Hyundai i800 (2008 – 2022) Review

Hyundai i800 (2008 – 2022) At A Glance


+Strong and quiet initially 2.5-litre diesel engines, eight seats with plenty of space for all, good value, sold with a five-year-warranty as standard.

-Big and bulky size means it's not very easy to park, interior quality and design is starting to look and feel its age.

The Hyundai i800 is a big people carrier that's big on value and space. It also does something that most other people carriers can't - seat eight with a decent amount of room for luggage. On the downside, the i800 looks and feels like an old van, but on price and warranty few large MPVs come close to matching the Hyundai.

The i800 is van-based, which is obvious from its looks and is a major plus point if you're looking for loads of room inside. The strong 2.5-litre diesel engine makes light work of motorways and means that the i800 can tow up to 2300kg (braked towing weight) with a manual gearbox; however that drops to 1500kg when you fit an auto 'box. 

It's out on the road that some of the commercial vehicle origins start to surface. Although the interior is well-finished and there's a decent driving position, it's awkward to park, has poor rear visibility and feels unwieldy in town. Even so, it's great for long-distance motorway trips and is a cost-effective option for larger families.

The only engine available in the i800 at launch was the 2.5-litre CRDi diesel with 170PS. From November 2008 a 135PS unit was added. Where it impresses most its low-down pulling power. With 392Nm available at 2000-2500rpm, it makes a great tow car. In fact it has a braked towing weight of 2300kg and has won awards for its towing capability. On the motorway it's an effortless cruiser and well suited to long distances; economy isn't bad either, with upwards of 33mpg possible.

Hyundai swapped the rear leaf springs in the H-1 panel van to coil suspension when it converted it into the i800. The ride is excellent as a result, smooth on the motorway and adept at soaking up lumps and ruts on bumpier roads.

The i800 doesn't handle like its immense proportions suggest. It's more than five metres long and two metres wide, but it doesn't feel like it on A and B roads, where the steering is well-weighted, the body roll is contained and there's a good amount of grip. In town it's a bit of a handful - parking can be challenging and changing lanes or filtering into traffic can take some planning. But, in its natural environment on the motorway, it's comfortable, refined and there's little in the way engine noise.

Ask Honest John

What's the best van that I can also sleep in?

"I am looking to buy a passenger van which has at least 4 seats. I also want to be able to fold down the seats so that I can sleep in it. My problem is that I'm 6ft4 so would like something big enough that I can lie down straight in. Ideally it wouldn't be much over £2000, but I am willing to go a bit higher for the right vehicle. Good fuel economy and relatively cheap insurance are important too. "
Rather than a van, which with a budget of £2000 will invariably get you something well-used and scruffy, you'd be better off buying an MPV. With a £2000 budget the best options for you to consider would be the VW Sharan, Ford Galaxy or Hyundai i800, all of which are large enough for your needs and relatively reliable. You could also look at a Renault Espace, though this would most likely be more problematic in the long-term.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

What is the most reliable used 8 or 9 seater?

"What is the most reliable used 8 or 9 seater car/van? I'm at the cheap end of the market, so probably under £8,000. I need a fairly bullet proof engine that will last another 3 years or so."
I'm not sure this can be done with a budget of under-£8000. To get eight or nine seats, will need to buy a van-based MPV but these vehicles are very popular with taxi companies and private hire firms and this means they are not cheap or plentiful on the used market. Your best bet will probably be a Hyundai i800 with eight seats; however, with a budget of under-£8000, you will be looking at a vehicle that's 10+ years old with 100,000+ miles on the clock. And this will present you with a range of costly age-related wear and tear issues over the next three years.
Answered by Dan Powell

What vehicle has seven seats and massive storage space?

"I’m stuck! I am looking for a vehicle (to hire at first) that needs to seat a minimum of seven adults, plus carry musical equipment (drum kit, guitars, keyboards, amplifiers, microphones and luggage, etc) that can be driven on a full car licence by a 50-year-old. Any ideas?"
Sounds like you need a van-based people carrier. Consider a Hyundai i800 (and possibly a trailer...).
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend a vehicle that would be suitable for a family of six?

"Can you recommend a vehicle that would be suitable for mum and dad with four children? Two young teens and twins of 4 years needing child seats. Unfortunately, the budget is not very big so it will need to be used/secondhand. One of the twins suffers car sickness."
You'll need something quite big to carry your family in comfort - the rear seats in many seven-seaters are for occasional use only. A SEAT Alhambra might be a good option. The latest model, introduced in 2010, has a surprising amount of room inside. Prices start at around £6000 - although they're high mileage examples at the cheaper end of the market. Alternatively, look at the huge Hyundai i800.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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