Hyundai has revealed their newest MPV, the Staria, for the global market. The good news is that this includes South Africa. The new nameplate and lineup for Hyundai is an exercise into the premium in-car experience. Designed from the inside out, as opposed to the traditional looks-first-passenger-needs after, the versatility the Staria will offer is at the core of this people carrier.
The concept for the Staria is simple, a car that’s user-centric in it’s interior space innovation. It’s one curve from the A through to the C-pillar, or in simpler terms from the nose to the tail. Devoid of hyper-stylised body panels that would intrude on cabin space to achieve an designated aesthetic the Staria has focused on what’s inside. Hyundai sees the space innovations as the future of the mobility era, vehicles that are designed with flexibility and purpose as the key to their brand.
The Staria has been designed from the inside out with active families, business professionals, and smart carriers as the target audience. The Staria will set the tone for Hyundai and it’s future Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV), they’re creating more than people movers and rather shifting the goal towards a premium in-car experience.
Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer says “we are thrilled to introduce the Staria, which represents our latest effort to spearhead the evolution of mobility, and to address emerging lifestyle needs as we adapt to new ways of living. The Staria is a step forward in connecting us more closely with our environments so that we can get more out of our everyday lives and do more for ourselves in transit.”
The Staria is built on the Hyundai-Kia N3 platform at the Ulsan plant in South Korea, which means that it shares a foundation with the popular Tucson and Santa Fe, both built on the N3 architecture. That however is where the similarities end. The Staria will be available in a host of seating configurations from 2 to 11-seats, and in two options of either the Staria or Staria Premium. The Staria Premium will be the flag-bearing model with all the bells and whistles, premium fabrics and plush finishes.
The styling is futuristic; the front-end has a horizontal LED light bar running across the width of the nose, 3D-detailed grille and wide-set low headlamps. The Staria Premium gets Hyundai’s bespoke parametric pixel tail lamps and pixel tail lamps, and the rear bumper is lower on all models to aid loading and unloading of luggage.
The interior is designed around versatility, safety and space. The lower beltline allows for larger windows to give all passengers the maximum view possible, and a panoramic sunroof enhances the sense of space. Adults can fit comfortably in each row without compromising on head, shoulder and leg room. The long-sliding seats can slide forward to adjust space needed between rows or folded flat to provide only cargo space for sports equipment or to become a mobile bed when adventuring. The business focused 2- or 3-seater Staria have a whopping 5 000-litres of cargo space on offer.
The driver’s cockpit seems like a spaceship featuring a central 10.25-inch touchscreen centre stack housing access to the infotainment system, climate control and more. Storage cubbies abound with plenty dispersed through out the cabin including 3 levels of storage in the driver and front passenger doors. The second row has access to two USB ports and two 220V plugs for charging technological equipment.
Safety features as standard include 3-point seatbelts on all chairs and headrests, and the ability to add up to six airbags, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, and Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist. A camera and microphone allow driver and passengers to see and hear each other; this will be a key selling feature in the business and tourism sector.
In South Africa we’ll be getting one engine option in the Staria, a 2.2-litre VGT turbo diesel paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox, this engine will make it’s local debut for Hyundai in the Santa Fe within the next month.
The great news is that Hyundai will be bring the Staria to South Africa with order books opening towards the end of 2021.
Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive SA has said, “we are examining all configurations of the Staria – from the luxury 7-seater to the panel van version – to determine what the range in South Africa will consist of. With the luxury derivative, Hyundai will enter a segment for multi-purpose vehicles in the country where the brand did not compete before.”
What does this mean for Hyundai’s beloved H1 van in South Africa? Unfortunately it does spell the end of the line for the H1, with the Staria set to replace it. Stanley Anderson says “further good news is that we shall still have a large people-carrier to offer in the range as a replacement for the popular H-1 9-seater bus that has served many families and businesses well over the years.”
Nothing is permanent and the arrival of the Staria in 2022 will continue to drive Hyundai forward as a contender in both the premium and affordable sections of the car market.
Written by Carri-Anne Jane, Motoring Editor