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2021 Hyundai Staria owner review


About the Hyundai Staria

Oly purchased this Hyundai Staria new with additional options for $56,685 (including all on-road costs). Oly would buy this car again because: “Its a decent 8-seater people mover, offering space for eight adults (not four adults and three small kids) as well as adequate luggage space. Looks pretty cool, is well screwed together, and has all the safety features you want in a people mover. Has sufficient power from the 2.2 turbo-diesel to keep up with traffic even when fully loaded. Reasonably priced compared to its competitors. We had a look at the people mover competition:
1. Mercedes-Benz Valente: Very nice but on the pricey side. Service and ownership costs would also be higher. Having said that we almost signed on the dotted line for the Benz. The seating arrangements are fantastic and so versatile, it drives really well, the engine and gearbox are gems.
2. Kia Carnival: I like it but coming from the VW Multivan, my wife didn’t like it. Kids felt claustrophobic in the 3rd row. The Staria is a van, offers more interior space and a big boot and has nice big windows for the kids to look out and not get car sick.
3. Toyota Granvia: My wife and I really liked it, but the seating arrangements mean you can seat 8 but you will need to leave the pram and school bags behind. Also on the costly side in comparison.
4. VW Multivan: Climbing into the 2022 Multivan from a 2012 Multivan was underwhelming. Sure there are technology improvements, but I didn’t see much reason to upgrade. The DSG gearbox was annoying for 10 years, and hasn’t gotten any better in the new one.”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

We have only had the van for two months and ~1000km, so will need to update this when we have had it for a bit longer. No issue to date.

First “inspection” done at Hyundai was a pleasant enough experience.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

It’s a van. Not exactly a driving enthusiasts first choice for a winding mountain road. But it does what it says on the tin.

It carries our family safely and in relative comfort, it drives pretty well, has enough comfort and convenience features to keep the parents and little ones happy. The A/C works well at keeping everyone (even the third row) cool. The fuel consumption is reasonable and the service costs are acceptable.

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

I don’t particularly enjoy the purchase process in dealerships, but it was not unpleasant. The sales person was polite and efficient, and there was no pressure to purchase a higher spec model or additional options. Finance options were presented, but again no pressure was applied to use in-house finance.

The first 1000km inspection at the dealership was a seamless process, but booking requires more than four weeks in advance.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

Yes. The price was competitive compared to other the people movers available (VW Multivan, Toyota Granvia, Mercedes Valente). The other people movers available currently may have been cheaper but did not offer adequate safety ratings (e.g. curtain airbags including third-row seats) and were subsequently not short-listed.

The seating flexibility is limited compared to the Multivan and Valente, and this could be improved.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

Fuel consumption according to the display is 13.1L/100km. Urban traffic, school runs, parked in the school parking lot with the A/C blowing to prevent tiny sleeping cubs from melting into their child restraints in the blazing hot Queensland summer sun.

This would no doubt be lower with longer drives and less traffic. Performance for a van is decent.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

We owned a VW Mulitvan 400 TDI 4Motion for just shy of 10 years, so it’s quite a while since we bought a new van and the technology has advanced a little in the meantime. We bought the base model, but it’s far from poverty-pack. We didn’t buy the mid- or top spec models for a reason.

I didn’t want leather (too hot on bare little legs after being parked in the sun) and I put on car seat covers to protect the seats anyway. I didn’t want automatic doors, as the little ones have too much fun pushing buttons to open and close them repeatedly. I also didn’t want a sunroof to prevent my cerebrospinal fluid from turning into steam.

The base model has everything we wanted in terms of convenience and nice-to-haves. I’m still getting used to the lane-keep assist (my wife said there is something wrong with the steering and I should take it back to be checked at the dealership after the first time she drove it!) but I have subsequently discovered how to turn that annoying feature off.

It pings and buzzes so much my kids have nicknamed the car “Buzz” (after Buzz lightyear from Toy Story). My son also mentioned that it looks like a space ship and Buzz Aldrin was the second man on the moon, so it seems a fitting name. I’m also not a big fan of the digital instrument cluster (I would prefer a decent analogue dial, or at least give me the option to change the display to look like one).

The loss of a gear lever and park brake lever (it has buttons instead) took some acclimatisation. The front/side/back/birds-eye view cameras are a very hand feature.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

The seats are comfortable and supportive, plenty of legroom/headroom/ arm room for everyone. It has equivalent power to the previous Multivan, and has four-wheel drive when required (our driveway is pretty steep, and it’s almost impossible to ascend when wet in two-wheel drive).

It steers well and has a smaller turning circle than the Multivan. It is longer, and its size is noticeable in tight parking, but the parking cameras are excellent.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

The reviews on CarExpert and elsewhere can give you different expert reviewers impressions of driving/quality/comfort/features.

I can only my opinion as a family of five children ranging from two – 14 years old. I grew up with VW T2/T3/T4 in the family and coming from a decade of owning a Multivan T5, so for the Staria there are a couple inescapable comparisons.

A little more thought could have gone into the interior to make it more practical. It is evident that despite this van being advertised as an ideal people mover for families with small kids, no one on the interior design team has small kids.

As mentioned the flexibility of seating arrangement is limited (Hyundai could learn from Mercedes and VW in this respect. Individual seats with integrated seat belts). The seat-belt arrangement for the outer seats in the second row is infuriating. The seatbelt is anchored to the C pillar which means access to the third row is impossible/requires contortionist skills when these passengers are strapped in.

It may seem simple enough to unstrap, let the person in/out, and strap in again, but you can only anchor child restraints in the second row (not the third), so this seatbelt is effectively permanently strapped in. It’s highly annoying in a school drop-off/pick-up scenario when one of the older kids needs to get in/out from the third row past the littler ones.

Sure, the outer seats have ISOFIX attachments so this is not necessary if you have a child restraint with this system. I have subsequently fitted after market ISOFIX straps that secure the child restraint to the attachment points without the need for the seat belt, but the problem remains for adults/older kids >7y strapped in with the seat belt in the second row.

Some reviewers lamented the absence of a storage area between the front seats in the VW Multivan, but in my opinion this was a great feature allowing easy movement from front seats to the second-row seats when parked. The Staria has a storage box between the front seats where you can conveniently keep tissues/wipes/water bottles. Some may like that, but the option of being able to remove it if desired would be welcome.

The gear selector buttons are not as seamlessly integrated into the fascia/dash as they could be. This is obviously a carry over from the work van/load version which has a gear shift lever in this position. The MB Valente has a column mounted gear selector stalk which works very well, and is neat and tidy.

Lighter colour options would be nice too. I wanted a white one, but you can only choose Black, Grey, brown or a blue so dark it’s virtually black.

On the upside, the windows are large and allow great visibility for the kids which helps prevent car-sickness, the interior side panels are hard-wearing plastic (not as comfortable as fabric covered armrests, but more durable and easier to clean), and everything looks and feels well put together.

If I could option a vinyl floor with drain plugs to let the water out after hosing out the interior that would be a box I would tick! Kids are messy little creatures, not deliberately of course, but accidents always happen.

Juice spills, chocolate/lollies gets dropped and smooshed into the carpet and seats, textas and pens get left uncapped on the seats etc etc. I purchased some custom-made neoprene seat covers that fit very well and rubber floor mats that are going to be put to the test over the coming years. As yet I am still unable to find a vinyl headliner protector…

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Show Breakdown
Technology 8
Reliability 10
Ride & Handling 7.5
Price & Features 8.5
Purchase & Aftercare 10
Performance & Economy 8
Ownership Experience 10
Top Line Specs
5 ★
View all specifications