UPDATE, June 1: Sources have confirmed with Wheels that the 2021 Hyundai Staria will be in Aussie showrooms by the end of August.
Sources also said the hotly anticipated people mover will adopt the same naming strategy for different variants as seen on other models like the new Tucson, with the 'Highlander' moniker representing the top-of-the-range Staria.
More details about the upcoming people mover have also been revealed in a filing to the Federal Government's Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS), which confirm the eight-seater Staria will be available with both the 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and naturally aspirated 3.5-litre petrol V6.
UPDATE, April 13: New details and images for the upcoming 2022 Hyundai Staria have been released today, ahead of an Australian debut confirmed for the second half of 2021.
Hyundai's new Staria people-mover, a replacement for the iMax – already known in some markets as the Starex – will make its way to Australia later this year.
Straight out of Star Trek, the Staria's design marries a futuristic streamlined look with the family-carrying dimensions required of these sorts of vans.
These new images give us our first expansive look at the Staria's interior, revealing a spacious and versatile seating configuration.
Occupants in the front row get a modern SUV-like dash design and technology suite, with a wide 10.25-inch main display dominating the centre stack.
A second broad display sits behind the steering wheel to act as an instrument cluster.
In people-mover form, the Staria will be offered in seven, nine- and 11-seat configurations, with the nine-seater equipped with 180-degree swivelling second-row seats that allow occupants to turn and interact with third-row passengers.
Hyundai has also confirmed the bus-style 11-seater will only be offered in South Korea.
Opting for fewer passenger spaces with the seven-seater means that second-row occupants can be offered a one-touch relaxation control that delivers a more reclined position and long footrests.
A two- and three-seat commercial van will also be offered – replacing the iLoad – although images of this variant are still to come.
Hyundai says it is planning for other future variants, some in cooperation with partners and third-party businesses, to introduce limousine, ambulance, and camping versions of the Staria. (A Delica-like jacked-up Staria, anyone?)
The Staria rides on a 3273mm wheelbase, measuring 5253mm long, 1997mm wide and 1990mm tall.
By comparison, the iMax is smaller in every dimension, with a 3200mm wheelbase, an overall length of 5150mm and a height of 1935mm.
Cargo space in the commercial variant will measure up to 5000 litres, with room for three Euro-spec pallets end-to-end.
Engine options for the Staria will include a couple of familiar Hyundai options, in the form of a 130kW/431Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel and a 200kW/331Nm 3.5-litre petrol V6.
The diesel will be mated to a choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmissions, while the petrol engine will be matched to the eight-speed shifter exclusively.
The Staria will also benefit from a multi-link suspension setup at the rear, for improved ride comfort.
Australian-delivered people-mover models will be equipped with seven airbags, and all seats in every configuration are equipped with three-point seatbelts.
Forward Collision Avoidance Assist and Blind-Sport Collision Avoidance Assist are also standard technologies for the Staria.
The infotainment system will feature a wide-angle camera system to allow the driver and front passenger to view rear passengers on the main display, as a handy way to monitor children and pets. Likewise, an intercom system allows the front passengers to speak with the rear passengers through a speaker function.
A note on images: to reveal more of the latest photos to you, we've replaced the shadowy teasers in the earlier story below. You can see those earlier images in our gallery above.
March 11: Hyundai has offered a first glimpse at its upcoming Australia-bound replacement for the popular iMax people mover.
Called the Staria, the new model's name will bring an end to the one-generation iMax branding used on Australian-delivered versions of Hyundai's current people mover, while bringing the nomenclature closer to the 'Starex' name used in Korea.
The Staria's avant-garde aesthetics of the new van showcase a retro futuristic look, representative of another new take on the company’s multi-pronged, evolving design language – one characterised in this case by a smooth silhouette and clean lines.
Available from launch in two guises – Staria and Staria Premium – the multipurpose vehicle’s radical look sees the car’s front fascia showing off a minimalist design.
Up front, a prominent single white LED strip runs the width of the car's smooth bonnet and big, while block-like LED tail lights dominate an otherwise clean tailgate – as far as can be discerned from these shadowy teasers, at least.
The short overhangs at both the front and rear of the vehicle, and its overall elongated silhouette also suggest Hyundai's design team have worked hard at maximising cabin space.
Hyundai says the people mover will come equipped with numerous driver-centric features, and will also provide “new experiences” that are aimed to improve both the driver's and passengers' transportation experience.
There’s no word yet from Hyundai as to whether or not the Staria will use an all-new platform, however, considering the iMax’s architecture is well over a decade old, it’s probably a safe bet to assume it will.
As to whether it will share a family-focused platform with sister brand Kia and its big new Carnival, or otherwise a more commercial-oriented architecture, we won't know until more details are revealed in the coming weeks.
Likewise, Hyundai hasn’t confirmed the drive type, what engines will be used or indeed whether a mild-hybrid or fully electric version is on the way. However, speculation has circulated that the peoplemover will be front wheel drive, in order to accommodate for more room at the rear of the vehicle.
Hyundai says that more details about the Staria peoplemover will be announced in weeks ahead.
As for Australian timing, Hyundai says we can expect to see the Staria make its local debut in the second half of 2021.
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