We hate calling the 2022 Hyundai Staria a minivan, though that’s what it is. But “minivan” has such a bad connotation; like calling it a Pontiac Aztek. You’d hate it if it was called “Aztek” before you even saw it. And that’s what happens with “minivan.” But look at this thing-have you have ever seen anything that looks like this? Maybe in some futuristic movie or Syd Mead illustration. The Staria looks more like a spaceship than a minivan.
The Staria is a bold, gutsy move for Hyundai
But semantics aside, this is a bold, gutsy move for Hyundai. The goal is to offer a variety of versions from a two-seat cargo van to an 11-seat people mover; albeit one that is more luxurious than the 1990s mom vans we’re so used to. And while it’s a simple design without any body sculpting, it’s the details added to the body that gives it this futuristic spaceship character.
Like the full-width running light bar positioned high with the headlights set down low. Or the way the large side windows taper to a point at the A-pillar. And those tiny pixel-like dots that make up the taillights. Done more conventionally, this would look like a 1990s Nissan minivan. With the unique details it becomes more compelling.
Inside the Star Wars interior one would expect instead becomes more like a comfortable lounge. Going too modern inside would be too cold. It would not be inviting, which the Staria’s interior is. And the captain’s chairs can be arranged in different orientations within the cabin depending on one’s needs.
There is also a one-touch relaxation mode in the Staria’s second-row seats
There is also a one-touch relaxation mode in the second-row seats. The relaxation seats automatically recline and change pressure points to spread out support for better body balance. And second-row seats in the nine-passenger version swivel. Different consoles are shown depending on trim levels. Some press images show larger screens than others. Premium models get ambient lighting and a digital gauge cluster.
Interestingly, a manual transmission is available in lower level models with an automatic available in higher-optioned Starias. Though Hyundai has not released much powertrain info rumors say a turbo four-cylinder engine will also be available. And the Premium version of the Staria comes with a unique grille with a mesh pattern different from other models. The Premium Staria also comes with tinted brass chrome emblems, wheels, side mirrors, and door handles. The 18-inch wheels for the Premium incorporate diamond patterns and graphics.
It still has not been announced if Staria will make it to the US. Hyundai plans on releasing it in selected countries before this summer. We’d like to see it make it here, and see if it might revive or change the minivan perception.