Hyundai's Staria quantifiably better than it's H1 predecessor

Hyundai's Staria quantifiably better than it's H1 predecessor

The Hyundai H1 garnered somewhat of a strong reputation in South Africa. Impressing with its unpretentious design and ‘true-as-Bob’ execution, it found favour with families and businesses. Boasting two durable engines that fit the package like a glove, it won customers over and contributed to the Korean automaker’s sales figures in South Africa.

But as things stand, the H1 needed to be replaced. It became stale in a global market driven by aesthetics, new technologies, and features. It had to be replaced. This opened the door for the Staria‘s introduction, and the new MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) rewrote what we thought was that for Hyundai‘s bus.

The Staria is a massive leap over the H1, addressing all facets in a stylish package. The interior, for example, is plusher with all the latest tech, while the exterior blends a futuristic approach with a modern-day touch. It all boded well for Hyundai since the Staria arrived on the local scene, and sales have been good, too. Just last month, in February 2022, the automaker sold 183 units. And considering that pricing begins at R759 900, that is a strong sales month for the bus.

Vast interior

Though it was only for a brief stint, we had the opportunity to get familiar with the new Staria. Our test model was the headlining Luxury model, offering nine seats and 882 litres of boot space – 117 litres when the third row of seats are erected. It’s a luxurious affair and encompasses the very best of Hyundai‘s craftmanship.

Clamber inside, and you immediately notice how upfront you’re sitting. The front seats are positioned almost directly over the front axle, and the front occupants have a clear view of what’s happening around and in front of them. Of course, the massive windscreen creates a further sense of space, but drivers won’t feel like you’re driving in a Golden Arrow bus either.

Hyundai managed to design the Staria in such a way that it does not come across as cumbersome or lumpy. Instead, the MPV utilises its size in a practical way.

Smooth diesel engine

Where the H1 had two engines to choose from, the Staria is only available with the Group’s 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine. Churning out 130kW and 430Nm, the MPV sends its power to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Staria picks up speed relatively effortlessly, with the 2 285kg vehicle increasing its speed quite strongly.

Though it may not be of any concern, the Staria clears 100km/h from standstill in 12.4 seconds and will run out of steam at 185km/h. The MPV‘s stability at speeds is also impressive, with minimal body roll through the bends.

We could not explore the Staria to its full extent, given our short tenure. This includes not filling all nine seats with bums and gauging its fuel economy in a setting befitting the Staria‘s nature. We hope to change this soon.

References: Charlen Raymond (

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