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Hyundai Staria 2021: people mover packs all wheel drive option, priced from $48,500


The people-moved that looks like no other has finally arrived with a goal to entice SUV-hungry Australian buyers with a long list of clever features and sheer capability.

The 2021 Hyundai Staria has finally arrived in Australian showrooms with an all wheel drive option and prices starting from $48,500 before on-road costs.

Serving as a replacement for the more commercial-focused iMax, the Staria aims to offer a more comfortable ride and provide better handling than its predecessor while making no compromises on practicality.

Hyundai Staria 2021 front
The Hyundai Staria is now on sale with a spaceship-like appearance that looks like none of its rivals

The Staria will face off against rivals such as the Carnival from sibling brand Kia and the Volkswagen Multivan which have both recently been updated.

Following the usual Hyundai format, the base model is simply known as the Staria, the mid-spec is badged the Elite and the Highlander holds the crown as the darling of the range.

A more commercial-focused variant is set to arrive in either September or October this year, with more information expected to follow closer to the date.

Hyundai Staria 2021 seats
Australia receives the eight-seat version of the Staria with an all wheel drive option

What does the Staria include?

Hyundai has previously shared imagery of its spaceship-like design that not only makes it visually distinct but also offers practical benefits such as increased cabin visibility thanks to the low window line.

Overseas the Staria is available with up to 11 seats but the version we get has eight. Hyundai says this arrangement comes with significant flexibility, including the ability to fold and slide the seats at will in the top-spec Staria Highlander.

A key advantage of the Staria is the huge 831L boot space available even when all three rows are in position, well surpassing the already impressive 627L capability of the Kia Carnival.

Hyundai Staria 2021 boot
Even with all three rows up the Staria still has 831 litres of boot space free for school bags

Handy features include 16 cup and bottle holders dotted around the cabin along with window shades in the second and third row in the Staria Elite and Highlander

Up front in the entry-level Staria, Hyundai has fitted an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that is matched with a wireless charging pad and a six-speaker sound system.

Hyundai Staria 2021 interior
The Staria Highlander has a 10.25-inch touchscreen in the centre with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

A total of four USB ports can be found in the cabin that also features a leather steering wheel and a cloth upholstery across all eight seats.

Nestled in the instrument cluster is a 4.2-inch screen that sits between two analogue dials, a setup that can be upgraded to a full-length 10.25-inch screen in the Staria Highlander.

Opting for the Staria Elite adds power sliding doors and a power tailgate at the rear along with more child-friendly leather-appointed seats.

Hyundai Staria 2021 screen
Nifty features include a rear seat monitor to keep an eye on back seat antics

The driver gains 12-way power adjustability and digital radio, along with a wider 10.25-inch touchscreen, though this does come at the loss of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – instead requiring users to plug in a cable to access the smartphone mirroring software.

Saving the best for last, the Staria Highlander adds a heating and cooling function for the front seats, along with a heated steering wheel and a dual-plane power sunroof.

Parents will also appreciate the fitment of a rear passenger view monitor and the slew of  LED cabin lights that make it easier to read a book or cast your eyes over a dark cabin at night.

Hyundai Staria 2021 rear 3/4
Hyundai hopes to ethnic would-be SUV buyers towards its funky new people mover

What’s under the bonnet of the Staria?

To fulfil Hyundai’s goal of creating a people mover that rides smoother and handles better than its commercial-based counterparts, engineers have built the Staria on the same platform as the Santa Fe large SUV.

Like its SUV sibling, the Staria will also share a choice of petrol and diesel engines which are mated exclusively to an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

The cheaper option of the two is a 3.5L V6 engine making 200kW of power and 331Nm of torque which sends power to the front wheels and chews through 10.5L of petrol in combined driving conditions.

A 2.2L turbodiesel four-cylinder engine produces less power at 130kW but more torque at 430Nm and sends its grunt to all four wheels, while using 8.2L/100km of fuel.

Regardless of which grade you pick braked towing capacity is rated at the rather impressive 2.5-tonnes – some 500kg more than large SUVs such as the Mazda CX-9.

Hyundai Staria 2021 front 3/4
With an all wheel drive option and a 2.5-tonne braked towing capacity the Staria is quite versatile

How safe is the Staria for families?

Unsurprisingly, Hyundai has thrown just about every safety feature it can find at such a family-focused vehicle and thankfully most of it comes standard.

This includes:

  • Seven airbags
  • Blind-spot collision avoidance
  • Front AEB
  • Lane keep assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • High beam assist
  • 360-degree camera
  • Safe exit warning
  • Driver attention warning
  • Rear occupant alert
  • Two ISOFIX points

Moving up further through the brochure to the Staria Elite adds safe exit assist to stop occupants from getting out into the path of a moving car or bike and a 3D function for the 360-degree camera.

Only the top-spec Staria Highlander receives the rear passenger view monitoring and the blind spot view monitor which projects a live feed of your blind spots in the instrument cluster.

The Staria is now on sale in Australia in both the petrol and diesel engine options but only time will tell if this funky people mover is enough to snag buyers away from their beloved SUVs. 

Hyundai Staria 2021: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • Staria 3.5L petrol: $48,500
  • Staria 2.2L diesel: $51,500
  • Staria Elite 3.5L petrol: $56,500
  • Staria Elite 2.2L diesel: $59,500
  • Staria Highlander 3.5L petrol: $63,500
  • Staria Highlander 2.2L diesel: $66,500

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