The Hyundai Starex has been a stalwart in the South Korean automaker’s portfolio for the past 14 years now. Even though it is not on sale in India, we do get its sibling the Kia Carnival for sale here. Currently, Hyundai is in the midst of a design revolution to shed its image of a car company that sells affordable vehicles with long warranty schemes. The likes of the Hyundai i30 N and the new Tucson are some of the first vehicles in what is going to be a range of vehicles with a new brand identity. And to make sure it is leaving no stone unturned, the venerable Starex MPV is also getting an all-new design and even going as far as to give it a new name.
Bid adieu to the Hyundai Starex, and say hello to the Staria, which apparently references the vehicle’s “future-oriented product values and streamlined design characteristics.” Though automakers tend to talk in a bit of hyperbole, the teaser images that have been released show a complete redesign which looks to make good on the premise. The Starex’s practical but unassuming tour bus design has been replaced by a sleek and futuristic body.
The front-end of the new Staria is dominated by a large rectangular grille that runs the entire width of the MPV and incorporates the low-mounted headlights while the upper half of the front gets a full-width slim LED DRL strip. The side profile gets simple flared wheel arches along with a clean profile that has toned back on the character lines and surfaces. The beltline drops down after the A-pillar to give way for massive windows, letting in lots of light to enter the MPV’s spacious cabin. The rear-end continues the clean and futuristic design with narrow vertical LED taillights.
The interior of the upcoming Hyundai Staria borrows design cues from the new Tucson’s ‘InterSpace’ language with slim but very broad air vents that run the width of the dashboard, only interrupted by the waterfall style centre console. A freestanding panel sits on top which houses the touchscreen infotainment system and touch-sensitive climate controls. There’s a new push-button gear level which is similar to recent Hyundai models like the Sonata. There’s a large console between the front seats which will likely be reasonable to free up even more space in the cabin.
The interior teasers also gave us a glimpse of the second-row captain seats which will be likely be offered in the top models and appears to be very comfortable with its wraparound headrests and pop-up leg rests. Hyundai did not release any technical details with the teasers, though it is expected to be offered with a range of petrol and diesel engines, with the oil-burner being more suited for its purposes. Further information will be coming in the near future.