Published on May 28th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
This Is Not An Electric Powered Hyundai. Staria MPV Test Drive Review
So is the Hyundai Staria MPV an electric vehicle or not?
This is the latest people mover from Hyundai Motor Company and it was launched in October 2021 with a selling price of ……. wait for it …….. RM358,888 making it the most expensive Hyundai model ever to be on sale in Malaysia.
It is called Staria and this multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) is NOT a replacement model or even an upgraded version of the Hyundai Starex MPV, instead it is a Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs) and it is FULLY IMPORTED from Korea and this is why it commands a rather high selling price.
Meanwhile, let us assume that sales growth will surge and Hyundai in Malaysia decides to local assembly the Staria, like they do with the Hyundai Starex, do not expect the Staria selling price to drop much as this is luxury vehicle that wants to challenge the ‘mighty’ Toyota Alphard and also Toyota Vellfire.
In the past decade or so, some rivals have arrived to challenge the ‘mighty’ Alphard and Vellfire siblings, but they ALL only dented the demand and this is why they disappeared from showrooms over the years. We are talking about the Nissan Elgrand and the Honda Odyssey.
This Hyundai Staria has a 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 which is high enough for an average primary school child to stand upright and move inside with ease.
So, with a steep asking price of RM358k we wanted to see if the Staria has enough ‘ooopmh’ to challenge the mighty Toyota Alphard which retails for RM468,000 with full warranty and after sales from UMW Toyota.
From the time we picked up the Staria to start our test drive, every person we met or talked to us thought this was a full electric powered vehicle. With its futuristic design language and ‘funky’ lights in the front and also rear, the Staria comes across as being a high technology all electric Tesla rival. The world first all electric MPV you might say.
Sadly, this is no true at all and it is not even a hybrid. Instead it is powered by a very enjoyable 2.2L turbocharged diesel engine.
High Comfort Cabin
Step inside this very large and spacious MPV and you will see the effort to give the cabin a very luxurious look with suede material around the door panels with the combination of brown nappa leather on all 7 seats. Yes, it is luxury 7 seater with superb comfort for the middle row and decent comfort with ample legroom in the last row seat in the rear.
There is a little disappointment with the dashboard as the grey plastic trim on the dashboard and around the suede material does not reflect a true premium look. The hard grey plastic trim seems to be shared with the Starex MPV. The latest Hyundai Sonata and Elantra has a far better delivery of dashboard plastic and trim.
The driver gets a comfortable position with great outward view with an advanced 10.25-inch front display screen, touch-based center fascia and a button-type electronic gear-shifter (no gear lever). The digital cluster is located on top of the dashboard, providing an unobstructed view for the driver. There is also an 8-inch touchscreen with MP3 playback, AUX-in, USB, Bluetooth, wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto and Voice Recognition provided.
Hyundai from the factory offers the Staria in 11 seat, 9 seat and this 7-seat premium configuration. The 7-seat premium configuration comes with Premium Relaxation Seats in the second row that recline electronically and also 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 Staria’s spacious interior layout. This premium cabin is further enhanced by the 12-speaker Bose sound system.
Smart Safety Features
This Staria has secured the highest level of vehicle safety. The Staria has six airbags and all seats come with three-point seat belts and headrests. Safety is further bolstered by smart features such as Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA).
Hyundai Staria also offers other safety features like lane keep assist, lane following assist and rear cross traffic collision avoidance assist. In a situation where a passenger attempts to open the power sliding door while a rear-side vehicle is passing by, Safe Exit Assist (SEA) prevents the door from opening.
Powering This MPV
The Malaysian sold Staria uses a diesel-powered 2.2-litre VGT engine mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission which delivers 177 PS and 431Nm of torque. Its high-efficiency, air-cooled turbocharger has an improved compressor and turbine wheel performance for better low speed torque performance.
Driving This MPV
From the drivers seat you have a clear and easy view around this Staria as the low belt-line and wide glass area provides for great visibility for the driver as well as passengers. Power delivery is smooth at all gears and even in heavy traffic the diesel clatter is negligible inside the well fitted cabin.
On the road this new diesel makes light work of the Staria’s well proportioned bulk and will hurl the big luxury family vehicle down the road with aplomb, reaching 100km/h from rest in just under 10 seconds. In town traffic ‘the get up and go’ nature is also spirited and needs less enthusiasm from the driver’s right foot when compared to its petrol powered rivals.
The suspension set-up delivers a saloon car-like comfort on the tarmac and control with minimal body roll, whilst the new steering design offers improved precision and feel. With all the best safety features found in the new Sonata and more, this Staria has all the right elements to give Alphard buyers another option. Take a test drive, or even a sit at the rear and be driven to get your own opinion of this premium MPV from Hyundai.
Hyundai STARIA 2.2L DIESEL Specifications
Engine: CRDi 16V 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Power: 177hp @ 3,800rpm
Torque: 431Nm @ 1,500-2,500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto
Speed: 190 km/h
0-100km/h: 10.0 seconds
Price: From RM358,888.00