Hyundai unveils spaceship-inspired Staria minivan; close encounters coming soon

Ronan Glon
·2 min read

See Full Image Gallery >>

Hyundai has lifted the veil off of the Staria, a new minivan whose design draws inspiration from spaceships. Developed for businesses and families alike, the people-mover will go on sale in select global markets in 2021.

Several versions of the Staria will be available, ranging from rather basic two-seaters with a cavernous cargo area to 11-seaters that infringe on luxury car territory. We haven't seen the commercial versions yet, but the people-carrying models unveiled by Hyundai wear a highly unusual design that we'd expect to find on the floor at the Consumer Electronics Show. Its front end wears a full-width LED light bar positioned above low-mounted headlights and an extra-wide grille. Out back, the lights are made up of individual dots that look like pixels, like on the Ioniq 5.

Oversized side windows let light into the cabin, and we hope Hyundai fitted an equally oversized air conditioning system to keep the temperature in check in the summer. Inside, the spaceship inspiration leaves the stage and is replaced by styling cues drawn from the lounge of a cruise ship. The driver faces a four-spoke steering wheel and a digital instrument cluster mounted close to the base of the windshield. What the center console looks like varies from version to version; all have a touchscreen, but it's in bigger in some than in others.

Selecting the seven-seater Premium model brings a one-touch relaxation mode for the second-row passengers, and relaxation seats that automatically recline to a posture that comfortably disperses the passenger's weight to improve overall body balance — those are Hyundai's words, not ours. It's a feature even first-class passengers on planes don't enjoy. Alternatively, the nine-seater Premium offers second-row seats that swivel for on-the-go meetings.

What powers the Staria hasn't been revealed yet. Hyundai's images confirm that more basic configurations ship with a manual transmission, while more expensive trim levels get an automatic. Front-wheel-drive likely comes standard, and we wouldn't be surprised to see a turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood.

Hyundai will fully introduce the Staria during the first half of 2021. We don't know if it will be sold in America yet.