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Hyundai shows off Staria in full light

While still a little way off its official reveal, Hyundai’s Staria will seat up to 11

19 Mar 2021

THERE are no bones about it, Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) has the Kia Carnival firmly in the sights of its upcoming Staria people carrier, revealing this week the new-generation MPV will be available in more configurations than ever and at least one bigger engine.


Said by the brand to be the first vehicle designed under its new ‘inside-out’ approach, the Staria will be available globally in a myriad of configurations, ranging from two-seater commercial vans right the way through to nine-seater luxury family haulers.


The possibilities don’t stop there though, with HMC also revealing its native Korean market will also receive an 11-seat version of the Staria Premium.


As for the rest of the world, the Staria Premium will be offered exclusively with seven- or nine-seat layouts.


The crux of HMC’s new ‘inside-out’ design approach is the maximising of interior space and then crafting the body around the cabin with the internal dimensions determining the exterior.


When the first teaser images of the Staria were released last week, social media was sent into a frenzy over the futuristic design and proportions of the new-gen people carrier and HMC has only served to fuel those discussions with the release of 14 new images revealing the design in full.


Described by designers as “resembling a spaceship”, the Staria looks like nothing else in its class with an uncharacteristically low window-line and its “space-age” body-coloured grille with integrated light signature and a full-width daytime running strip.


Building on the inside-out philosophy are the huge panoramic windows which are said to improve overall visibility and provide a greater sense of openness within the cabin.


Adding to the futuristic look is an alloy wheel design that would not look out of place on the current crop of electric vehicles as well as the vertically stacked LED tail-lights.


The Staria Premium ups the ante in almost every respect with a unique mesh grille skirted by ‘tinted brass chrome’ trim – also encompassing the full LED headlight clusters – with the same colour used for the exterior badging, wing mirrors, door handles and unique 18-inch alloy wheels.


Standard equipment on the base Staria at this stage will include a free-standing 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a touchscreen infotainment system and a button gear selector.


Befitting of its nameplate, the Premium steps things up is just about every regard, especially when it comes to passenger luxury.


Some of those extra luxuries will include a one-touch powered reclining system for the second row in the seven-seaters while the nine-seater adds in rotating captain’s seats (180-degrees).


64-colour ambient lighting will also be standard across the Premium range.


As for powertrains, HMC has not revealed any concrete details has yet however closer inspection of the Premium’s tailgate reveals a not-so-subtle ‘3.5’ badge, pointing to the inclusion of the wider Hyundai Motor Group’s 3.5-litre petrol V6, as found in the Santa Fe and Kia Sorento large SUVs as well as the new-generation Kia Carnival.


If this proves to be the case, you can almost guarantee the transmission will be the familiar eight-speed automatic and a front-wheel-drive layout.


With the V6 a likely starter, it would also be a safe bet at least one diesel will be offered too, most likely the updated 2.2-litre turbocharged unit also found in the aforementioned SUVs and Carnival.


According to Hyundai design boss SangYup Lee, the Staria will provide a “completely new experience and value proposition to customers through its unprecedented design and innovative features”.


There has been no word yet from HMC Australia on the local arrival of the Staria, however the model is due to make its official debut by mid-year.


Just 118 examples of the aging iMax have been shifted so far this year ending February, earning it a 7.0 per cent market share behind the aforementioned Kia, Honda Odyssey (194/11.5%), LDV G10 Wagon (139/8.3%) and Volkswagen Multivan (132/7.9%).


The related and commercial-focused iLoad has fared better, occupying second spot within the 2.5-3.5t van segment, with 257 sales earning it a 20 per cent market share behind the Toyota HiAce (409/31.8%).

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