Meet STARIA, Hyundai’s new multi-purpose vehicle

HYUNDAI’S all-new STARIA multi-purpose vehicle has arrived in South Africa, featuring a futuristic design, and delivering a ride quality and premium experience that denotes the massive strides made by its Korean manufacturer since its humble beginnings five decades ago.

The STARIA’s debut furthers Hyundai Motor’s transformation as a Smart Mobility Solution Provider and embodies the company’s “inside-out” design methodology that emphasizes interior spaciousness and usability.

The STARIA is Hyundai’s response to shifting consumer needs by offering them purposeful, innovative features and redefining in-car travel experiences in line with the company’s vision of “Progress for Humanity”.

The complete STARIA range will be 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. A STARIA Panel Van and a versatile five-seater version, similar to the previous H1 Multicab, will be added to the local range next year.

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 STARIA Luxury model features an exclusive tinted brass chrome treatment, applied to the Hyundai emblem, grille, headlamp bezels, front and rear bumpers, wheels, side mirrors and door handles to emphasize the vehicle’s premium and modern look.

Lowered beltlines and panoramic side windows improve overall visibility and create a feeling of openness in the STARIA. This sense of spaciousness – inspired by traditional Korean “hanok” architecture – allows passengers to feel as if the outside scenes are an extension of the vehicle interior.

The design theme carries over to the rear, featuring a wide window framed by elongated vertical tail lamps, with the STARIA Luxury models receiving Hyundai’s unique Parametric Pixel lamp design and garnish on top. The rear bumper is lowered so passengers can easily load and unload cargo.

The STARIA is available in five exterior colours: Abyss Black Pearl, Creamy White, Graphite Grey Metallic, Moonlight Blue Pearl and Shimmering Silver Metallic.

Transforming mobility by providing quality time in transit

The STARIA 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 vehicle’s lower beltlines and panoramic windows create a spacious, stimulating environment for all passengers.

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 glove compartment in the first-row passenger’s seat is moved forward to provide extra legroom space. 

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.

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 Elite and Executive versions have a middle seat in front, of which the seat back can tilt flat forward to provide cup holders and storage space for odds and ends.

The STARIA Luxury offers a variety of additional interior features that will transform the passenger’s mobility experience. 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 one-touch relaxation mode makes the seats recline automatically to a seat posture that comfortably disperses the passenger’s weight and improves overall body balance. Even when the seats are reclined by this mode, there is enough room for an adult passenger to sit comfortably in the third row, thanks to the STARIA’s spacious interior layout. 

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 meetings face to face. Families will also find these swivelling seats convenient as rear-facing passengers will have easy access to those seated in the third row. The premium feeling in the Luxury version is further enhanced by the Bose sound system.

Additionally, the STARIA’s generous legroom is among the best in its segment and can be converted into expansive additional cargo space when all seats are pushed together — made possible by the versatile long sliding seat function. Moreover, the full-flat mode applied to rear passenger seats of the STARIA standard model makes this vehicle the perfect choice for activities that require a lot of room and interior flexibility, such as camping and sports where luggage space is needed for equipment.

The STARIA’s innovative interior space utilization is made possible by the MPV’s 3 273 mm wheelbase with an overall length of 5 253 mm and width of 1 997 mm. Its overall height of 1 990 mm is optimized for passengers to conveniently enter and exit the vehicle and is high enough for an average school-aged child to stand upright and move with ease. 

The cargo space availability varies depending on how the seating configurations are arranged.

“The STARIA is not just reinterpreting spatiality, but also reimagining time spent in transit for the future. Designing for mobility isn’t about vehicle design. It’s about designing to accommodate a variety of lifestyles,” says SangYup Lee, senior vice president and head of Global Hyundai Design. “The STARIA’s interior space and functionalities aim to transform how people experience in-car travel, optimizing journeys by making the most of time in transit.”

The STARIA’s interior is available in black trim – also for the artificial leather seats – in the Executive and Elite versions, and comes with genuine Nappa leather seats in brown, grey or black in the Luxury derivative.

Turbodiesel engine with smooth automatic transmission

The STARIA is driven through its front wheels by an improved R2.2-litre VGT turbodiesel engine, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It delivers 130 kW maximum power, and its torque output peaks at 430 Nm. Its high-efficiency, air-cooled turbocharger has an improved compressor and turbine wheel performance for better low speed torque performance.

Hyundai Motor optimized the engine and transmission to achieve low noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels and a better shift sensation for high torque performance and improved acceleration. It also optimized the direct valve control body for increased hydraulic efficiency, the oil pump for fuel efficiency, and the gearbox’s multi-plate torque converter for control and fuel efficiency. 

Mechanical upgrades also resulted in improved ride comfort thanks to the application of a multi-link suspension at the rear axle for the Luxury, Elite and Executive derivatives. The STARIA Panel Van will use a rigid rear axle with leaf springs.

The STARIA’s upright inclination angle and lever ratio of shock absorbers also contribute to improved ride comfort, especially in the rear seats. Likewise, upgrades in brake calipers and discs provide stable stopping power even with the model’s large size. 

On top of mechanical upgrades, aerodynamic upper body design and under-body improvements result in improved drag coefficient for better fuel economy. 

The superior ride quality is also achieved by a 14% increase in torsional rigidity versus its predecessor, and an improvement in average body strength of 70% – the result of hot stamping applied to 10 spots on the chassis. The intelligent use of materials of various strengths in the chassis also ensures higher collision safety.

Smart features for safety and convenience

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. 

The STARIA also offers more safety features in the Elite and Luxury versions, such as Safe Exit Assist (SEA) which prevents the door from opening in a situation where a passenger attempts to open the power sliding door while a rear-side vehicle is passing by, and Rear Occupant Alert (ROA), which uses a radar sensor to detect and alert the driver if a rear passenger is left in the car after exiting the vehicle.

A very innovative blind spot view monitor in the Luxury derivative shows an image in the 10,2-inch Supervision instrument cluster in front of the driver, replacing either the rev counter (for right turn) or speedometer (left turn) momentarily with a real-time rear-view image.

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.

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