Volkswagen Transporter. By comparison, the best-selling Toyota Hi-Ace gets a three-star rating.

ANCAP manager, Michael Case, said many work vans and other commercial vehicles still lacked proven lifesaving safety features like anti-skid brakes or electronic stability control. Few vans have them fitted as standard, he said.

"No commercial vehicles currently have a five-star rating, which requires excellent crash protection plus head-protecting side airbags and electronic stability control," Case said.

He praised the iMax and iLoad results but said other carmakers still need to lift their game. The iMax and iLoad were crashed at 64km/h to simulate an off-set head-on collision with another car. He is also urging businesses to put safety ahead of penny-pinching when purchasing work vehicles.

"It's a question of occupational health and safety," he said.

"The OHS requirements on employers to provide a safe work environment do extend to work vehicles and that often means the commercial vehicles we're talking about." Fleet managers no longer have any excuse to buy unsafe vehicles, Case said.

"ANCAP is seeing mixed safety performance in its recent crash tests of van-style vehicles and the Hyundai results are good to see," he said. "It has put considerable effort into improving the safety of its vehicles and the results reflect that effort."

Case also said parents who also use their work vans as family transport at weekends are risking their families' lives. "That's of particular concern," he said.

Both the iLoad and iMax get dual front airbags, anti-skid brakes and electronic brake distribution as standard. The iMax also gets stability control but it is still optional on the iLoad.