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04 October 2021 Posted by 

BROADER CAPABILITIES AND AWD

Headlining Hyundai’s iMax replacement
HYUNDAI | MATT BROGAN
HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) says it is targeting a 22 per cent share of the sub-$60,000 people mover segment with its just-launched Staria, however that figure is still well behind 56 per cent stranglehold of the Kia Carnival.
 
The modest goal is reflective of the 14-year-old and now defunct iMax’s peak sales performance in 2014 with the brand hoping to emulate the figures with its new model while pinching sales away from SUVs.
 
Speaking to media at the local launch of the Staria, HMCA product general manager Andrew Tuitahi said the new model was designed to improve on the iMax “in two key areas” on account of it riding on the same N3 platform as the Santa Fe large SUV.
 
“The first was space and practicality, and we see that improved dramatically with the platform relation to the Santa Fe,” he said.
 
“The other is drivability; bringing the ride and handling characteristics of our people-mover in line with current customer expectations.
 
“We think the line-up gives us a unique offering in the market and a great opportunity for cross-shopping against SUVs.”
 
The eight-seat model is priced from $48,500 (plus on-road costs) and is already available in dealerships in three different grades, each with the option of petrol or diesel power, however the latter is paired exclusively to the Hyundai Group’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system.
 
As previously reported by GoAuto, the powerplants in question are a 200kW/331Nm 3.5-litre V6 and a 130kW/420Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, both of which are paired to a shift-by-wire eight-speed automatic transmission. 
 
Combined cycle fuel economy is listed at 10.5L/100km for the petrol and 8.2L/100km for the diesel, with CO2 emissions of 239g/km and 218g/km respectively.
 
Braked towing capacity for either driveline is listed at 2500kg, 500kg more than the Kia Carnival and now on par with the Volkswagen Multivan.
 
Longer, wider, and taller than the Carnival, the Staria measures 5252mm in length (+98mm), 1997mm wide (+2mm), and 1990mm tall (+15mm) with a 3273mm wheelbase, giving it 183mm more space between the axles than the segment dominating Kia.
 
Cargo space extends from 831-1303 litres (VDA) depending on the seating configuration utilised.
 
“The all-new Staria is a head-turning eight-seat people-mover alternative to our SUV favourites, Santa Fe and Palisade, with all the safety, comfort, and convenience technology our customers expect in a modern passenger vehicle,” said HMCA CEO Jun Heo.
 
The Staria is the first model to debut Hyundai’s single-curve silhouette, a design which will carry over to its upcoming Staria Load – the replacement for the mid-sized iLoad van – which is due to touchdown locally within the next four to six weeks.
 
HMCA says the Staria’s styling is a “sleek and clean minimalist style which opens with a futuristic front treatment headlined by a wide, body-coloured radiator grille with low-set LED headlights at either side, with a horizontal LED strip above comprising a centre positioning lamp and DRLs”.
 
More convenience features
 
The frontal styling of the 2022 Hyundai Staria is undoubtedly the people-mover’s strongest, and perhaps most divisive talking point. 
 
The theme continues across deep panoramic side glass, automatic sliding doors, and subtly flared arches over 18-inch alloy wheels with the broad, minimalist profile of the vehicle providing a “stable, sporty stance”.
 
At the rear, the Staria’s top-hinged automatic tailgate is identified by a large single pane of glass atop an integrated ‘STARIA’ logo and flanked by vertical ‘parometric’ LED combination tail-lights. An integrated spoiler includes a high-mount stop-light and wiper/washer.
 
Hyundai’s inside-out design philosophy focussed on extracting as much space from the new Staria as possible. As such, the vehicle’s interior features over a metre of legroom across each of its three rows and enough interior space for children to stand upright. 
 
Considerable thought has also been given to entry and egress with the second row of seats sliding and tilting automatically to provide access to the third row.
 
Currently, the Staria is available only in eight-seat format with ADR limitations prohibiting the sale of nine and eleven-seat variants. HMCA says it is “exploring other seating configuration options”, including a higher-grade seven-seat model with second-row Captain’s chairs.
 
The dashboard includes dual 10.25-inch displays – one for the infotainment array and the other for the instrument panel. Leather upholstery is available on Highlander variants, as well as a Qi wireless smartphone charger, five USB charging points and 16 cupholders.
 
Further convenience features include a smart key with push-button door opening/closing and remote engine start, a blind spot view, surround view, and a rear passenger view monitor.
 
HMCA product planning coordinator Simon Bartnik said the Staria is part of the brands plan to release 18 new models by the end of 2022 and “aims to be the safest people-mover on the market”.
 
“The all-new Staria replaces the oldest model in our line-up and is the latest in a series of new and upgraded models Hyundai has released locally this year,” he said.
 
Despite the big safety aspiration, the Staria does not feature child-seat anchor points in the third row, however it does include top-tether and ISOFIX anchors in the second row.
 
It is yet to be tested by EuroNCAP or ANCAP, but the related Santa Fe received a five-star safety rating.
 
Nevertheless, the Staria features seven airbags – including curtain airbags across all three seating rows – blind-spot, lane keeping, and lane-following assistants, auto high-beam, autonomous emergency braking with multi-collision brake, driver attention monitoring, safe exit earning, rear cross-traffic assist and a 360-degree camera.
 
Higher grade models add safe exit assistance and a 3D surround-view camera.
 
The Hyundai Staria is backed by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Servicing intervals are set at 12 months or 15,000km (whichever comes first) with the first five services priced at $360.
 
HMCA says it expects Staria sales to favour the all-wheel-drive diesel variants over the two-wheel-drive petrols (55:45 per cent), with the base trim anticipated to be the bulk seller and account for around 40 per cent of sales. 
 
2022 Hyundai Staria pricing*
Staria 3.5 (a) $48,500
Staria 2.2 (a) $51,500
Elite 3.5 (a) $56,500
Elite 2.2 (a) $59,500
Highlander 3.5 (a) $63,500
Highlander 2.2 (a) $66,500
*Excludes on-road costs


editor

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Michael Walls
michael@accessnews.com.au
0407 783 413

Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.