Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 05 Nov 2021
Having just attended the SA media launch of Hyundai’s latest bus and having personally spent a lot of time driving Hyundai’s outgoing H1 Bus upon which it replaces, two simple words sum up my impression of the new transport “Quantum Leap!”
I have always loved the idea of driving a large family transporter and the new Hyundai Staria which replaces the H1 bus brings with it some of the most futuristic styling which I have ever seen come across into road vehicle production. This is particularly enhanced with the fact that this space-age styling features within the family transporter space. The Hyundai Staria looks as if it’s driven out of the South Korean automaker’s concept design studio and straight out into the street and I love that about it.
Styling aside, the Staria is longer, wider and higher than its predecessor and what that translates to is more space on the inside. With the additional space offered and numerous configurations available also comes with a lot more in the way of luxury and technology. Available as either a nine or eleven seater in Executive trim or as a nine-seater in Elite or the top-spec Luxury trim, the new Staria takes Hyundai into new realms of luxury transporting.
The bus now certainly goes head-to-head with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz V Class and Volkswagen Transporter, both of which I have driven and both of which I can now say have a very real competitor to worry about.
The Luxury trim spec which I spent the most time driving features the likes of a suede roof lining, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, several USB charging sockets throughout and a platoon of safety systems including Blind Spot Assist with cameras to indicate the rear of the vehicle when indicating, a 360-degree camera, semi-autonomous drive and both ventilated and heated seats for the front two and middle row occupants. Captains style armchairs adorn the cabin, and these are dressed in Nappa leather.
In terms of power delivery and the drive, the Staria shares much of its drive underpinning with that of Hyundai’s recently launched Palisade luxury SUV. The same 2.2-litre turbodiesel unit powers the bus and offers 130 kW and 430 Nm of torque driven through an 8-speed automated transmission with a shift by wire gear selector system within the top trim specs. The overall ride is incredibly well insulated, smooth and enjoyable.
SA Pricing and Conclusion
I love Hyundai’s bold approach to the luxury transport market of the future with the introduction of the new Staria. New year we will see further commercial implementations of the bus being introduced, but for the moment I urge anyone looking at luxury transporter to consider a drive in one of these.
Staria R2.2 Executive 9 Seater AT – R789 900
Staria R2.2 Executive 11 Seater AT – R799 900
Staria R2.2 Elite 9 Seater AT – R959 900
Staria R2.2 Luxury 9 Seater AT – R1099 900
The Staria is sold with Hyundai’s industry leading 7 Year / 200 000 km manufacturer warranty, 7 YR / 105 000 km service plan (Luxury) / 6 YR / 90 000 km (Executive & Elite) and 7 YR / 150 000 km Roadside Assistance.
Overall it manages to tick every box, but do it all at the most affordable price point particularly when comparing it to its nearest competitors and this should certainly see it stand the test of time.