By Sala Masindane
We can be forgiven for mistaking Easter for Christmas when the Hyundai Staria 9-seater Luxury bus arrived at our doorstep. That is thanks to all the bells and whistles it features. This coincided well with the Easter family vacation to the coast.
Up front, the Luxury grade sports a horizontal DRL running across the width of the car. The futuristic design theme is carried to the rear wide window framed by elongated vertical tail lamps. There’s certainly no doubt that the MPV is here to compete and possibly win more people over. The exterior looks are always going to spark a conversation but that of course means more attention to it.
Inside, the luxury bus has an 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comptibility, and wireless screen mirroring capability. The second and third row feature Captains Seats, while the former can be heated and swivels 180 degrees. All passengers have the benefit of USB charging ports.
The premium bus is available in either 9 or 11 seating options, we were in the former. The configuration meant that there’s enough room to access the second and third row, but the last row does comprise boot space when traveling with 9 passengers. This conundrum obviously will necessitate a trailer for all the luggage.
The experience in the Staria Luxury is further bolstered by smart options such as Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA), lane keep assist and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA). Other safety features include Wireless Module Seat Belt Reminder (WM-SBR) and Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
Performance and drive
The Staria 9-seater Luxury bus is powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine making 130kW and 430Nm. It is paired with a smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox which sends power to the front wheels.
During our time, the 2.2l diesel engine carried the two-ton body with relative ease. This also was felt with its smoothness on highway or city driving and resulting in little to no body roll. The higher seating position also assisted in better visibility during inclement weather. It is frugal to live with as we managed an average of 7.9l/km during our stint that is better than the claimed 8.7l/100km.
The competition in the segment keeps on growing particularly in the luxury MPV one. The front runners include the Mercedes-Benz V220d, Volkswagen Caravelle, Toyota Quantum VX, Ford Tourneo, the recently launched Kia Carnival and Opel Zafira Life Elegance. The Hyundai Staria is certainly in a good league, and it may be taking the lead if we consider everything. That being the price, looks, interior and overall living.
The Hyundai Staria is priced from R794,900. Our Luxury grade Staria is priced at R1,104,900. Prices include a leading 7-year/200,000 km manufacturer warranty, roadside assistance for 7-years or 150,000 km, and a 6-year/90,000 km service plan.
Leave a comment