Station Wagons became frowned upon until they became known as SUVs. Today, nobody wants a minivan unless they are raising a family. Then, a minivan can be indispensable. But what if the minivan was envisioned in a different way? Would a wild-looking Hyundai Starex be able to spike minivan sales?
Hyundai is road-testing prototype 2022 Starex vans in South Korea
Currently, Hyundai is road-testing prototype 2022 Starex vans in South Korea. This is partly because once the Starex is out it will probably not make it to our shores. But what if it did? It is just interesting-enough and compelling that it could jar some minivan haters into minivan owners.
The lines are clean and simple, without all of the body sculptings that seem necessary to sell vehicles today. No bizarro front end like the Chevy Silverado pickups. It is not trying to be anything more than a clean, honest minivan.
The Starex has what we would consider typical van proportions
It also looks like it has what we would consider typical van proportions. Nothing like the Nissan or Ford small delivery vans that seem so narrow and, well, small. We doubt this is much bigger but without reference we can’t say for sure.
These renderings came from YouTube’s gotchacars and are said to be accurate to what the Starex will look like based on spy shots. Little else is known about the minivan at this point. But it is worth noting that Hyundai has a number of vans in the works right now.
The iMax is a slick little van with a drift version called the iMax Drift Bus that has become a favorite in Australia. It is the current version of the Starex. The Hyundai Custo is a cross between a minivan and SUV. Hyundai markets the Custo as a luxury seven-seat van. It recently debuted in China and looks like it could sell in the US but so far isn’t in the cards.
The Hyundai Custo MPV is a cross between a van and a hatchback
The Hyundai Custo MPV is still in the works and is a different-looking minivan headed to India. It is based on the Kia Carnival van that just debuted here earlier in the month. The Custo MPV is a cross between a van and a hatchback. With an airy upper and sloping rear, it is hard to identify exactly what segment it should be in.
Finally, there is the Hyundai Porest which is a small RV. This one is based on Hyundai’s Porter cab-over using the front half with the rest of the platform taken with the camper. Again, there are no plans to bring it to the US.
Of course in the US sister company, Kia just introduced the Carnival, which was formerly called the Sedona. Kia also no longer calls this segment a minivan. Instead, it is a “Grand Utility Vehicle.” Will calling it a “GUV” do the same for minivans as SUV did for station wagons? We’ll have to wait and see what happens. But we do know that there is still a segment of the population that wants whatever you call them.