Hyundai has unleashed the future of people moving in the form of the Staria van – complete with 16 cupholders, five USB ports and enough space for a party (or two).
The futuristic people mover is a radical change from the iMax it replaces as Hyundai’s eight-seat family wagon.
And it’s the external design that dominates.
Traditional eye-like headlights have been replaced with an LED slit, although the actual illumination comes from the foglight-style lights built into the dominant lower grille.
The rear has long vertical pixel-style tail lights.
With lots of window space and sliding rear doors it makes for a bold look that is sure to stand out from the mass of SUVs on suburban streets.
There’s also no shortage of sheer metal. At 5253mm long, 1997mm wide and 1990mm tall the Staria is 273mm longer, 17mm wider and 40mm taller than the upcoming Toyota LandCruiser 300-Series.
Whether it has the same appeal of an SUV or ute remains to be seen.
But the Staria does pack plenty in – including an optional all-wheel drive system.
There are three models in the lineup, the basic Staria, the Staria Elite and the Staria Highlander.
The regular Staria starts at $48,500 plus on-road costs, the Elite at $56,500 and the Highlander at $63,500.
For that you get a front-drive 3.5-litre V6 with an eight-speed auto making 200kW and 331Nm.
For an extra $3000 you can get a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel driving all four wheels through an eight-speed auto. The diesel makes 130kW and 430Nm.
All models come with loads more equipment than the basic iLoad.
And connectivity is at the top of the list: there are USB ports in all three rows as well as a Qi wireless phone charging system up front. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
The Elite and Highlander get a 10.25-inch central infotainment screen while the Highlander matches it to a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.
Power sliding doors match those of the Staria’s closest rival, the Kia Carnival – a car that also uses the same engines, albeit with front-drive only on its diesel version.
Safety has also taken a big step forward from the iLoad, with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), curtain airbags down each side (there are seven airbags in total), rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning and 360-degree camera (for Elite and Highlander only).
All Starias come with smart key entry, tyre pressure monitoring, Apple CarPlay and separate ventilation controls for those in the rear.
The Elite picks up leather seats, a powered tailgate, digital radio tuning and blinds for the rear side windows.
The Highlander adds a dual sunroof, new interior colour options, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and additional dashboard storage boxes.