Hyundai Staria MPV – bold Starex successor teased –

As the stalwart of Hyundai’s commercial vehicle range, the Starex has maintained its no-frills appeal for the past 14 years, even as the company’s passenger car lineup continues to move up in terms of style and sophistication. But the South Korean carmaker is in the midst of a design revolution of late and leaving no stone unturned, so even its van/MPV offering is getting a substantial makeover.

So far-reaching is the redesign that Hyundai is giving the Starex a new name, so say hello to the Staria – the new moniker apparently references the vehicle’s “future-oriented product values and streamlined design characteristics.” That sounds like a load of marketing nonsense, but the teaser images released today show a drastically different look that genuinely makes good on that premise.

Gone is the Starex’s humdrum tour bus aesthetic, replaced by a sleek, almost space shuttle-like body. The front fascia is dominated by the large rectangular grille, which takes up the entire lower half and carries the vertical low-mounted headlights. Above this is a slim, full-width LED daytime running light strip, which gives the Staria a RoboCop-like look.

Along the side, the designers have pared back the surfacing, with simple flared wheel arches and no character lines to break up the clean, pebble-like styling. The beltline drops down to give the Staria massive side windows, which should provide occupants with an unrivalled view out. Narrow vertical taillights complete the van’s austere design language, seen here in higher-end Staria Premium form.

Also shown is the interior, which derives its futuristic aesthetic from the latest Tucson. There are slim, broad air vents in front of the driver and passenger, separated by a waterfall-like centre console. A large freestanding panel sits on top and houses the infotainment touchscreen and touch-sensitive climate controls. A push-button gear selector, borrowed from recent Hyundai models like the Sonata, frees up some space.

Between the front seats is a sizeable console which will likely be removable and offer a significant amount of storage space. We also get a look at the individual second-row seats of this likely range-topping model, which appear very plush and come with business class-like wraparound headrests and ottomans.

No technical details have been revealed as yet, but expect the Staria to be offered with the usual range of petrol and diesel engines, the latter being important for carrying the inevitable load of passengers and cargo. More information will be revealed in the coming weeks.

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