It's bold, a head-turner and at first impression, you would think it's out of a science fiction movie. That's because Hyundai has taken the multi-purpose vehicle to another level. And the ride quality matches the good looks that indicate the massive strides made by the Korean manufacturer since its humble beginnings five decades ago.
On test launch in KZN a few days ago, I was stopped by many star-gazers, who wanted to have an in-depth look at the Staria. Drive past a restaurant or coffee-shop and people stop munching to get a good glimpse. It’s like they have not seen anything like this MPV before. And you know what? They are right. The design says it all, and then some. It’s all about smart mobility that embodies Hyundai’s “inside-out” design methodology that accentuates interior spaciousness and usability. The name aptly suits the MPV.
Three variants for Mzansi
The complete Staria range is available in 2- to 11-seat configurations and is initially launched in South Africa with three variants – the Luxury, Elite and Executive, with various seating configurations, features and trim levels. The Staria Luxury and Elite versions are elevating mobility to the next level with upgraded features and variant-exclusive finishes for a more luxurious look and feel.
“We are thrilled to introduce the Staria, which is a big step forward and represents Hyundai’s vision of future mobility – it gives real meaning to ‘next level’. Experiencing the superior ride quality, outstanding fit and finish and the comfort levels in the Staria proves how much Hyundai has developed as a global vehicle manufacturer and one of the top-rated automotive brands,” says Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa.
Premium and futuristic exterior styling
Evoking the streamlined form of a spaceship, Staria’s sleek exterior is defined by a single stroke running from front to rear — inspired by the curve of light that illuminates the Earth’s horizon at sunrise when viewed from space.
The Staria’s front is embellished with horizontal daytime running lights (DRLs) and a positioning lamp, together running across the width of the vehicle, complemented by a bold, wide radiator grille with a unique pattern. Its clean silhouette is further accented by a pair of low-set headlamps. Hyundai uses the same body colour for all front parts to maximize the vehicle’s modern and pure style.
The design theme carries over to the rear, featuring a wide window framed by elongated vertical tail lamps.
The Staria’s interior applies a simple and modest layout to highlight the driver’s convenience and passengers’ comfort, while staying faithful to its original value as an MPV. The cruise ship-inspired interior delivers an open and unique atmosphere through its innovative design architecture.
The driver and passenger seats in the first row are designed to offer a feeling of space and comfort.
The Staria’s simple interior layout focuses only on the essentials to provide more room and flexibility to passengers. The driver’s seat has a futuristic high-tech look with an advanced 8-inch front display screen, touch-based centre fascia and a button-type electronic shift lever for the Luxury and Elite versions. The digital cluster is located on top of the dashboard, providing an unobstructed view for the driver.
Stretch-out: You are in ‘space’
Storage space is available on top of the overhead console in the Elite and Executive versions, bottom of the cluster, and top and bottom of the centre fascia. Both driver and passengers also have access to a centre console equipped with cup holders, USB ports and additional storage space for the Luxury derivative. The 7-seat Premium model is equipped with Premium Relaxation Seats in the second row that recline electronically and have sliding capabilities for easy reach or to maximize cargo space.
The 9-seat Luxury model’s individual seats in the second row can swivel 180 degrees to face passengers in the third row. This makes the Staria Luxury ideal for corporate vehicles or mobile offices as passengers can turn their seats around and conduct face to face meetings. Families will also find these swivelling seats convenient as rear-facing passengers will have easy access to those seated in the third row.
The Staria is driven through its front wheels by an improved R2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It delivers 130 kW maximum power. Hyundai Motor optimized the engine and transmission to achieve low noise, vibration and harshness levels and a better shift sensation for high torque performance, improved acceleration and fuel efficiency that all adds to a vastly superior ride quality.
The STARIA has secured the highest level of passive and active vehicle safety. It offers six airbags, and all seats come with three-point seat belts and headrests. Safety is further bolstered by smart features such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) in the top derivatives.
Hyundai’s smart infotainment system with an 8-inch touch-screen display is fitted to all derivatives and is equipped with a wide-angle camera rear park assist camera, aided by park warning sensors in both front and rear bumpers. In the Luxury version the screen also displays a bird’s eye view of the car and its surroundings when reversing the Staria.
It is possible to select various views from a menu. The infotainment system, standard in all versions, links wirelessly via Bluetooth to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The system can accommodate multiple simultaneous Bluetooth connections. Add to that a whole plethora of luxury and convenience features, too many to mention here.
Keep your feet on the ground and reach for a Staria.
• Staria R2.2 Executive 9-seater: R789,900
• Staria R2.2 Executive 11-seater: R799, 900
• Staria R2.2 Elite 9-seater: R959, 900
• Staria R2.2 Luxury 9-seater: R1099, 900A 7-year/200, 000 km manufacturer warranty and roadside assistance for 7-years or 150 000 km are included in the price for all derivatives.