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Hyundai’s spacious Staria people mover takes one giant leap for van-kind

17 Sep 2021


FOURTEEN years is a long time for any vehicle to serve in the Australian market. Hyundai’s outgoing people-mover, the boxy, commercial van-based iMax, has been a stalwart of the category since 2007, outlasting several rivals including the Subaru Exiga, Fiat Freemont, Dodge Journey and Kia Rondo.


In many ways, surviving 14 years in a market with overwhelming preference for SUVs takes some doing. SUVs outsell people-movers locally by a ratio of five-to-one, in Australia the iMax’s peak market share of 22 per cent (in 2014) declining steadily against the strong-selling Kia Carnival, a model that now accounts for more than half of all people-mover sales here.


But it’s the newly launched replacement to the iMax that may just turn those numbers on their head.


This week, Hyundai released its eight-seat Staria people-mover into the Australian market, the sub-$60,000 model vying directly against the Kia Carnival (from $43,190), Honda Odyssey ($39,140), Volkswagen Multivan ($58,990), and LDV G10 ($31,490).


Based on the underpinnings of the seven-seat Santa Fe SUV, the Hyundai Staria is physically larger than all current rivals. It offers the choice of petrol and turbo-diesel power, the availability of front and all-wheel drive, and three model grades ranging in price from $48,500 to $66,500 (before on-road costs).


It’s a price point that places the Staria in the thick of it as far as its competition goes – whether that’s directly from other people-movers, or indirectly from comparably-sized SUVs – and its segment-straddling appeal makes the new Hyundai Staria quite enticing.

Model release date: 17 September 2021

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