- The Kia is currently unchallenged but Hyundai may bring its rival to India
The luxury MPV segment in India is growing at a rapid pace, with many brands planning to introduce their international models here in India soon, one of them may be the iMax from the Korean manufacturer Hyundai. The vehicle is sold with different names like Starex, H-1 and i800 in European and South-East Asian markets, and comes in commercial versions for cargo hauling as well as consumer uses.
The iMax is a big vehicle, it has eight spacious seats which are wide and full sized. The exterior of the vehicle is basic in design, with a large cascading Hyundai grille with chrome inserts flanked by headlamps which are dusk sensing. The doors are large sliding ones, and allow easy ingress into the vehicle. The car rides on 16 or 17 inch alloys depending upon configuration.
The interior which is the main talking point of the car is well appointed and extremely spacious which is enhanced with the dual sunroofs both of which can be opened. The seats and other surfaces are wrapped in Beige Leather. There is a 7 inch infotainment screen that comes with android auto and apple carplay, rear parking camera and keyless entry amongst other features.
The iMax is powered by a 2.5 litre diesel engine that makes 125 kW and 441 Nm of torque, which is mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox. It is available in 2WD configuration, and the power seems adequate for Indian uses. The car will directly compete with the Kia Carnival, and on some note the Innova Crysta. The iMax will be priced around INR 26 Lakhs, and therefore also give certain 7-seater SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and the MG Gloster because of its spaciousness and more comfort oriented cabin.
Hyundai may be seriously considering the iMax as a contender for Indian markets, but may have to up the ante a bit on the styling and the spec sheet, after all the Korean automaker is known here for cramming a lot of features and technology into their vehicles.
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