Hyundai Staria: 'spaceship on the road' arrives in Middle East

New multi-purpose vehicle from the South Korean manufacturer is designed to look distinctly other-worldly

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Hyundai’s new Staria multipurpose vehicle has rolled into the Middle East and, if looks alone are what you’re judging it by, no one will mistake it for anything other than a vehicle created very recently indeed.

The team responsible for the new runabout have designed a people mover with an outside shell that embraces modernity, looking as it does, distinctly different from any of its competitors.

It is notable for what Hyundai refers to as its “one-curve gesture silhouettes”, and the idea was to give the impression of the kind of spaceships revealed in the imaginations of those creating sci-fi movies and comic books.

This is evident if you view the vehicle from the front, where there is a prominent grille topped off with horizontal daytime running lights and headlamps underneath. The back is a little more conservative, but that might be the only aspect of the Staria you’d make that observation about.

Lowered beltlines and panoramic side windows improve overall visibility on the car and, Hyundai says, create a feeling of openness.

The high-tech look continues on the inside, with a 10.25-inch (26-centimetre) front display screen and the digital cluster located on top of the dashboard, providing an unobstructed view for the driver.

A 64-colour ambient mood lighting set-up looks likely to provide a suitably plush interior atmosphere as well.

Plenty of seating options in the Staria – the second row can be turned 180 degrees should passengers feel chatty

Several seating configurations are available, from only two for the van model to five, seven, nine, then all the way up to 11. Perhaps not as roomy as a road-going version of the Starship Enterprise just yet, but certainly spacious enough.

Even before you get inside though, the Staria’s sliding doors will open automatically on your approach (as long as you’ve got the smart key on you, obviously).

Power comes from a diesel-powered 2.2-litre engine or a more powerful 3.5-litre petrol option, with some versions beefed up by an air-cooled turbocharger.

Hyundai says the Staria reflects its commitment to lead the mobility industry as a provider of smart transport solutions, under its vision of "Progress for Humanity".

Bang Sun-jeong, head of Hyundai Motor Company Middle East & Africa HQs, said the Staria would “provide a completely new experience for customers”, and, for those of us not used to riding around in concept cars, he may well have a point.

Updated: October 11, 2021, 9:42 AM