Hyundai i800
Hyundai i800

Take a look at the pictures and note the registration number - B19 HYU. When it comes to personalised number plates, this one is apt as the new Hyundai i800 is big…very big.

At just over 5-metres in length and a little short of 2-metres in width and height, the sheer size might put some people off but they would be missing out on one of the best drives in the segment.

Despite its size the i800 is incredibly manoeuvrable with a surprisingly tight turning circle of 5.61-metres and the nicely weighted, hydraulically-assisted steering makes it light work. For sure, some degree of spatial awareness is a must-have, especially when it comes to parking, but it doesn’t take long to figure out where the corners are or to find out that it doesn’t fit in a standard supermarket parking space. And, nervous parkers will be pleased to know that rear parking sensors are included in the standard specification list.

Big, bulky and boxy as it is, there is nothing van-like about the i800. It feels like a car to drive but with a commanding, king of the road, seating position, good all round visibility and large mirrors.

While most in this segment are 7-seaters, with five full-sized seats and two occasional seats that pull up from the boot floor, the i800 has eight and they are all full sized. Set in a 2-3-3 configuration, they all come with 3-pont seat belts and have their own headrests.

The rearmost row, which is almost in a different time zone to the driver, has 60:40, split/fold and recline functions. The same can be said of the second row but with the ability to slide fore and aft, allowing access to the rear. Folding the seatbacks is easily achieved but requires caution as the spring action can be a little overzealous and the runners are on the stiff side, so, if you are short on muscle, it may take two people.

If the third row is not in use, then the second can be pushed back to release an enormous amount of legroom, almost worthy of a stretched limo. That said, legroom is not at a premium anywhere in the cabin and neither is headroom but being in the third row can be a little disquieting as the seating layout means that there is no easy means of escape, should anything nasty happen.

Published : 10/10/08 Author : Melanie Carter

Hyundai i800 News

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