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Ford Transit Custom vs Hyundai iLoad vs Toyota HiAce LWB comparison review

The Transit Custom is more than a worthy competitor to the Toyota HiAce.

The top three contenders in the local medium-sized (2.5 to 3.5 tonne GVM) commercial van class are the Toyota HiAce followed by the Hyundai iLoad and Ford’s Transit Custom.

Although Toyota has traditionally enjoyed sales dominance of this popular LCV segment and continues to do so with its latest sixth-generation HiAce, the iLoad and Transit Custom are more than worthy competitors hungry to eat into its sales lead.

So, how do these three top contenders measure up in a side-by-side comparison? We recently did just that by combining all of our most recent road test activity into one light commercial van review.

Value for money

The Toyota HiAce LWB, with 2.8 litre turbo-diesel engine and six-speed auto, has a list price of $45,240. That’s higher than its closest rival, the Hyundai iLoad, with 2.5 litre turbo-diesel and optional five-speed auto at $42,710 and the Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB, with 2.0 litre turbo-diesel and six-speed auto, at $44,990.

So, on list price alone, the iLoad is a clear winner. However, value for money is not measured purely by a vehicle’s purchase price, because you have to weigh-up other important factors like safety in which the Hyundai lags behind its more expensive rivals.

Even so, these hard-working vans offer broadly similar standard equipment levels as shown in the table below which highlights the most significant features.

 

Toyota HiAce LWB Auto

Hyundai iLoad Auto

Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB Auto

Auto headlights

Yes

Yes

Yes

Halogen DRLs

Yes

No

Yes

Air conditioning

Yes

Yes

Yes

Central locking

Yes

Yes

Yes

Keyless entry

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cruise control

Yes

Yes

Yes

Media screen

8.0-inch

7.0-inch

8.0-inch

Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth

Yes

Yes

Yes

Multi-info driver display

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tilt and reach adjustable steering

Yes

Yes

Yes

Leather accented steering wheel

Yes

No

Yes

Driver inboard armrest

No

No

Yes

Power windows

Yes

Yes

Yes

Power door mirrors

Yes

Yes

Yes

Number of seats

Two

Three

Three

Wheels

16-inch steel

16-inch steel

16-inch steel

Spare tyre

Full-size

Full-size

Full-size

Front brakes

Disc

Disc

Disc

Rear brakes

Disc

Disc

Disc

Colour choice

One

Three

100-plus

 

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

8

Hyundai iLoad

7

Ford Transit Custom

9

Design

Although they compete in the same weight division, the HiAce, iLoad and Transit Custom each have enough uniqueness in their styling that they can be easily identified.

Looks are subjective, of course, but we reckon the Transit Custom has the most attractive styling of the three. In fact, we reckon it’s the best-looking mid-sizer on the market with its distinctive trapezoidal grille, slender swept-back headlights and wedge-shaped character lines flowing all the way to the tail that give it such a rakish and purposeful look. The added bonus is that this visual appeal does not come at the expense of practicality.

The Ford has the most attractive styling of the three (Transit Custom Sport 320L LWD pictured). The Ford has the most attractive styling of the three (Transit Custom Sport 320L LWD pictured).

The Transit Custom is also the only one of these three that comes as standard with a steel bulkhead that separates the cabin from the cargo bay. And the HiAce differs from the three-seater iLoad and Transit Custom by offering seating for only two with walk-through access to the cargo bay.

They all use coil-spring strut front suspension, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel disc brakes and leaf-spring rear axles. However, the Transit Custom is also unique in using front-wheel drive while its HiAce and iLoad rivals adhere to more traditional rear-wheel drive.

The HiAce Crew Van in metallic grey Quicksilver. The HiAce Crew Van in metallic grey Quicksilver.

One advantage of RWD is often a tighter turning circle and that’s evident in the chart below. Although the Transit Custom has the shortest wheelbase and length of this trio, it also has the largest turning circle by more than half a metre. RWD also has an inherent traction advantage due to dynamic weight transfer from the front wheels to the rears under acceleration, which is an engineering tradition that Toyota and Hyundai want to preserve.

For the vast majority of work requirements, you wouldn't notice any difference. However, if your work involves hauling and/or towing heavy loads on compromised surfaces, particularly up steep inclines that can also become wet or boggy, then RWD’s inherent advantage would be more noticeable. So, in this context, it’s horses for courses.

 

Toyota HiAce LWB Auto

Hyundai iLoad Auto

Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB Auto

Length

5265mm

5150mm

4973mm

Width

1950mm

1920mm

1986mm

Height

1990mm

1935mm

2020mm

Wheelbase

3210mm

3200mm

2933mm

Turning circle

11.0 metres

11.2 metres

11.6 metres

Driving position adjustability and cabin comfort are generally good but there are exceptions, like the iLoad’s centre passenger seat which is too narrow for an adult, the backrest has no head restraint - and there’s only a lap-type seatbelt. And to make matters worse, the lap-belt’s buckle digs firmly into your right butt cheek when clicked-in. This seat should be for emergency use only and, if you must, only for short distances.

The Hyundai iLoad is a worthy competitor in this competitive market. The Hyundai iLoad is a worthy competitor in this competitive market.

The Transit Custom gets the biggest tick here, thanks largely to its unique cabin bulkhead which insulates the cabin from cargo bay noise and doubles as a robust cargo barrier, reducing driver fatigue and increasing safety in these days of increasingly stringent OH&S requirements. The Ford is also unique in providing the driver with a fold-down inboard armrest, which helps to reduce strain on the left arm and shoulder during long shifts behind the wheel.

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

8

Hyundai iLoad

7

Ford Transit Custom

8

Engines and Transmissions

The HiAce’s Euro 5-compliant 1GD-FTV four-cylinder turbo-diesel is shared with the current HiLux, Prado and Fortuner but is yet to share in their latest power and torque increases to 150kW/500Nm.

Even so, it has the largest cubic displacement of these three vans at 2.8 litres, with a competitive 130kW at 3400rpm and sizeable 450Nm across a broad 800rpm torque band between 1600-2400rpm. It also has automatic engine stop-start which (thankfully) can be switched off.

The HiAce Commuter GL 2.8 litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. The HiAce Commuter GL 2.8 litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

The smooth-shifting Aisin AC60E six-speed torque converter automatic has full converter lock-up on fourth, fifth and sixth gears for optimum engine efficiency, along with overdrive on fifth and sixth for economical highway driving. There’s also a sequential manual-shift function if required.

The iLoad’s 2.5 litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel is a refined and proven performer with Euro 5 emissions compliance. It produces a class-competitive 125kW at 3600rpm and peak torque of 441Nm between 2000-2250rpm, so its figures are very close to the HiAce.

The iLoad's 2.5 litre four-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbo-diesel engine. The iLoad's 2.5 litre four-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbo-diesel engine.

The Hyundai’s five-speed torque converter automatic is unquestionably robust, even though it may seem outdated given that its Toyota and Ford rivals have closer-ratio six-speed units. Even so, the iLoad delivers crisp and smooth shifts in auto mode and like the HiAce provides the option of sequential manual shifting. The over-driven fifth gear ensures economical highway driving.

 

Toyota HiAce LWB Auto

Hyundai iLoad Auto

Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB Auto

Engine size

2.8 litres

2.5 litres

2.0 litres

Cylinders

Four

Four

Four

Power rating

130kW

125kW

125kW

Torque rating

450Nm

441Nm

390Nm

Transmission

6-speed automatic

5-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

The Transit Custom’s 2.0 litre EcoBlue four-cylinder turbo-diesel might have the smallest cubic displacement here but you wouldn’t know it, as this impressively quiet and refined unit produces a competitive 125kW at 3500rpm and 390Nm of torque between 1500-2000rpm. It’s also unique in meeting the toughest Euro 6 emissions compliance using AdBlue with SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction).

The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine of the Transit Custom Sport 320L LWD. The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine of the Transit Custom Sport 320L LWD.

So, based purely on official power and torque ratings, the HiAce leads the iLoad and Transit Custom. However, we’re splitting hairs here. And given that the HiAce’s kerb weight is more than 140kg heavier than its two rivals, the three of them come out about even in performance – which in all three contenders is an impressively high standard.

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

9

Hyundai iLoad

8

Ford Transit Custom

9

Fuel consumption

Toyota claims a combined average of 8.2L/100km which wasn’t far off the HiAce’s trip computer readout of 9.1L after nearly 400km of our real-world testing, with the automatic engine stop-start function switched off and more than a quarter of that distance lugging maximum payload.

Impressively, after crunching our own numbers taken from fuel bowser and tripmeter readings, we came up with an identical 9.1L figure. So, based on our figures, you could expect a realistic driving range of around 770km from the HiAce’s 70-litre tank.

Hyundai’s official combined figure is 8.8L/100km, so we were impressed to see near-identical figures from our own calculations after the iLoad testing, which included a similar distance to the HiAce carrying a maximum payload. As a result, you could expect an even longer driving range of around 870km from its larger 75-litre tank.

 

Toyota HiAce LWB Auto

Hyundai iLoad Auto

Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB Auto

Official combined

8.2L/100km

8.8L/100km

7.2L/100km

Real-world combined

9.1L/100km

8.9L/100km

8.2L/100km

Real-world range

770km (approximate)

870km (approximate)

850km (approximate)

Fuel tank capacity

70 litres

75 litres

72 litres

By comparison, the Transit Custom’s dash display was showing a combined average of only 8.5L/100km after more than 600km of testing, which was not much higher than Ford’s official combined figure of 7.2L/100km. Our own numbers worked out at a frugal 8.2L/100km, which means an extensive real-world driving range of around 850km from its 72-litre tank.

So, in real-world driving, both unladen and with maximum payload, the Transit Custom proved to be the most economical of the three. However, again we’re splitting hairs here, because the difference between the HiAce and Transit Custom was less than 1.0L/100km with the iLoad in-between.

Needless to say, any commercial van that can comfortably haul a one-tonne-plus payload and return single-digit fuel economy is high on efficiency. And all three of these vans achieved that without raising a sweat.

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

8

Hyundai iLoad

8

Ford Transit Custom

9

Payloads, tow ratings and cargo bays

The HiAce’s 2205kg kerb weight and 3300kg GVM results in a payload rating of 1095kg and up to 120kg of that can be carried on the roof, using Toyota’s genuine accessory triple-bar roof rack set. It’s also rated to tow up to 1500kg of braked trailer and with its 4800kg GCM (or how much it can carry and tow at the same time) it can carry its maximum one-tonne-plus payload while doing it.

770kg loaded into the cargo bay of the HiAce Crew Van. 770kg loaded into the cargo bay of the HiAce Crew Van.

The iLoad’s 2062kg kerb weight undercuts the HiAce’s by more than 140kg yet its 3160kg GVM results in a near-identical 1098kg payload rating, of which up to 125kg can be carried on roof racks. Like the HiAce, the iLoad can tow up to 1500kg of braked trailer and its meaty 4660kg GCM means it can do that with a maximum payload on board. In other words, they can both legally carry more than one tonne while towing 1.5 tonnes.

The Transit Custom 340L LWD has a payload capacity of 1149kg. The Transit Custom 340L LWD has a payload capacity of 1149kg.

By comparison, the Transit Custom’s 2061kg kerb weight is line-ball with the iLoad but its 3400kg GVM results in a mighty 1339kg payload, which surpasses the HiAce and iLoad by around 240kg. 100kg of that payload can be carried on the Transit Custom’s clever and unique trio of permanent roof racks, which lie flat against the roof when not in use but can be quickly rotated through 90 degrees and locked into vertical positions.

The Transit Custom also boasts a braked tow rating of up to 2000kg, which trumps its HiAce and iLoad rivals by a whopping 500kg or half a tonne. However, with its 4365kg GCM, towing a 2000kg trailer would leave only 304kg of legal payload capacity, which could easily be chewed-up by a crew of three alone.

The iLoad’s 2062kg kerb weight and 3160kg GVM results in a genuine one tonne-plus payload rating of 1098kg. The iLoad’s 2062kg kerb weight and 3160kg GVM results in a genuine one tonne-plus payload rating of 1098kg.

So, that 2000kg tow rating might look great as a headline, but a Transit Custom owner would have a more practical set of numbers to work with in the real world by capping the braked towing limit at 1500kg like the HiAce and iLoad. That would leave more than 800kg of payload to play with, yet that’s still almost 300kg less than the HiAce and iLoad can carry while towing 1500kg.

 

Toyota HiAce LWB Auto

Hyundai iLoad Auto

Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB Auto

Kerb weight

2205kg

2062kg

2061kg

GVM

3300kg

3160kg

3400kg

Payload

1095kg

1098kg

1339kg

GCM

4800kg

4660kg

4365kg

Braked tow rating

1500kg

1500kg

2000kg

Cargo bay length

2530mm

2375mm

2554mm

Cargo bay width

1760mm

1620mm

1775mm

Cargo bay height

1340mm

1340mm

1406mm

Width between rear wheel housings

1268mm

1272mm

1390mm

Sliding door opening

1010mm

870mm

1030mm

Load volume

6.2 cubic metres

4.4 cubic metres

6.0 cubic metres

Load anchorage points

Six

Ten

Eight

Standard roof racks

No

No

Yes

Max roof-rack weight

120kg

125kg

100kg

Standard cargo bay access

Dual sliding doors with LHS glazed, single-lift glazed tailgate

Dual sliding solid doors, single-lift glazed tailgate

Single LHS solid sliding door, twin-swing rear barn door with 180-degree opening

Optional cargo bay access

Non-glazed LHS sliding door, delete RHS sliding door

Twin-swing glazed rear barn doors with 180-degree opening

Dual solid sliding doors, dual glazed sliding doors, LHS glazed sliding door, single-lift glazed tailgate

The HiAce’s cargo bay provides the largest load volume of 6.2 cubic metres and ample room for two standard 1165mm-square Aussie pallets or three 1200 x 800mm Euro pallets, secured by six floor-mounted load anchorage points. It comes standard with a solid sliding door on each side and a glazed single tailgate with no twin-swing rear barn-door option. As a result, it’s not forklift-friendly and therefore not well suited to carrying pallets.

The iLoad’s cargo bay offers a total load volume of 4.4 cubic metres which is considerably less than HiAce and Transit Custom. It will take two Aussie pallets but falls just short of taking three Euro pallets. Even so, it’s forklift-friendly given that it in addition to standard solid sliding doors on each side it offers buyers a choice of single-lift tailgate or twin-swing rear barn-doors with 180-degree opening.

The iLoad is forklift friendly. The iLoad is forklift friendly.

The Transit Custom’s 6.0 cubic metres load volume is slightly less than the HiAce but considerably more than the iLoad. It can also match the HiAce in being able to carry two Aussie pallets or three Euro pallets and its load floor length can be extended, by opening a hatch at the base of the steel bulkhead which accesses the vacant space beneath the passenger seats for carrying extra-long items.

Like the iLoad, the Transit Custom is forklift-friendly, as it comes standard with twin-swing rear barn-doors with 180-degree opening, but only one solid sliding door on the left-hand side. Extra-cost cargo bay options include dual solid sliding doors, dual glazed sliding doors, a window on the LHS door only and a single-lift tailgate.

So, in summary, the Ford wins on payload but its Toyota and Hyundai rivals offer more practical GCM ratings. The HiAce offers the largest load volume, but is not as forklift-friendly as the iLoad and Transit Custom. Again, we can hear the hoofs of those horses for courses.

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

8

Hyundai iLoad

8

Ford Transit Custom

9

Cabin storage

The HiAce dashboard looks great but lacks the extra storage available in its rivals. Even so, there’s a big 1.5 litre bottle holder and storage bin in each front door, a single glovebox, small-bottle/cup holders in the centre and on either side of the dash and a small nook to the left of the gearshift for small items like coins, chewy etc.

No doubt a big factor in the rear-wheel drive iLoad's enduring appeal is its simplicity and ruggedness. No doubt a big factor in the rear-wheel drive iLoad's enduring appeal is its simplicity and ruggedness.

Like the HiAce, the iLoad cabin has a storage bin and large-bottle holder in each front door plus a  nook near the gearshift for small items. However, it also offers a storage tray in the centre dash-pad, two different-sized gloveboxes and a pop-out dual small-bottle/cup holder in the centre console. The centre seat backrest also folds forward to reveal a handy storage tray and dual cup holders moulded into the back of it.

The Toyota HiAce V6 Petrol. The Toyota HiAce V6 Petrol.

The Transit Custom is the cabin storage king. Each door has a large-bottle holder and three tiers of different-sized storage bins. There’s also a pop-out small-bottle/cup holder below the gearshift plus upper and lower small-bottle holders on each side if the dash. Three large open storage bins set into the top of the dash-pad plus a fourth smaller bin behind the infotainment control screen adds another 25 litres of cabin storage.

The Transit Custom is the cabin storage king. The Transit Custom is the cabin storage king.

There’s also an A4-sized glovebox, a central overhead storage cubby for smaller items and (like the iLoad) the centre seat’s backrest folds forward to provide a handy work desk containing two cup holders, a pen holder and an elastic strap to secure documents. And to top it off, there’s a huge hidden storage area beneath the passenger seats (when the cargo bay’s load-through hatch is closed of course) which can be easily accessed from above through pivoting base cushions. So, the Transit Custom is the clear winner in cabin storage and work-focused cabin features.

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

7

Hyundai iLoad

8

Ford Transit Custom

9

Driving: unladen

It’s a testament to the shared quality of Australia’s top three mid-sized commercial vans that there are no glaring discrepancies when one has to decide which is the best to drive on a daily basis with either light loads or when unladen.

They all provide good driver comfort in terms of seat and steering wheel adjustability, left footrests and clear eyelines to all mirrors to minimise blind-spots. They also offer safe and competent handling, steering, braking and ride quality and there’s negligible differences in engine and transmission performance.

The Ford Transit Custom 340L LWD van. The Ford Transit Custom 340L LWD van.

The larger gaps in gear ratios are noticeable in the five-speed iLoad compared to the six-speed HiAce and Transit Custom, but that’s far from being a deal-breaker given the iLoad’s overall competence. And they all offer low-stress highway operation, with over-driven top gears that ensure relatively low engine rpm at highway speeds for optimum fuel efficiency.

If we had to choose a narrow winner in this context, though, it would be the Transit Custom. And that’s largely due to the steel bulkhead that insulates the cabin from cargo bay noise evident in the HiAce and iLoad, which makes the Transit Custom the most car-like to drive. It’s also unique in providing a fold-down inboard armrest on the driver’s seat, which helps to reduce driver fatigue during long shifts behind the wheel.

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

8

Hyundai iLoad

8

Ford Transit Custom

9

Driving: fully loaded

It’s just as difficult to separate these three in terms of their load-carrying abilities. They all have one-tonne-plus payload ratings and we tested all three at very close to those weight limits, during which they all proved to be impressively competent.

The fact that they all use leaf-spring rear suspension says plenty about the proven ability of this traditional horse-and-cart design. They all display minimal rear suspension compression under maximum payloads, leaving ample rear wheel travel. If anything, they all feel more solidly planted on the road, with minimal effect on braking, steering and handling response.

They also share great hill-climbing ability under maximum loads, confidently powering up our 2.0km long 13 per cent gradient set climb. Engine-braking under these loads is less impressive but understandable given their relatively small sub-3.0 litre capacities.

We can usually sift out a winner in these different categories but we’re happy to wave the white flag on this one. They are equally capable load-haulers and more than worthy of their one-tonne-plus payload ratings.

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

9

Hyundai iLoad

9

Ford Transit Custom

9

Safety

The sixth-gen HiAce sets the mid-sized van benchmark with standard safety features that rival many passenger cars and SUVs. There’s a maximum five-star ANCAP rating (achieved 2019) and AEB with day/night pedestrian and day cyclist detection, plus lane departure alert with steering assist, road sign assist, auto high beam, cruise control, adjustable speed limiter, vehicle stability control including trailer sway control and hill-start assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, reversing camera with guide lines and front/rear parking sensors. And there’s seven airbags.

HiAce Crew interior featuring a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. HiAce Crew interior featuring a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Transit Custom also carries ANCAP’s maximum five-star rating, albeit achieved back in 2012. Even so, Ford has kept at the cutting edge of commercial van safety since then to ensure its one-tonner is equipped with the latest in driver assistance technologies as they have become available.

 

Toyota HiAce LWB Auto

Hyundai iLoad Auto

Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB Auto

ANCAP crash safety rating

5-stars (tested 2019)

4-stars (tested 2011)

5-stars (tested 2012)

Airbags

Seven

Four

Six

AEB (auto emergency braking)

Yes

No

Yes

ABS (anti-lock brakes)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Stability control

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cruise control

Yes

Yes

Yes (adaptive)

Trailer sway control

Yes

No

Yes

Lane-departure warning

Yes

No

Yes

Lane-keeping assist

Yes

No

Yes

Blind-spot monitoring

Yes

No

Yes

Rear cross-traffic alert

Yes

No

Yes

Traffic sign assist

Yes

No

Yes

Reversing camera

Yes

Yes

Yes

Parking sensors

Front and rear

No

Front and rear

Apart from having one less airbag than the HiAce, the Transit Custom is line-ball with Toyota’s benchmark for mid-sized van safety, headlined by AEB with pedestrian detection plus a suite of active safety features including adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane keeping assist with driver alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear-view camera, front/rear parking sensors, side-wind stabilisation, trailer sway control etc. Like the HiAce, its safety menu is as long as its load floor.

The iLoad cabin environment is bright and airy with a tasteful mix of light and dark grey surfaces. The iLoad cabin environment is bright and airy with a tasteful mix of light and dark grey surfaces.

By comparison, the iLoad only offers a four-star ANCAP rating and that was achieved back in 2011, so it would struggle to achieve the same rating if re-tested today. It also has no AEB and, as mentioned previously, the centre passenger seat only has a lap-type seatbelt. Although there’s front and side (thorax) airbags for the driver and outer passenger seats, the iLoad is increasingly overdue for a significant safety upgrade.

The Transit Custom cabin offers moderate storage levels, with three open storage bins set into the top of the dash, and a large glovebox. The Transit Custom cabin offers moderate storage levels, with three open storage bins set into the top of the dash, and a large glovebox.

So, with its extra airbag and freshest ANCAP test date, the HiAce scores a narrow win over the Transit Custom with the iLoad a distant third.

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

10

Hyundai iLoad

7

Ford Transit Custom

9

Ownership

The HiAce comes with a five years/160,000km warranty and Toyota recommends scheduled servicing every six months/10,000km whichever occurs first, which keeps its dealership service centres busy. Capped-price servicing averages $245, but that only covers the first four scheduled services over two years or up to 40,000km.

The iLoad matches the HiAce warranty with five years/160,000km warranty, but scheduled servicing extends to 12 months/15,000km and capped pricing averages $392 for the first five scheduled services or 75,000km.

Transit Custom also has a five-year warranty, but unlimited km and recommended service intervals of 12 months/30,000km, the latter being tailored to hard-working vans that clock-up plenty of km each year. Capped-price servicing averages $486 for the first five scheduled services.

So, the Transit Custom has higher average capped-price servicing costs than the iLoad, but allows for double the kilometres (150,000km). By comparison, the HiAce’s average service costs over five years could be more than its $245 capped average for only two years, so it’s impossible to rank it any higher than third in this context.

 

Toyota HiAce LWB Auto

Hyundai iLoad Auto

Ford Transit Custom 340S SWB Auto

Warranty

Five years/160,000km

Five years/160,000km

Five years/unlimited kilometres

Capped-price service plan

Two years/40,000km

Five years/75,000km

Five years

Service intervals

6 months/10,000km

12 months/15,000km

12 months/30,000km

Average cost per service (five years)

$245 (two years only)

$392

$486

Roadside assist cover

Not included

12 months

12 months

 

Model

Score (out of 10)

Toyota HiAce LWB

7

Hyundai iLoad

8

Ford Transit Custom

9

Most of the winning margins in the 10 judging categories were paper-thin, which is a testament to the overall quality and competence of Australia’s top three commercial vans. As a result, you’d be a happy customer if you bought any of them.

However, they do have some key differences in design and utility which could be either positives or negatives depending on your job requirements, so it always pays to do your homework on what you specifically need a workhorse to do before heading down to your local dealership.

Even so, we have to base our final judgement on broad versatility rather than specific job requirements. And in that context the Ford Transit Custom ended up with the highest score, albeit by a narrow margin and for much the same reasons it won CarsGuide’s 2019 Tradie Guide Car of the Year award.

Its first-class safety, driver comfort, economy and long service schedules, combined with other unique features like its standard cabin bulkhead, unmatched choice of cargo bay door configurations, extendable load floor,  generous dashboard and under-seat cabin storage, clever folding roof-rack system and 100-plus colour range to name a few, has the edge on its rivals in catering to many different buyer requirements. However, its class-leading 2000kg braked tow rating is not practical given the huge reduction in payload required to achieve it.

Toyota’s HiAce is a close second with its peerless safety, efficient and practical design, good driver comfort and excellent load-carrying ability, particularly for those that need to tow and carry big loads at the same time. It has its shortcomings, like limited cabin storage and rear cargo bay door options, but its unbreakable reputation and Toyota badge have immeasurable value in buyers’ minds.

Hyundai’s iLoad is third and that’s primarily because it’s starting to show its age in terms of safety. Otherwise, it's one of the most competent all-rounders in the business. It also has design shortcomings, like a much smaller load volume than its rivals and awful centre passenger seat comfort (don’t mention the lap-belt), but it’s enduring sales popularity after more than a decade on sale in Australia shows it’s still a formidable competitor.

Model

Score (out of 100)

Toyota HiAce LWB

82

Hyundai iLoad

78

Ford Transit Custom

89

$29,800 - $48,730

Based on third party pricing data

VIEW PRICING & SPECS
Price Guide

$29,800 - $48,730

Based on third party pricing data

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.