FIRST DRIVE: Hyundai Staria Premium - ‘Spaceship outside, cruise ship inside’

By sep, 27 October 2021

What’s it like to cruise around in the Hyundai Staria Premium?

The new 2021 Hyundai Staria Premium has officially entered the Malaysian market and prior to its official launch, we were given the grand opportunity to have quick go driving it around town. Since there was only one unit available at the Hyundai Ara Damansara, we had to share with other media members who were scheduled in the same time slot, but that just gave us more chances to really test out how the Staria feels from multiple points of view.

First and foremost, you simply cannot deny the fact that the Hyundai Staria Premium is a headturner thanks especially to how its front end was designed. That singular line that runs from front to rear offers a very futuristic look and it also helps aerodynamics for a smoother driving experience. Perhaps its most outstanding feature is the daytime-running lights and positioning lamp combo which looks like a singular and slim light bar running across the width of the front.

Its uniquely designed front grille also runs from end to end with low-mounted LED projector headlights lighting up the way. If I was driving a different car and saw the Staria from the rearview mirror, it would certainly catch my attention enough to let pass and watch the whole thing drive by. No matter which angle you look at it, you would most likely agree with Hyundai’s statement when they say the exterior design was inspired by the looks of a spaceship.

From the driver’s point of view, the visibility surrounding the vehicle is massive and open thanks to its huge front screen, low dashboard, and panoramic windows. It’s probably the biggest in its class, and to make things even better, the Hyundai Staria has cameras around the vehicle that sends a live feed of blindspots to the 10.25-inch multi-info display when you use the turn signals. As for reversing, there’s a 360 view shown on the 8-inch centre touchscreen for more ease of mind.

hyundai staria premium review malaysia
hyundai staria premium review malaysia

Driving it was also quite a comfortable experience. Powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, the Staria Premium produces 177PS and 431Nm of torque. Power is modulated via an eight-speed automatic transmission with shift-by-wire tech, which also affected how the cabin was designed - one with massive space in the front row. Storage is all over the place, just throw anything anywhere and it is bound to land in one of the compartments on the dash, doors, or its huge centre console.

But if you’re planning to own a Hyundai Staria Premium, whoever is sitting at the back (particularly the second row) is where the magic happens. A pair of captain seats mount on the second row offers great comfort and support with the option to lean back and rest optimally via a push of a button. You want to ride like a boss? Sit in the second row and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The third-row seats are also very spacious that can fit two adults or three children very comfortably (unfortunately, no ISOFIX points here). Passengers have their own dedicated airconditioning vents and USB ports on each side so that everyone on board can be comfortable and relaxed throughout the journey. Space is the name of the game and the Hyundai Staria Premium delivers it exceptionally well.

Storage space at the boot is set at 431 litres in the stock state, but can easily be increased my moving the second and third-row seats slightly forward or simply folding the final row which can be expanded up to 5,000 litres of space. Going on a golf vacation trip with your buddies? The Staria Premium can easily fit up to five golf bags in this configuration.

Safety-wise, the Staria Premium is very well-equipped with specs such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Safe Exit Assist (SEA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC), and more. From RM358,888 (OTR excluding insurance), it’s a bit up there but very much worth considering.