First test: Hyundai Staria, space shuttle!

First test: Hyundai Staria, space shuttle!

Until recently, Hyundai offered the H1 (rear-wheel drive), a 9-seater utility vehicle that rivaled some benchmarks like the VW Multivan, Ford Tourneo Custom, Mercedes Vito, and other midsize SUVs from Peugeot and Citroën. Unfortunately for him, the H1 failed to make a name for itself and quietly disappeared from the market. With the Staria, Hyundai introduces a new approach.

A unique look!

The new minibus of the Korean brand was not designed from the outset as a utility vehicle: in fact, it is based on the brand’s N3 platform, which is also used, among other things, in the Santa Fe. one more passenger car. front-wheel drive oriented approach. This is reminiscent of Volkswagen and its T7 Multivan. And then there is the style. As much as the H1 was understated, the Staria turns heads with its futuristic styling. With its aerodynamic front end, full-width LED strip, and checkerboard LED headlights (parametric pixels in Hyundai parlance), the Staria is sure to wow in urban centers…

The 6-seater model we tested is more timid when it comes to style. While its body retains a separate line and large glass surfaces, the light strip has been replaced by a black plastic strip and the headlights here are halogen. This crew cab utility is equipped with the same 17-inch aluminum wheels as the base 9-passenger version.

Spacious

At 5,253mm long, 1,997mm wide and 1,990mm tall, the Staria can compete with the VW Transporter and other Ford Transit/Tourneo Customs – its interior space is almost identical! In addition to two rows of three seats each (the center seat in the first row can be folded down to form a table with cup holders and storage compartments between the driver – who has no armrests – and the front passenger), the model also benefits from of a spacious trunk behind the fixed partition. At 2,890 litres, this boot is big enough to fit two Euro pallets, the fruit of a long visit to a famous Swedish furniture store or the whole family’s bikes. For an even more leisure-oriented version, we’ll have to wait for the motorhome version, if it ever comes to Belgium…

technology

Inside, the Staria has state-of-the-art technology: the “Techno” version is equipped with two 10.25-inch LCD screens, one for the dashboard and one for the infotainment system. Below are touch shortcuts for this system, as well as for air conditioning. The plastics used are quite hard, but their matte finish saves their appearance and, moreover, they don’t seem prone to scratches! The glossy black plastic that surrounds the infotainment screen is sleeker but seems more brittle and sensitive to minor scratches.

The light-flooded cabin benefits from numerous storage possibilities: in addition to the traditional compartments in the doors and the glove box, there is a compartment for wireless smartphone charging, two lockable compartments in the upper part of the dashboard and a large space under the rear bench seat, accessible by folding it forward. In the versions intended for individuals, the second row of seats (in the case of a 9-seater version) can be sliding, which eliminates this storage space.

Let’s go back to our 6 seater: the space in front of the second row of seats is generous. It is also identical to the 9-seater which, for its part, benefits from a third row of seats and a trunk. Aboard the luxurious 7-seater version, you’ll notice that the boot has given way to a bench, while the first and second row seats have been replaced with two individual seats offering even more legroom. As you may have understood, this model is intended rather to serve as a VIP shuttle.

a different suspension

In terms of suspension, the double cab version is slightly different from the more luxurious 7- or 9-seater versions that will go on sale with us next year. At the front, it retains its McPherson strut suspension, but at the rear it swaps its multi-link suspension for a live axle and leaf springs. This allows you to accept loads of more than a ton!

La Staria in its versions intended for individuals:

Unfortunately, this has a drawback: when empty, the rear axle tends to react more strongly to potholes and other irregularities. An element to take into account if the utilitarian version with two rows of seats, fiscally more advantageous, is taken into account. In models equipped with multi-link suspension, the rear passengers are undoubtedly more pampered and enjoy greater comfort. Do not think, however, that the handling of the utility version is bad: in turns, you do not feel as safe as on board a reference in the segment. What gives confidence is the vast arsenal of assistance systems, even if these are sometimes too intrusive. Radar guided cruise control, traffic jam assist, emergency brake assist, intelligent traffic sign recognition, 360° camera… it’s all there!

only in diesel

At Volkswagen, the Multivan is available with a range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines, such as the Ford Tourneo Custom. At Peugeot, Citroën and within the other brands of the Stellantis group, everything is electric! At Hyundai, the Staria is only available with a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine developing 177 bhp and 430 Nm of torque at 1,500 rpm (note that a hydrogen version is in development). Combined with the 8-speed automatic gearbox, this engine does not offer supersonic performance (0-100 km/h in 12.4 seconds and 185 km/h at the top), but it runs smoothly and quietly thanks to the variable geometry turbo. . The automatic transmission (button operated) is alert and flexible, which is ideal for merging with traffic. You can also choose between different driving modes to adjust the engine and gearbox, but not the power steering.

Our barely broken copy didn’t show too much booze! On a journey of about 500 kilometers we consume about 8.2 l/100 km, which exactly corresponds to the announced consumption according to the WLTP cycle. You can also choose a 6-speed manual transmission, which should be a few tenths of a liter more fuel efficient.

How much is it?

The entry-level Staria is a utility vehicle with a single front seat – it’s listed at just under €37,000. The version we tested, a very well-equipped 6-seater Techno, is advertised at €43,558.79. If you opt for a 9-seater model, it has a minimum of 46,999 euros. Finally, the luxurious 7-seater “limousine” version is exhibited at 58,199 euros. The versions intended for private customers are equipped as standard with the 8-speed automatic transmission.

our verdict

With the Staria, Hyundai wants to challenge the benchmarks in the segment that are beginning to admit their age or that can only be ordered in an electric version (Stellantis). With its atypical design and complete equipment, it presents itself as an interesting alternative to the spacious trunk, suitable for many leisure activities and other projects on the move. Our advice: if you want a really comfortable suspension, wait for the versions with multi-link rear suspension. These will not be available until next year.

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